India Today Article
DOING AWAY WITH THE SCALPEL
PILES SURGERY REDEFINED WITH LASERS & STAPLERS
Surgeries are patently invasive procedures. There are cuts and stitches with pain and scarring, which takes weeks to months for healing, especially in conditions like piles. With the advent of lasers and staplers, this may not be the situation anymore.
In this article, we will discuss the problem of piles (haemorrhoids)and its treatment with a focus on these newer techniques.
Piles is an illness which is experienced by many but expressed by a few! A whooping majority of more than 50% of the population suffers from it.
At the junction of our anal canal and rectum, there are fleshy cushions containing blood vessels. Due to straining during motions, chronic cough, pregnancy and even heredity: they descend down into the anal canal and eventually they prolapse outside. These are piles. They cause pain, bleeding and swelling. And when ignored, they cause anaemia and prolapsed thrombosed piles.
GRADES OF PILES
Grade 1 : When they remain inside the anal canal but cause bleeding
Grade 2 : When they come out during defaecation but automatically go back inside after motions
Grade 3 : They come out during defaecation but can be pushed inside
Grade 4 : They are large piles that remain outside and cannot be pushed in
TREATMENT OF PILES
Grade 1 and 2 can be treated with dietary changes, lifestyle modifications and medicines. If they do not respond, one bands or injects them or uses Infra-Red Coagulator.
LASERS IN PILES
Lasers have achieved wonders in medicine. They are a new entrant in the field of proctology. The results are promising. In Germany, there are dedicated clinics that use LASERS in treating piles.
Lasers are used in the treatment of second and third-degree piles. A Diode Laser beam is directed with the help of a specially made fibre and laser energy is delivered from the root to the tip of the pile node in a measured manner. It causes shrinkage and later disappearance of the piles from its root. Most of these procedures are performed under local or regional anaesthesia and are Day care procedures. The precision with which a laser beam can be used is far superior than any of the conventional procedures.
The advantages of laser procedure in the treatment of piles is that there is hardly any wound and scarring hence they do not require prolonged hospitalisation. There is minimal pain or bleeding. The healing is faster and ensuring early recovery. There are less chances of recurrence and damage to the controlling muscle, ensuring good control in the process of defaecation after the surgery. The patient can return to work early. Due to these advantages the use of LASER in treating piles works out to be cost effective and beneficial.
Yet, not all the patients with piles are eligible for lasers. Very large and 4th degree piles need another method which uses specially made staplers. We will discuss Staplers in the next part of this article. Contd……..