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What Is a Stapled Hemorrhoidectomy?

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  • Written By: Emma Lloyd
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 06 April 2014
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Hemorrhoids are one of the most common disorders which can affect the rectum and anus. These venous inflammations can be extremely painful, and may sometimes require surgical treatment. One surgical procedure for hemorrhoids is called a stapled hemorrhoidectomy. In this procedure, the hemorrhoid is repaired with a stapler-type instrument which pulls the bulging vein back into its normal position within the rectum.

Hemorrhoids are swollen, inflamed lumps of tissue which develop in the anus or rectum. These are made up of clumps of inflamed blood vessels surrounded by supporting connective tissue which has become loose, often as a result of excessive straining during bowel movements. Some hemorrhoids form inside the rectum, while others develop on the anus. In some cases, a hemorrhoid which forms in the rectum may prolapse, meaning it is pushed from the inside of the rectum and begins to protrude through the anus.

Hemorrhoids can be grouped into four different types. Grade I hemorrhoids do not prolapse. Grades II, III, and IV are all prolapsing hemorrhoids, with differing degrees of severity. Generally, grade III and IV hemorrhoids may be surgically treated with a stapled hemorrhoidectomy.

The stapled hemorrhoidectomy procedure is the preferred alternative to traditional hemorrhoid removal surgery in cases of grade III and IV hemorrhoids. This is because the traditional procedure causes a significant amount of pain during what is typically a long recovery period. When a stapled hemorrhoid repair procedure is performed, the post-operative pain is much reduced, as is recovery time.

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During a stapled hemorrhoidectomy, the objective is to remove the supportive tissue causing the hemorrhoid to protrude outside its normal location. In this procedure, a type of circular stapler attached to a long tube is inserted into the anus. A long surgical suture thread is threaded through the stapler, and is woven around the hemorrhoid.

The stapler is then used to pull the suture tight around the hemorrhoid, which forces the supporting tissue of the hemorrhoid to protrude into the stapling mechanism. This forces the hemorrhoid to retract into its normal location within the anus, and the stapler is then used to cut the excess supporting tissue. At the same time as the remaining protruding tissue is forced back into place, the jaws of the stapler seal the cut made by removal of supporting tissue.

This procedure takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. Possible stapled hemorrhoidectomy complications and risks include infection and bleeding of the anus, as well as scarring, which may cause a narrowing of the anal wall. Another possible complication is anal fissures, which may develop if the lining of the anus is torn during the procedure. Any signs of post-operative bleeding or infection should be treated promptly by a doctor.

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