Over the last couple of months I've regularly visited this site for personal education on hemorrhoids and the various treatments. I finally underwent the THD procedure (Transanal Hemorrhoidal Dearterialization) this last Friday and wanted to share my personal experience with you guys.
Before I tell you about my surgery, let me first give you some background. I am a 35 year old male and I've been dealing with - mostly internal - hemorrhoids since my early twenties. I guess I've been lucky because they were never really painful, but they did always leave a little bit of blood behind when wiping. During these 10 - 15 years, things have definitely slowly started to get worse and I guess the fact I'm behind a desk all day every day for my job has probably contributed to this. In the last two years, my hemorrhoids progressed from being "annoying" to frequently being inflamed and itching after a bowel movement. Plus they started to protrude more, making it difficult to clean, which in turn caused me to over-wipe which then inflamed the hemorrhoidd more, causing more frequent and severe bleeding. At times it would bleed so much, it would actually drip in the bowl.
Last year - for some reason I still don't know - I started to get scared. Thinking this type of bleeding and the location thereof surely couldn't be very hygienic and wondering if, in the long term, it could lead to colon cancer. I was ready to see a proctologist, when by sheer coincidence a co-worker told me he had a hemorrhoidal staple procedure scheduled for that following week. Upon his return in the office he told me how painful the procedure was and how much he regretted getting it. During one of his bowel movements post surgery one of the staples popped out and he had to go in a second time to get it redone he said.
His description of the procedure and the intense pain was enough for me to not go forward with my Dr. visist and instead I started looking for herbal remedies and over-the-counter medications promising to address and clear internal hemorrhoids. Unfortunately nothing helped and I realized I had no choice but to see a proctologist.
With shame and embarrassment I finally went to see one who after examination found I had three internal hemorrhoids. To my great joy, he didn't immediately recommended surgery and instead had me try various ointments. I was optimistic thinking I could beat these things without needing painful surgery. For about 5 months I went back to him every 3 to 4 weeks and things got a little bit better, but to my dismay my symptoms would not clear.
In my visit last month he recommended I may want to try either a banding procedure or surgery. He explained the banding procedure to me and mentioned it'd be relatively painless. Without asking information about I surgery I told him I'd prefer that over surgery. Hey, who wouldn't prefer no-pain over pain? But then I ended up on this website and learned many people had a painful experience with the banding procedure. I definitely didn't want to go through that once ... much less three times!
The day I was scheduled to come in for the banding procedure I went in as scheduled, but expressed my concerns and inquired about the surgery options. He went on to tell me he didn't think stapling was that great of a procedure - at least not in my case - and full blown hemorrhoidsectomy's he would not perform due to the extremely long and painful recovery period.
So he started to tell me about this relatively new procedure called THD, or Transanal Hemorrhoidal Dearterialization and gave me some collateral to read including some website addresses. He also mentioned it'd be a 30 - 45 minute procedure during which he would be able to take care of all three hemorrhoids at once. I decided to go through with it, which brings me to last Friday.
During the days leading up to the surgery I was requested to drink a lot of fluids and use additional fiber supplements. Something I had been doing for a while anyway. I could continue to eat whatever I wanted up to the eve of the surgery, however, he did request I eat a light meal the night before followed by some bulk fiber, with absolutely nothing to eat or drink after midnight.
The morning of the surgery, I had to administer two fleet enemas an hour prior to departure to the hospital. Since my regional hospital did not have the necessary equipment, I had to go to the Methodist hospital in the Houston medical center. (about 1 hour drive for me).
My surgery appointment was 10:30 and I had to be there no later than 08:30. That meant I had to leave the house at 7am, administer the enemas at 6am, so get up around 5am that morning.
I got to the hospital at 08:30 sharp and was given a room and prepped for surgery around 09:30. Around 09:45 I was hooked up to an IV and rolled to a little waiting room close to the OR. Around 10:15 my Doctor/Surgeon, as well as the anesthesiologist came to talk to me to tell me what to expect and to let me know I was in good hands.
Around 10:25, the anesthesiologist injected something in my IV and a nurse rolled my bed into the OR where they moved me from my bed onto the operating table. Just on my back. I was asked to tell the people in the OR what procedure I was there for, along with my name, DOB etc (a final safeguard I guess), then given an oxygen mask.
