Health

Health Check: 'I wasn't nervous about experimental surgery'

  • 30 July 2010
  • From the section Health

Piles or haemorrhoids cause discomfort and embarrassment to millions of people around the world.

Sometimes piles - which are swollen anal cushions that can cause itching and bleeding from the bottom - go away by themselves. Treatment options include banding and injections.

But when surgery is required it can be painful and take many weeks to recover from the cutting involved in removing the piles.

Now surgeons in Europe are pioneering a new operation which they hope will reduce the pain and improve recovery time dramatically.

Mr Gordon Buchanan from Charing Cross Hospital in London went to Italy to learn a new technique which doesn't involve any cutting.

The specially-made THD instrument, guided by ultrasound, is used to detect where the blood vessel supplying the haemorrhoid is located.

The artery is then sewn and pulled back into its usual place, restoring the patient's anatomy to normal.

One patient who's had the treatment is Simon Danciger, who was keen to opt for the experimental procedure because he wanted to get back to his running training as soon as possible. His recovery was quick and pain-free.