New Techniques

In 2007 Ross Hall Hospital became the first hospital in Scotland to offer the HALO procedure (www.halocentre.com) which uses a miniature Doppler ultrasound device to locate all the arteries in the distal rectum which supply the haemorrhoids (piles). The device has a small window which enables a suture to be placed around the artery to interrupt the blood supply. All of the arterial branches are ligated and over the next few weeks the haemorrhoid shrinks with symptom resolution.

The procedure is virtually painless and can be performed under sedation as a day-case or under general anaesthesia. Most patients return to work in 24-48hours and many require no postoperative analgesia. The HALO procedure has been performed in Europe for several years with excellent results. It is ideal for painful, bleeding haemorrhoids and a modification of the technique (haemorrhoidal artery ligation and rectoanal repair, HALRAR), can now be used to treat some cases of prolpasing haemorrhoids successfully. The HALO procedure represents an important advance in haemorrhoidal surgery.