Haemorrhoids are masses or lumps formed due to swollen blood vessels inside or outside the rectum. In severe stages, they may become infected or protrude from the anus (prolapsed haemorrhoid) and require surgical removal. The procedure used to treat or remove haemorrhoids is termed hemorrhoidectomy.

Hemorrhoidectomy is performed under general, regional or local anaesthetic depending on the procedure. The different types are:

  • Closed haemorrhoidectomy: This procedure is used for the removal of internal haemorrhoids. Your doctor uses scissors, scalpels, electrocautery or laser to excise the haemorrhoids and seal the wound with absorbable sutures. It may be associated with complications such as wound infection, bleeding, faecal incontinence (bowel leakage) and anal strictures (narrowing of the anal passage).

  • Open haemorrhoidectomy: This procedure is similar to closed hemorrhoidectomy, except that the wound is not closed but instead, it is left open. This is done if wound closure is difficult due to the location of the haemorrhoid and if the risk of infection is high.

  • Stapled haemorrhoidectomy: This procedure is used for prolapsed haemorrhoids. Your surgeon uses a circular stapling device to cut off the excessive haemorrhoid tissue and lift the haemorrhoid within the rectum. This stops blood supply to the haemorrhoids so that they shrink and dissolve.

  • Rubber band ligation: A rubber band is tied around the base of the haemorrhoid to cut off blood supply so they disappear in a few days. This may be performed in your doctor’s office without the need for anaesthesia.