BALTIMORE - The pain and discomfort from hemorrhoids can be debilitating. The swollen and inflamed veins impact more than 15 million people in the United States.
While there are many treatments out there, most are either ineffective or have serious side effects. Now, there is a new non-invasive treatment that is making the bleeding blood vessels disappear almost effortlessly.
Thomasine Brown is finally able to relax after enduring a painful problem for two years.
"Excruciating pain," said Brown. "I couldn't even sit straight up because the hemorrhoids were just that bad."
The bus driver could hardly work and was finally driven to seek help.
"I had to keep bouncing from cheek to cheek because of the one that was on the outside," Brown said.
It's a problem Dr. Sergey Kantsevoy sees every day.
"It's uncomfortable. It makes life miserable and in the past, the only option was to go for surgery," said Kantsevoy, of the Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.
Now, a new FDA-cleared device offers an easy, less painful alternative.
"One therapeutic session, we never have to repeat it and the patient never complains of any pain or discomfort," Kantsevoy explained.
Known as the HET Bipolar System, the device is made up of a small plastic tube and built-in treatment window that's placed in the rectum.
"And you capture with that device the hemorrhoid," Kantsevoy said.
Once captured, radio frequency energy is used to cut off the blood supply to the vessel.
"And because no blood comes in there, the hemorrhoids shrink and disappear," Kantsevoy explained.
The outpatient procedure takes under a minute.
"No recovery, no lost time from work," said Kantsevoy.
"I felt immediate relief right after," Brown said.
It's a simple treatment that gave Brown her life back.
The HET Bipolar System is currently used in the treatment of folks with grade one, two, or three hemorrhoids. The most serious cases — grade four — must be sent to surgery.
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