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Hemorrhoidal Artery Embolization

If you’ve noticed rectal bleeding and have been diagnosed with internal hemorrhoids, you might think a high-fiber diet, rubber band ligation or invasive surgery are your only treatment options. Now, you can also consider hemorrhoidal artery embolization, which provides a safe and effective way to alleviate your symptoms.

What is Hemorrhoidal Artery Embolization?

Hemorrhoidal artery embolization is a minimally invasive procedure that treats bleeding from internal hemorrhoids. Also called piles, hemorrhoids are blood vessels in the anus or rectum that swell due to increased pressure. Occasionally, internal hemorrhoids can bleed, often after straining during a bowel movement. This treatment uses a small catheter and imaging technology to access the blood vessels in the rectum, releasing small coils to reduce blood flow. Over time, the hemorrhoids shrink and the bleeding stops.

Hemorrhoidal Artery Embolization
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Benefits of Hemorrhoidal Artery Embolization

Less Invasive Treatment Option

Hemorrhoidal artery embolization is a painless outpatient procedure that can be performed in-office. During treatment, a small hole is made in the leg and a catheter is guided to the network of blood vessels supplying the rectum. No large incisions are needed.

Faster Recovery

This procedure doesn’t require an overnight hospital stay, so patients can immediately return to their daily lives with minimal downtime. Compared to surgical techniques, recovery is quick because there are no incisions or stitches involved. Only a small mark remains behind on the leg that can easily be covered with a bandage.

Lasting Results

Most patients find immediate relief from their symptoms and report significantly less bleeding after treatment. Results are long-lasting and can be sustained for several months. Compared to more invasive options, this is accomplished with no major complications or side effects.

why choose VIP for Hemorrhoidal Artery Embolization

Why Choose VIP for Hemorrhoidal Artery Embolization?

The physicians at Vascular and Interventional Partners are experts in minimally invasive, image-guided procedures. Our highly trained and board-certified team has the experience to provide symptom relief from internal hemorrhoids without significant surgery. For years, we’ve been trusted by patients and providers in Arizona for advanced vascular and gastrointestinal interventions such as hemorrhoidal artery embolization.

Learn More About Hemorrhoidal Artery Embolization

Hemorrhoids are a common gastrointestinal problem among both men and women. In fact, about half of all people will have hemorrhoids by the age of 50. They often appear during the third trimester of pregnancy, but are also caused by constipation, diarrhea or straining too much during bowel movements. Other risk factors include obesity, pelvic tumors, a sedentary lifestyle, low-fiber diets and the use of certain medications.

Although they might be uncomfortable or itchy, hemorrhoids aren’t usually dangerous. They’re the result of swollen veins in the rectum or anus that bulge under pressure. This can happen either internally or externally, depending on which blood vessels are affected. External hemorrhoids are more obvious and occur beneath the skin surrounding the anus, forming visible lumps. These enlarged veins are the ones likely to cause pain. Internal hemorrhoids are inside of the rectum, and while they aren’t usually seen or felt, may bleed during bowel movements. They can also prolapse and protrude outside of the anus.

While most hemorrhoids go away on their own with dietary and lifestyle changes, some can persist for longer. This might be due to underlying issues or diseases. When internal hemorrhoids and rectal bleeding require more extensive treatment, hemorrhoidal artery embolization can provide relief without surgery or significant downtime.

What to Expect During Treatment

Hemorrhoidal artery embolization is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed under local anesthesia, so there’s no need for a ventilator or breathing tube. During treatment, your provider makes a small puncture hole in the leg to insert a catheter into the femoral artery. Then, using imaging technology, the catheter is guided to the blood vessels of the rectum. Internal hemorrhoids comprise a dense arteriovenous network called the corpus cavernosum recti (CCR), which is fed by branches of the superior rectal artery. Once in place, the catheter will slowly release coils that block some of these branches, reducing blood flow into the CCR and providing relief from symptoms like rectal bleeding.

While most hemorrhoids go away on their own with dietary and lifestyle changes, some can persist for longer. This might be due to underlying issues or diseases. When internal hemorrhoids and rectal bleeding require more extensive treatment, hemorrhoidal artery embolization can provide relief without surgery or significant downtime.

Results & Recovery

There are few complications or side effects associated with hemorrhoidal artery embolization. It causes no anal or rectal trauma, so the risks of bleeding or infection are much lower compared to more invasive procedures. If any side effects do occur, they’re usually mild and will resolve on their own without further treatment. Recovery is also fast, because there are no large incisions that need to heal and no stitches that need to be removed. In most cases, you should be able to resume your normal routine and go back to work the next day.

Following the procedure, over 90 percent of patients who undergo embolization experience no further bleeding from their hemorrhoids. These results last for several months after just one treatment, but your results may vary depending on the severity of your condition. If necessary, embolization can be repeated to provide further symptom relief.

Schedule a Consultation!

Internal hemorrhoids can cause alarming symptoms like rectal bleeding. In some cases, they may also prolapse and bulge outside of the body, leading to pain and discomfort. At Vascular and Interventional Partners, we know how distressing hemorrhoids can be, so we provide minimally invasive treatments to help patients address these concerns and achieve a better quality of life. To learn more about hemorrhoidal artery embolization, contact or call our office in Phoenix, Arizona, at {phone} to schedule an appointment.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do All Hemorrhoids Need Treatment?

Hemorrhoids are naturally occurring vascular structures that, in their normal state, are thought to help with stool continence by adding bulk to the anal canal. However, they can become symptomatic when enlarged or swollen. If internal hemorrhoids are causing pain, discomfort or rectal bleeding, or if they become prolapsed, treatment might be recommended to address these concerns and improve your quality of life.

How Effective is Hemorrhoidal Artery Embolization?

After treatment, over 90 percent of patients report a complete stoppage of rectal bleeding due to internal hemorrhoids. Results are found to last for several months or more, but embolization can be repeated if necessary to address symptom recurrence.

Can Hemorrhoidal Artery Embolization Treat External Hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoidal artery embolization works by reducing blood flow in the superior rectal artery, which supplies blood to the rectum. In contrast, the anus receives its blood supply from the inferior rectal artery. Due to this, hemorrhoidal artery embolization can target internal hemorrhoids, but not those that develop in veins outside the anus.

Will Hemorrhoidal Artery Embolization Cause Incontinence?

This treatment leaves hemorrhoidal tissues in place and doesn’t affect your ability to control your bowel movements. It also does not cause rectal wounds and won’t leak to stool leakage.