When talking to your patients about hemorrhoid treatments, it is imperative that they understand what to expect from the various options. Because some patients may be nervous about undergoing treatment, it is your duty to dissuade any fears or concerns and educate your patients.
Recognize That Discussion May Be Embarrassing For Them
Not everyone is comfortable about talking about their medical issues — even with their doctors. When beginning the conversation about hemorrhoid treatment, acknowledge the fact that it is normal to feel uncomfortable discussing it, but that there is honestly nothing to be embarrassed about.
Let them know hemorrhoids are extremely common and easily treatable. This should help put their unease at rest, making them open to discussion so they better understand the options.
Discuss Their Potential Treatments
Not all hemorrhoids are treated the same, as their severity and location will determine the necessary treatment. For example, Grade IV hemorrhoids require surgical intervention in the form of a hemorrhoidectomy, while Grades I-II can be treated medically. Grades I-III can be treated non-surgically, depending on your assessment of the patient’s unique situation:
- Rubber band ligation: Considered the “gold standard” of hemorrhoid treatment, this procedure is quick and easy to perform, has quick recovery times, and can be done in an office setting. A rubber band is placed around the hemorrhoid, cutting off its blood supply, causing it to wither and fall away.
- Sclerotherapy: This procedure treats hemorrhoids by injecting a chemical into the hemorrhoid tissue, causing it to shrink, cut off its blood supply, and wither away.
- Infrared coagulation: Also called coagulation therapy, this method is used to treat internal hemorrhoids by using an infrared light that causes scar tissue to form, which cuts off the blood supply to the hemorrhoid.
When discussing hemorrhoid treatment options, remember to speak clearly and slowly so patients are not overwhelmed by medical terminology. Many patents want to know exactly what a treatment entails, so be sure you are able to explain the process in terms they can understand.
Discuss Pre- & Post-Procedure Instructions
Each treatment will require different pre- and post-procedure requirements. Make sure the patient is aware of what they need to do to prepare and what they need should do to care for themselves after the procedure is complete.
For example, if undergoing rubber band ligation, patients generally are not required to fast or undergo bowel preparation before treatment, and they often experience little to no pain or complications after.
You should provide the patient with informational sheets as a reference that outline their pre- and post- procedure instructions.
Follow Up With Additional Questions
Before a patient leaves your office, always ask them if they have any remaining questions or concerns. This will give them the opportunity to ask any questions that arose through your discussion. If they have no questions, assure them that they can reach out to you should they think of any.