Patients unwilling to go to GPs about haemorrhoids, says pioneering Ilford surgeon

A Redbridge surgeon and colorectal expert who pioneered a treatment for haemorrhoids in the UK says many patients are put off going to their doctor.

It’s a subject which can induce childish giggles or embarrassed silence, but Pasquale Giordano, 45, has worked for 10 years on a surgical technique dealing with the problem.

The consultant, who has worked at Spire Roding Hospital in Roding Lane South, Ilford, and Whipps Cross Hospital, Waltham Forest, since 2004, said: “Because of the nature of the problem patients are unwilling to seek medical advice.

“And when they do see a doctor, the operation that is offered to them is an extremely painful procedure and they are put off.”

Haemorrhoids, otherwise known as piles, are blood vessels in the back passage which can become swollen causing recurrent bleeding and extreme discomfort in chronic cases.

They won’t turn cancerous if left but they can make it uncomfortable for patients to leave the house and go to work, according to Mr Giordano.

Half of over-50s in the UK will be affected by it at some point but the conventional treatment of cutting them out causes post-operative pain and possible problems with bowel control, said the surgeon.

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His patients undergo a different procedure which cuts off the blood flow to the piles through stitches so they return to their normal size.

He said: “It reduces the risk of them growing again.

“The procedure can be successfully performed on even the most advanced cases, those that would otherwise not be suitable for any other minimally invasive treatment.”

The technique, called transanal haemorrhoidal dearterialisation, was developed by a Japanese surgeon in 1995 and Mr Giordano has taught it to over 100 surgeons.

He said: “I changed the technique so any patient can have it done.”