I then woke up in the recovery room and when looking at the clock noticed it was around 12:05. Around 12:15, when I started to be able to carry on a conversation, I learned from the nurse I had been in the OR for about 30 - 45 minutes.
Around 2pm, I was rolled out of the recovery room into a private room and told I could get something to drink, but only after demonstrating my ability to urinate. I *think* one of the nurses told me (but I don't 100% remember) that I had also been given a local anesthetic and they wanted to make sure I was able to urinate.
I was able to get up and go to the bathroom - without any pain - and was told to urinate in a cup so I could show the nurse. I did notice quite a bit of blood in the bed, but was told that was normal.
Around 2:15 pm they brought me a coke; removed my IV, handed me my clothes and went over some discharge papers and post-surgery instructions. She also gave me two prescriptions. One for toradol (one tablet every 6 hours for pain and inflammation) and one for Vicodin. (1 - 2 every 6 hours as needed). Since my drive home was a little over an hour, the nurse gave me one Vicodin to cover the time needed to pick up the prescription.
I got dressed around 02:30pm and felt pretty good. My girlfriend had been with me all morning so she could drive me home and was instructed to go get the vehicle. However, due to the amount of patients in the hospital, it would take them about 15 minutes to find a wheelchair they said. (so they could wheel me to the front door). I explained to the nurse I felt really good and asked her if it was ok to walk. She said that was fine (it wasn't that far) as long as I was careful. We walked to the car around 02:40pm or so, took the elevator up to the 5th floor in the parking garage and drove out around 02:45.
Around 6pm I felt a little discomfort. No pain; but more of a pressure with a little bit of a bruise-type-feeling plus the urge to defecate. Took the toridol and quickly felt no discomfort. I continued the toridol, as prescribed, every 6 hours and was completely pain free. I ate what I wanted, but coming Saturday still wasn't able to defecate. I did try, but didn't want to strain and was scared to use too much pressure. I continued to use fiber, but no success. (I was advised I might not be able to go for several days). Otherwise I felt create and even did a couple of things around the house.
Sunday morning I still wasn't able to go, but did have the urge. Gently applied some more pressure and finally had a little success. My urge to go continued through-out Sunday afternoon and I probably had 10 more bowel movements. (all the fiber I think).
What I immediately noticed is that I no longer felt anything protruding and I didn't have to wipe as much. Prior to the surgery, if I ever had a day during which I had to go several times, the 3rd time would always be painful because of all the wiping. But this Sunday, even after 10 somewhat bowel movements, I no longer had the protruding and thus the soreness. Yes, I did have blood, but I was advised this would happen and will continue to happen for a while.
Today, Monday, I decided to call in sick for work. Not because I am in pain or uncomfortable, but simply because I wanted to take it easy. I did go out during the day for a coffee at Starbucks and feel absolutely terrific. Each bowel movement does still come with blood, but it is getting less and less.
Received a call from the Doctor's office today to see how I am doing and to schedule a follow up appointment in 10 days.
It will still take a little while to fully recover in the sense that I will continue to have some bleeding for a little while, but I am telling you guys, I feel much and much better. In hindsight I wonder why I didn't have this done sooner, but then again, this procedure probably wasn't readily available a couple of years ago.
The company that invented the THD procedure state on their website you can continue normal activities within 24-48 hours with little or no pain. These guys were not kidding! Yes, I cannot go back to the gym yet to continue weight lifting, but 24 hours after the surgery I was walking around and vacuuming the house.
I know this is a relatively long post; but looking through this forum I didn't see a whole lot of discussions based around THD and/or personal experiences of this procedure, so I wanted to be thorough and describe to you guys my experience.
There is hope!!, ask your Doctor for THD!
If anyone has any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. Either via post-reply or private message.
On a final note, I will keep you guys updated on my progress over the next couple of days / weeks.
Wow, this really is a long post!!
But you really told us everything you went through. And all the research thus far on the traditional Hemorrhoidectomy has been filled with extremely unhappy patients that are still suffering. Whether it be weeks or years post surgery. No way am I going that route.
With my insurance as it is, I must get this done as soon as possible. My regular doctor has no referrals so far for the laser method; I'm having difficulty finding a laser surgeon in my area (Orange County, CA). And I need information about my insurance. Googling has been overwhelming, plus after several days, I didn't find much success til I found you!
