What is the sclerotherapy method, and when is its use recommended?
Sclerotherapy is a hemorrhoid treatment method, which implies using a chemical product that is injected in the hemorrhoidal formation to cut off the blood flow to the problem area, thus draining the resources necessary for the survival of their tissues.
This method is recommended for treating and eliminating small sized hemorrhoidal formations (Type 1 and 2, or rarely even type 3 hemorrhoids). Based on statistical data, sclerotherapy is the preferred treatment method for type 1 hemorrhoids.
The procedure of treating hemorrhoids through the method of foam sclerotherapy
Foam sclerotherapy can be used without requiring any anaesthetic. It is an intervention, which can be carried out on outpatients with ease. With the aid of a hypodermic needle a quantity of 2-3 mls of sclerosing agent is injected into the hemorrhoidal mass, a process that will obstruct the blood flow to the hemorrhoid. The procedure alleviates the causing factors of hemorrhoids and its symptoms.
The substance that is used in the injection, which is applied at the base of the hemorrhoids, has a fibrosing role at the level of the tissue it comes in contact with. It is called a sclerosing agent, and may be a saline solution or phenol, which is an almond oil extract.
Considering the inflammation this procedure causes, it is recommended that a maximum of 3 hemorrhoids be treated during any particular session. Sclerotherapy is not advised for larger hemorrhoids, due to the fact that in these cases the rate of failure in applying this type of intervention is quite high. Other treatment methods may yield far better results.
The advantages of the foam sclerotherapy method in treating hemorrhoids
- The foam sclerotherapy method is safe and efficient.
- The procedure does not require any anaesthetic.
- The method is a minimally invasive one, and the duration of the intervention is extremely short.
- Postoperative discomfort and pain are highly reduced in comparison to the ones generated by traditional surgery.
- The intervention is completed within a matter of minutes, and the patient does not need to be hospitalized.
- Side-effects are barely present and are quite moderate.
- The procedure maintains the hemorrhoidal venous cushion, which is required for optimal anal continence.
- Studies have shown that 88% of all patients suffering from type 1 and type 2 hemorrhoids have never presented any symptoms after they had one single treatment session. 97% of the patients have remained asymptomatic after the second session.
Postoperative period and recovery after the surgery
The patient does not require hospitalization after the intervention and may carry on his/her daily activities immediately after the procedure. Sclerotherapy treatment will show lasting results after approximately 7-10 days after the intervention has taken place. Subsequently the hemorrhoid will shrink in size and will eventually fall off. The results of the procedure will last for approximately one year.
Prescription medication will be administered to raise the fluidity of the fecal matter so as to avoid causing discomfort to the patient in the first few days following the intervention.
In order to prevent the onset of sensations of pain and discomfort, a number of specific medicinal drugs will be prescribed. The medication will be jointly applied with a venotonic treatment in order to reduce the pressure in the area of the intervention.
It is recommended that the patient take sitting baths in chamomile tea in conjunction with venotonics, suppositories, anti-inflammatory medicine or creams.
Having a well-balanced diet contributes to preventing constipation in a natural way. The use of laxatives should be avoided.
The essential rule for avoiding the disease and subsequent treatment is to eliminate the risk factors as far as possible. Yet if any symptoms should appear, a consult with a specialized doctor is paramount.