It's not always comfortable to talk about, but roughly half of all Americans over 50 have hemorrhoids. But now there is a new weapon to use in severe cases that need surgery.
More than 10 million Americans suffer from hemorrhoids. Donald Mee is one of them. He's lived with the occasional pain and discomfort for years. "The hemorrhoids really weren't that bad originally, but they would just flare up from time to time. So I thought at this time, we'll go ahead and get them taken care of."
He made an appointment with a Colon and Rectal Surgeon Doctor Richard Goldstein. "The hemorrhoids are a problem because of the problems that they cause you: bleeding, itching, discharge, soiling," says Dr. Richard Goldstein of St. Mary's Medical Center in Pennsylvania.
Traditional surgery relieves the symptoms simply by removing the hemorrhoids, but as doctor Goldstein himself can attest, recovery can be long and painful. "It was an awful ordeal to go through. It was 10 days of intense pain and I really didn't feel right for several months afterwards," says Goldstein. But now there's a new technique called PPH. "Rather than cutting the hemorrhoids off, what we're doing with this device is restoring the hemorrhoids to their normal position up, inside the anal canal," says Goldstein.
The outpatient procedure uses a special set of tolls to remove a section of tissue above the hemorrhoids. Then they are pulled up and into place where they are secured with a ring of titanium staples. The staples also cut blood flow to the hemorrhoids so they shrink back to normal size. Best of all, the recovery time is much shorter than traditional surgery. "I went in on Thursday and was out of work Friday and was back to work that Tuesday," Donald says.
Ask your doctor to see if the procedure is right for you. If you have hemorrhoids, ask your doctor about the PPH technique, or you can log onto their website to learn more about the procedure by (clicking here).