Hemorrhoidal Artery Embolization (Hae)
What does this treatment entail?
What is hemorrhoidal artery embolization?
Guided by latest-generation radiology equipment, the interventional radiologist inserts a catheter into an artery in the patient’s arm, then threads it to the arteries that supply blood to the hemorrhoids.
Still under image guidance, the radiologist inserts tiny platinum coils inside the arteries which completely obstruct the arteries within minutes.
He or she might also inject microspheres to seal off the smaller vessels.
The radiologist then removes the catheter from the artery and places a bandage over the puncture site.
Because the entire procedure is endovascular—meaning it is performed via the blood vessels—there is no direct anorectal trauma, and no incisions or scarring.
What is the purpose of hemorrhoidal artery embolization?
One of the main causes of hemorrhoids is vascular congestion in the hemorrhoid veins. This can be likened to an “over-vascularization” of these veins.
Embolization directly targets the vessels that supply blood to the hemorrhoids, in order to stop the flow of blood. With their blood supply cut off, the hemorrhoids are “decongested” and symptoms, particularly bleeding, are eliminated.
There is no direct anorectal trauma, and no incisions or scarring. The entire procedure is endovascular, meaning it is performed via the blood vessels.
What to expect during a hemorrhoidal artery embolization procedure at the American Hospital of Paris
Before the procedure, you will need to have a consultation with the interventional radiologist and with the anesthesiologist.
On the day of the procedure, you will be accompanied to the interventional radiology room in the operating suite, where the radiologist will be expecting you. The anesthesiologist and his or her team will prep you for the procedure. This will include inserting the intravenous catheter.
The procedure lasts anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
You may choose to watch the procedure in real time, or have the anesthesiologist administer sedation via an injection to help you relax. General anesthesia is not required.
Once the procedure is over, you will be monitored for one hour in the recovery room, followed by an additional hour in the outpatient department. After these two hours of monitoring, you will be allowed to go home.
The procedure offers the benefit of a quick recovery: you should be able to return to your normal activities, including walking, on the same day. No post-operative nursing care is necessary.
How can I prepare for a hemorrhoidal artery embolization procedure?
Our radiologists work jointly with the Hospitals’ gastroenterologists and proctologists, ensuring a multidisciplinary evaluation of your situation prior to the treatment.
In addition, before the procedure you will meet with the interventional radiologist, who will explain what will happen during the procedure.
If there is any uncertainty about your diagnosis, additional lab, imaging or endoscopic tests may be prescribed to you.
What are the outcomes of hemorrhoidal artery embolization?
In 80 to 85 percent of cases, symptoms significantly improve after an embolization procedure.
In particular, studies show a major improvement of the scores relating to bleeding and quality of life.
Embolization has no cosmetic side effects or impact on continence.
The procedure can be repeated several times in the event of symptomatic recurrence, and does not preclude the subsequent use of other techniques such as endoscopy or surgery.
Embolization is therefore an excellent first-line treatment for patients with moderate symptoms, particularly bleeding.
What are the possible side effects of this treatment?
The rate of major complications is next to zero.
A few minor complications may occur, including a post-embolization syndrome characterized by a low fever and localized irritation. These symptoms will disappear within a few days.
At the American Hospital of Paris, an interventional radiologist is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week if you experience any problems or have any questions following the procedure.
In accordance with Article 53 of the French code of conduct for medical professionals, physician fees are determined with tact and moderation and fall within the national average.
You will benefit from the medical expertise and safety of a bona fide hospital and receive exclusive care delivered by our anesthesiology team and paramedical staff, all in a pleasant and comfortable environment.