Doctor Jeannine Perrenoud discusses the causes of hemorrhoid discomfort, describing both conservative therapies and the new THD procedure, which is less painful than traditional surgery.
Hemorrhoids are actually a part of everybody’s body. They are blood vessels that help cushion the stool as it leaves the body. One of the more common causes of hemorrhoids is increased pressure, either with coughing or straining, straining to move your bowels. Women who give birth more often than not will develop hemorrhoids because of the weight of the baby and the straining of pushing the baby out. We always try to do conservative therapy first for hemorrhoids — suppositories that have a high dose of steroids in them to help them shrink, Tucks pads, sitz baths, decreasing things that cause constipation, taking a high fiber diet, drinking a lot of water, exercise. We do a trial of that for several weeks and then, if that fails, then we schedule them for the THD procedure. A THD procedure, which is short for transanal hemorrhoidal dearterialization, is a probe with a Doppler ultrasound on it, and that Doppler helps us isolate the blood vessels that actually feed those hemorrhoids. Once we are able to isolate those blood vessels, we then tie them off. Tying off those blood vessels will stop the blood flow to those hemorrhoids, which will help them shrivel up and disappear. I used to actually try to talk people out of traditional hemorrhoid surgery because it was so painful. But once I performed the THD procedure, my first patient did so well and had so much less pain that I actually encourage people now to have their hemorrhoids repaired.