Newswise — (Baltimore, MD) -- Jeffery Nelson, M.D., FACS, FASCRS, Surgical Director of The Center for Inflammatory Bowel and Colorectal Diseases, Institute for Digestive Health & Liver Disease at Mercy Medical Center, now offers patients a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure for treating hemorrhoids.
A specially designed instrument known as a suction hemorrhoid ligator is used with the procedure; this device holds ¼ inch rubber bands which are applied over the bleeding or prolapsing internal hemorrhoids.
According to Dr. Nelson, a small rubber band is placed around the tissue just above the hemorrhoid where there are fewer pain-sensitive nerve endings. Unlike traditional banding techniques that use a metal-toothed clamp to grasp the tissue, Dr. Nelson prefers to use a suction device.
The banding procedure works by cutting off the hemorrhoid’s blood supply, causing it to shrink and fall off, “usually within a day or so. Patients often don’t even notice when this happens,” Dr. Nelson said. Once the hemorrhoid is gone, the wound usually heals within a few days to two weeks.
Patients may experience a sensation of pressure after the procedure, but this typically abates within 48 hours.
“We’ve found most patients return to their jobs the next day and experience no limitations to their regular activities,” Dr. Nelson said.
Over the counter remedies such as topical medications, suppositories, stool softeners, dietary changes, and warm sitz baths may offer temporary relief, but hemorrhoids can worsen over time, with increased size and symptoms.
“This in-office procedure, which is quick, effective and essentially painless, offers patients a viable alternative to just treating their symptoms with home remedies,” Dr. Nelson said, adding that advanced internal and external hemorrhoidal disease may require additional therapies.
Board Certified in Colon and Rectal Surgery and in General Surgery, Dr. Nelson has more than 25 years of experience in his specialty. His areas of interest include colorectal cancer, rectal bleeding, hemorrhoidectomy and diverticulitis. He brings special expertise in such areas as rectal prolapse, ulcerative colitis and complex anal pathology.
Dr. Nelson earned his medical degree at the University of Utah. Dr. Nelson completed his Internship and Residency in General Surgery at Tripler Army Medical Center. He completed his Fellowship in Colon and Rectal Surgery at Northwest Colon and Rectal Clinic, Seattle, Washington. Dr. Nelson has held the position of Chief of Colon and Rectal Surgery at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Founded in downtown Baltimore by The Sisters of Mercy in 1874, Mercy Medical Center is a university-affiliated medical facility with a national reputation for women's health. For more information, visit Mercy at www.mdmercy.com, MDMercyMedia on FACEBOOK and TWITTER, or call 1-800-M.D.-Mercy.