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HALO Procedure for Haemorrhoids

The Haemorrhoidal Artery Ligation Operation (HALO) is a new operation designed to eradicate piles without the need for cutting or a general anaesthetic.

The operation uses a miniature Doppler ultrasound device to locate all the arteries supplying the haemorrhoids as they come down from the rectum under the lining of the bowel. The device also has a small window which allows a stitch to be placed around the artery thus cutting off the blood supply to the pile. During the course of the procedure all the arteries supplying the piles are located (up to 6) and tied off. Over the next few days and weeks the pile shrinks away and the symptoms resolve.

Because the stitch is placed in the lower rectum, where there are virtually no pain nerves, rather than in the anus the procedure is virtually painless and can be performed under mild sedation rather than a general anaesthetic. Naturally, patients who are a little squeamish about have a procedure to their bottom can elect to have a general anaesthetic if they wish but it is not necessary. Because all of the blood vessels to the piles are accurately located the operation is more successful than injection; and as the blood vessels are properly ligated rather than just looped with a band they will not dislodge, producing a better response with far less risk of bleeding after the procedure.

Most patients are back to work after 24-48 hours with only a minimum of discomfort, which if there is any, is no more than a mild a throbbing in the rectum. This procedure has been performed in Europe and North America now for a few years with excellent results. 85% of patients have a complete resolution of their symptoms and over 90% are thoroughly pleased with the result even if there are some very minor residual symptoms. This is due to the relative ease of recovery from the operation compared to more conventional treatments.

The British Haemorrhoid Centre is now delighted to announce that the HALO procedure is available in the UK and performed by highly trained UK surgeons with a specialist interest in haemorrhoids and other proctological disorders.

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