If you or anyone has information / websites as to where I can locate any of this needed resources, I would truly appreciate your help. I am a middle aged woman; with any physical activity (or bowels are plentiful in a day), I am in severe pain. To the point of days on my back. The only relief I get is taking Vicodin and resting for days on end. I live alone, so I have to deal with extended days without groceries, etc. I've considered calling social services for help. But I hope this all will happen soon, and I won't have to.
I am much too young at heart and sometimes borderline hyperactive in being "driven by a motor" (ADHD) to think about accepting my life as a cripple. Not to mention holding a job. I have been "laying low" for nearly 2 weeks (laundry always waits for us). Low key computer work, research and paperwork. Too many errands, I have to stop before they are all accomplished in one day.
Last but certainly not least, the down time contributes to the depression that accompanies ADHD. You have no idea how grateful I am that I found someone with recent experience of this procedure. Any additional help you can offer will be very much appreciated.
Thanks a million
I am still extremely happy I had the THD procedure done. This past Friday marked exactly one week and bleeding has gotten much less, though I do still spot a bit, but my Doctor told me I would. I do not, nor did I have any pain following the surgery, which is something I am ecstatic about. Next Friday I need to go back for a follow up appointment and I can't wait to see my Doctor and thank him.
Now, in regards to the THD procedure ... I am obviously not a Doctor, nor do I know the details surrounding your personal situation, so I would recommend you ask your Doctor about it. Are you seeing your general doctor, or a proctologist colon/rectal surgeon? In case of the first, I really recommend you go see a colon/rectal (proctologist) specialist. Especially if your insurance doesn't require referrals.
You can find more information regarding the actual procedure, including animation and FAQs at THD America. (***edited by moderator*** web addresses not allowed)
Keep us posted and good luck!
I have been suffering with piles for about 16 years now and I am in my mid-thirties. Piles have had a huge impact on my life as it does many people. My piles do not seem too bad by judging by other peoples experiences however I do get a thrombosed pile at least once a year that puts me on my back for a week or two, not good when you have two young children.
I currently am suffering with a thrombosed pile and visited a colo-rectal surgeon today for his opinion on any treatments, I wasn't hoping for much as I have had my piles banded and injected before now and they just come back. However, today he mention THD as a possible long term fix. His comments about no pain, quick recovery sound too good to be true so basically I have been trawling the web for the negative sides to THD. To be honest I haven't found much yet and the comments here sound encouraging.
I am provisonally booked in for the procedure in early November. Would you still recommend it? Us anyone having any negative effects?
Cheers and good luck.
I will update with my experiences
Wolfy; I wish you all the best, and please come back here after your surgery to share with us your experiences. The THD procedure is relatively new and there isn't a whole lot of chatter around THD, so your experiences, along with Craig's, mine and everyone else on this board may help someone else in the months and years to come.
I had another procedure (removable of skin tag) in early July, 2010 and now October 2, 2010, I feel WONDERFUL. Everything works fine and no prolapsed hemorrhoids.
My advise is to eat lots of fiber and most importantly drink lots of water. I drink about 8 glasses a day. Take fiber laxative by Equate and Equate stool softeners (without laxative) before your THD. This will make everything easy to move through your bowels. Continue drinking lots of water, taking the Equate Fiber pills and stool softeners after the THD too. That way, everything will heal more easily. Good luck and IT is worth it!
Thank you so much for continuing to update us on your progress and experience with the procedure and post care; results.
I had my THD surgery yesterday. I am just out of hospital today as they kept me in overnight. My blood dropped quite low and I almost passed out, this has happened before to me with general anaesthetics. Also I am experiencing alot of pain and discomfort on one side, the surgeon tells me this is due to an internal pile he had to pull back up and the pain should ease over the next fews days.
I will write more over the next few days as sitting here is painful
I had THD and it did not work it is partially cause i think the Dr was new to THD he was as i said one of the first DRS in Ireland that trained in Italy to do THD in Ireland, thus he had not done many of them and like everything as they do more and more they learn what is better for each patient.
That said i had a miserable time it did not fully work and i will have to go back and have it done again sooner rather than later. I intend in doing what i was gonna do first time and that is go to the UK and see the guy there that was the first in the UK doing THD. I found the lack of after care and help with my DR beyond sh*t...they left me so in the lurch you have no idea.