Injection therapy for treating hemorrhoids
Injection Therapy for Treating Hemorrhoids
People who suffer from the unpleasant effects of hemorrhoids are usually willing to try just about anything to alleviate their discomfort. Creams, ointments and other topical remedies are the most commonly used options, and they often provide adequate relief. On the other end of the scale, surgery is sometimes necessary in advanced cases of hemorrhoids. For middle of the road cases, though, injection therapy - or sclerotherapy - is a popular option for treating this uncomfortable ailment.
What Is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy - or injection therapy - is a procedure that is used to help eliminate a person's hemorrhoids. This process is most frequently used to treat bleeding internal hemorrhoids. During the procedure, a solution is injected into the base of the offending hemorrhoids. Chemicals in the solution work to harden the hemorrhoid, causing its vein tissue to harden, scar and shrivel away.
Injection therapy for hemorrhoids is an outpatient procedure. Patients usually have it done at their doctor's office. The entire process does not take more than an hour or two, making it a convenient option for today's busy people. Also, unlike other treatments, multiple hemorrhoids can be treated at one time; repeat office visits are infrequent, and their total number generally does not exceed three.
Drawbacks to Injection Therapy
As with any type of medical procedure, there are some drawbacks to sclerotherapy. The biggest and most obvious of these drawbacks is the fact that injection therapy does not cure hemorrhoids. The same hemorrhoids can and do recur much of the time. Therefore, undergoing this procedure by no means takes care of the problem entirely. They do not return for nearly a year, though, so this process does provide relief for a decent length of time.
Another major pitfall to sclerotherapy is that it is not usually successful for larger hemorrhoids. If a patient is suffering from significantly large hemorrhoids, injection therapy is not likely to work for them. These patients usually need a more intensive procedure, such as rubber band ligation.
There are a few possible side effects associated with injection therapy. The most common - albeit rare - of these is bleeding after the procedure. This is usually caused when an artery is accidentally nicked by the needle. It is not generally serious, but does occur on occasion.
Additionally, sometimes the injection is accidentally made in the wrong location. Once in a while, the chemicals might be inadvertently injected into the patient's vein, for instance. Usually, the person will have pain in their liver or experience an unpleasant taste. No lasting effects are caused by this error, although the sclerotherapy itself will be unsuccessful as vein injection does not cure hemorrhoids.
Finally, while a bit of aching and discomfort is common following injection therapy, actual pain is not. If a patient experiences pain during this procedure, it should be halted immediately. Pain usually signifies an injection at the wrong location.
In general, injection therapy can be a great option for people with small to mid sized internal hemorrhoids. While they do not provide an actual cure for hemorrhoids, they do offer long term relief. People who wish to avoid actual surgery are likely to find this a preferable alternative. Individual results may vary.