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Expert Speak

Laser Surgery for Piles

Dr. Vikram Ananthakrishnan M.S., D.N.B., F.R.C.S.

Piles is a common problem. Though not life threatening, it is often painful. Many patients are shy to approach the doctor or discuss the problem but feel afraid of the condition. Dr Vikram Ananthakrishnan, a general surgeon whose area of interest is colon & rectal surgery, explains the advantages of laser surgery for piles.

What is Piles?

Haemorrhoids is the medical term for piles.

Haemorrhoids are swollen but normally present blood vessels in and around the anus and lower rectum. These present as a bleeding, protruding mass from the anus which becomes prominent while straining. It can get infected or can become painful and tender.

Why do Haemorrhoids occur?

The commonest cause is constipation, mainly due to the excessive straining at toilet because of hard faeces. The problem tends to run in families. Other associations are heavy manual work, sitting for long periods (such as bus driving) and pregnancy.

Who is at risk of developing Haemorrhoids?

It is a common complaint in people over fifty. Some pregnant women also tend to develop piles. The pressure of the foetus in the abdomen, as well as hormonal changes, cause the haemorrhoidal vessels to enlarge. These vessels are also placed under severe pressure during childbirth. For most women, however, Haemorrhoids caused by pregnancy are a temporary problem.

What are the symptoms?

The most common symptom of internal haemorrhoids is bright red blood covering the stool. A painful swelling or a hard lump may develop around the anus. Irritation or itching also occur.

What are the treatment options?

In some cases the symptoms disappear on their own. In some cases, haemorrhoids must be treated surgically. Traditionally surgery for haemorrhoids (piles) was
associated with a lot of pain, and fear. There is an element of worry and shyness in showing the doctor and being examined. Today laser surgery is possible.

What are the advantages of Laser Surgery?

With the advent of lasers in medicine the surgery of Piles has become easy and the results are good. The surgery has the advantage of being painless with minimal blood loss, and helps the patient to return to normal routine soon. There is no discomfort while sitting and passing motion.

How is Laser Surgery performed?

Initial examination involves doing a thorough rectal examination with instruments (Proctoscope and a Sigmoidoscope.). This is to rule out other causes of pain while passing stools or any growths in the large bowel which can be easily missed. The surgery is done under anaesthesia. The equipment necessary is expensive and requires trained personnel.

Dr. Vikram Ananthakrishnan M.S., D.N.B., F.R.C.S.

Dr.Vikram Ananthakrishnan completed his M.S. in General Surgery from the Grant Medical College, Bombay and then his Diplomate of The National Board, India (D.N.B). He completed his F.R.C.S. from Royal College of Surgeons, Glasgow, U.K.

Dr.Vikram is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of General Surgery at Sri Ramachandra Medical College, Chennai. He is also a visiting consultant at The Apollo Hospitals, Chennai. His special area of interest is laparoscopic surgery, colon & rectal surgery.

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