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Haemorrhoidal Artery Ligation Operation (HALO)


WHAT IS HALO?

It is an operation that is suitable for certain types of haemorrhoids (piles). It is an abbreviation for “haemorrhoidal artery ligation operation”.

WHICH TYPES OF HAEMORRHOIDS ARE SUITABLE FOR HALO?

The decision about whether your haemorrhoids are suitable for HALO will be made by your surgeon. Generally, HALO is effective for bleeding haemorrhoids that have not been improved by simple measures such as banding, injection or changes in diet. It can also be effective for some patients who are bothered by lumps at the anus.

WHAT OTHER TESTS ARE NECESSARY BEFORE THE OPERATION?

Your surgeon will sometimes want to check that the bowel above the haemorrhoids is normal and will recommend a telescope test such as a colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy.

WHAT DOES THE OPERATION INVOLVE?

Whilst the procedure can be performed under sedation, it is our preference to perform it under a general anaesthetic.

The operation takes about 40 minutes to perform. A probe is inserted into the bottom and the blood vessels that supply the haemorrhoids (usually 6-8 in total) are detected so that the surgeon can put a stitch into them. These stitches cut off the blood supply to the haemorrhoids and make them shrink. Further stitches can then be placed to pull the loose haemorrhoid tissue up into the back passage.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF HALO?

The advantage of HALO is that the haemorrhoids are not removed and so there are no painful scars or wounds around the anus. The stitches that are put in by the surgeon are high enough up in the back passage that there is only minimal discomfort, as there is little sensation at this level.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO RECOVER?

You will usually be allowed home either the same day or after one night in hospital. You may wish to go back to work within a few days. You may get some discomfort either within the back passage or felt low down in the tummy, which may last a few days. It is common to get the temporary sensation of needing to open your bowels, even though they are empty, after the procedure.

WHAT ARE THE OUTCOMES AND RISKS?

Around 80% of people feel that symptoms are significantly improved or resolved after a HALO. The main risk of HALO is bleeding, which is a potential problem with all forms of haemorrhoid surgery. A few spots of blood is a common post-operative event but about 1 in 100 patients get bleeding which is heavier and does not stop. Typically, this occurs 3-7 days after surgery. If this is the case, you should seek medical advice.

 

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Please be advised that the information on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment