Electrotherapy is a very low direct current treatment for internal haemorrhoids requiring no bowel prep, no anaesthetic and no time off work. It is offered as a private outpatient procedure through a network of dedicated eXroid clinics.
Electrotherapy was introduced to the UK in 2013, but has been used to provide over 150,000 treatments worldwide over the past 20 years, and more than 2,500 treatments in the UK. Electrotherapy was positively evaluated by NICE for disease grades 1, 2 and 3. eXroid also offers treatments in the UK for grade 4 haemorrhoids. The US version of electrotherapy was approved for all four grades of piles by the FDA, and grade 4 haemorrhoids have been successfully treated in the US and the UK. The reason treatment of grade 4 haemorrhoids is not currently recommended by NICE is that not enough clinical research had been done on the treatment of grade 4 haemorrhoids by electrotherapy.
How It Works
eXroid specialists utilise a single-use probe to gently apply a low direct current (up to 16mA) to the haemorrhoid. The probe is placed in direct contact with the base of the haemorrhoid, targeting the blood vessels which feed the haemorrhoid. No penetration of any kind is required. This causes a biochemical reaction within the vascular feeding vessels, releasing hydrogen gas and hydroxyl ions (2 H2O + 2e → H2 + 2 OH-). This creates a strong alkaline environment that causes a denaturation of protein, thrombosis of the capillary feeding vessels, and a chemical cauterization within the vascular feeding vessels of the haemorrhoid. This is not a heat treatment.
As treatment progresses, the haemorrhoid visibly shrinks. With the blood flow to the haemorrhoid interrupted, the haemorrhoid continues to shrink for a week or longer following treatment. As the haemorrhoid shrinks during and after treatment, symptoms are relieved. In many cases, the patient will feel relief immediately following the procedure. The procedure takes up to 10 minutes per pile depending on what grade and size they are. eXroid recommends that no more than three haemorrhoids should be treated in one treatment session.
The amperage delivered to the base of the haemorrhoid can be varied by pressing the ‘up’ and ‘down’ buttons on the hand control. Communicating with the patient during treatment, the eXroid specialist can regulate the current to minimise any discomfort for the patient. If the patient can tolerate a higher current, the treatment will be shorter.
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In terms of efficacy, the majority of patients are free of symptoms after one treatment session with eXroid, and over 80% after two. It causes less discomfort and less side effects than generally reported figures in the literature compared with banding, sclerotherapy or higher voltage electrotherapy, which suggests that it is likely to be the best tolerated non-surgical procedure available. Am J Gastroenterol. 1989 May; 84(5):482-7
Pacemaker or implantable defibrillator (ICD) - Unless the patient's Cardiologist advises otherwise
Over 150,000 electrotherapy treatments for haemorrhoids have been given worldwide, and over 2,500 in the UK. . The procedure has been proven to be virtually complication free. It is especially attractive for patients facing surgical haemorrhoidectomy which is often complicated by severe postop pain and sometimes postop bleeding, anal strictures or incontinence.
A Consultant Surgeon’s View
Mr Paul Mackey Consultant Colorectal Surgeon "I have now had the opportunity to treat over 100 patients suffering with haemorrhoids with the eXroid electrotherapy treatment. Admittedly I was somewhat skeptical as to what could realistically be achieved by such a relatively straightforward and practically painless treatment, but the feedback from patients has been absolutely amazing. In terms of treating the symptoms of prolapse and bleeding, over 90% of patients have achieved resolution of symptoms. Some patients have had trouble for decades, and although they may have needed several treatments, resolution of symptoms can usually be satisfactorily achieved. We are not far from eXroid becoming universally the first-line treatment for haemorrhoids, and banishing such ineffective treatments such as banding to history."
The eXroid electrotherapy is approved as a treatment for haemorrhoids by most private medical insurers.
The OPSC4 code(s) recommended by NICE are: H5260 For private medical insurance purposes H52.8 Other specified destruction of haemorrhoid Y17.1 Electrocauterisation of lesion of organ NOC
How To Refer
Patients can currently be referred to a number of eXroid clinics convenient to most of mainland UK. Appointments can be arranged by calling 0800 999 3 777
We are recruiting doctors
eXroid is seeking doctors, physicians and surgeons who are interested in offering the eXroid treatment to their patients as well as to patients booked centrally by eXroid. If you would like to participate in our private treatment programme, or to offer eXroid through the NHS, please get in touch.