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What are Haemorrhoids (or Piles)?


Haemorrhoids are also known as piles and nearly three out of four people will suffer with haemorrhoids at some point in their life. Haemorrhoids are swollen veins and muscle around your anus or in your anal canal.

Types of haemorrhoids

Haemorrhoids can develop internally or externally. There are four different degrees of Haemorrhoids which can be explained as:

  • First degree – small swellings that develop on the inside lining of the anus and aren’t visible from outside the anus
  • Second degree – larger swellings that may come out of your anus when you go to the toilet, before disappearing inside again
  • Third degree – one or more small soft lumps that hang down from the anus and can be pushed back inside
  • Fourth degree – larger lumps that hang down from the anus and can’t be pushed back inside


Piles don’t always cause pain or other symptoms. If you do have symptoms, they can include:
Bleeding when you have a bowel movement – you may see blood on toilet paper or drips in the toilet or on your faeces

  • A lump in or around your anus
  • A slimy discharge of mucus from your anus, or leaking faeces
  • A feeling that your bowels haven’t emptied completely
  • Itchy or sore skin around your anus
  • Pain and discomfort after a bowel movement (if you have external piles)

Haemorrhoid diagnosis

The diagnosis of haemorrhoids can be made easily by seeing a Colorectal specialist. Patients will undergo an internal examination with a small probe (proctoscope) so that the haemorrhoids can be assessed in detail. Your specialist will then advise you regarding the best treatment option.


There are many different reasons people develop Haemorrhoids and no one specific event will lead to the certainty of Haemorrhoids forming, however there are many different factors which can greatly increase the risk.


Obesity can be the cause of many illnesses including Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Disease. Excess fat around the gut and abdomen place pressure on organs in the pelvic area which can greatly increase pressure inside the veins around the anus and rectal area, leading to the formation of haemorrhoids.

Old Age

While not a cause of haemorrhoids, the risk of them forming does increase as you get older. Over time the cells in the human body naturally weaken, this affects all areas of the body and the veins which run along the rectal area can swell as this happens, leading to piles. While there is no activity which can definitively rule out the possible formation of haemorrhoids, eating healthily and exercising can lessen the chance of getting them.


During pregnancy the female body undergoes extreme changes, both physical and hormonal, which increase the chance of getting haemorrhoids. The extra weight in the abdomen applies pressure to the organs below, which in turn increases pressure in the veins around the pelvic and rectal area. These haemorrhoids do seem to improve soon after giving birth, but are still equally as unpleasant as any other types.

Diarrhoea and Constipation

People who suffer with chronic diarrhoea or constipation are also at risk of developing piles due to the pressure that is placed on the anus. Both diarrhoea and constipation cause unpleasant bowel movements which lead to a person straining when trying to pass stool. This straining has a big effect on the veins in the rectum as it increases the pressure in short bursts, which can damage these veins. The best thing to do when you are suffering from either diarrhoea or constipation is to avoid any straining where possible whilst on the loo.


While it may not be commonly associated with being genetic, haemorrhoids can run in the family. This is as the strength of a human’s rectal lining can differ greatly from person to person. If your parents both have a weak rectal lining you will be far more likely to be the same and vice versa.

Haemorrhoid treatment

At The Whiteley Clinic we offer the revolutionary Rafaelo Procedure to treat Haemorrhoids. The Rafaelo Procedure is a safe and effective treatment for internal haemorrhoids, using the established technology of radio frequency ablation, it gets to the root cause of the condition.
The Rafaelo Procedure often only takes one 15 minute treatment session and requires minimal post-operative after-care. It is a walk-in walk-out procedure meaning there is no need for long hospital stays and patients can get back to their normally daily activities very soon after treatment. Symptoms should also improve almost immediately.

Colorectal Appointments Price
Consultation £320.00
If you require both a Proctoscopy and Sigmoidoscopy, this is the maximum price
You will not pay for each examination separately
The Rafaelo Procedure
Radiofrequency Ablation of Haemorrhoids, includes 1 follow up


Haemorrhoid Banding £1000.00
Additional follow up, including a Proctoscopy £430.00

What are the risks?

All treatments and procedures have risks.
The risks post procedure and during the following 2 weeks include:

  • Discomfort
  • Mild bleeding or spotting
  • Anal discharge
  • Other rarer complications post procedure include:
  • Recurrence of symptoms
  • Infection
  • Ulceration
  • Fissure

If you are interested in The Rafaelo Procedure or would like more information, please contact us at info@thewhiteleyclinic.co.uk or call us on 0330 058 1850