Are you suffering from haemorrhoids/Piles?
Well, you need suffer no more.
The Rafaelo Procedure is a revolutionary treatment whcih can offer immediate relief of symptoms with the following attributes:
- Minimally invasive
- Relatively painless
- No need for general anaesthetic
- Procedure takes only a few minutes
- Quick return to daily routine
- High success rate - 95% patient satisfaction
- Available nationwide - both private and increasingly on the NHS
- Reimbursed by major private insurance companies
Many people contact us having developed symptoms of haemorhoids after pregnancy or who have simply suffered in silence for years, too embarrassed to discuss it with their partner, let alone visit a doctor, hoping they will simply go away. Or by people who had the preception that invasive, painful surgery was their only option and so have lived with their uncomfortable, and often life challenging symptoms.
There is now an effective treatment, much less invasive than surgeyr, generally with immediate results, with little or no downtime, and significantly less painful than the majority of alternatives.
- You can call us on 0333 335 6335 (option 1)
- Chat with us online by clicking on the chat icon in the bottom corner
- Fill in a contact form and one of our team will be in touch
- Click on our Find a Clinic tab above to find your nearest clinic. Let us know your preference and we will furnish you with the necessary contact information by return
For surgeons interested in offering The Rafaelo Procedure click on our For Surgeons tab above and you will be provided with access to all relevant technical information and means of contacting us.
What is The Rafaelo Procedure?
The Rafaelo Procedure is now an established treatment in the UK and across the world, utilising latest radio frequency technology to totally eliminate the common symptoms of haemorrhoids (also known as piles). Similar radio frequency technology has been used successfully for many years to treat varicose veins, and this has now been adapted and modified for the specialised treatment of haemorrhoids. Becoming increasingly popular amongst Doctors and patients alike, The Rafaelo Procedure is now available across the UK at a range of private clinics and hospitals, and is covered by BUPA, CIGNA, AVIVA, VITALITY & WPA under insurance code H5120. Rafaelo is also available at a rapidly growing number of NHS hospitals from Torbay Hospital in the South to Hexham General Hospital in the North. For a full list of those hospitals and clinics offering The Rafaelo Procedure, both private and NHS, please visit our 'Find a Clinic' page.
Too many people literally sit on their haemorrhoids hoping they will go away on their own, usually because they have heard the horror stories of the discomfort suffered by those who have had invasive surgery such as a Haemorrhoidectomy. Sometimes, albeit rarely, your piles will resolve on their own by change of diet and lifestyle but generally, simply by waiting, you will see them worsen and, if you wait too long, your treatment options may be limited to full blown surgery.
So how does it work?
This video shows The Rafaleo Procedure in action. There are 4 grades of haemorrhoids (piles) each with their own distinctive characteristic. Grades 1 and 2 tend to be smaller and totally hidden inside the anal canal. Often their symptoms are bleeding, itchiness and mild discomfort. Grade 3 piles have a prolapsing element which can protrude externally but which can be manually pushed back, and Grade 4 piles have an often larger prolapsing element which remain permanently external. Depending on your grade of pile, your surgeon will determine the correct treatment for you.
The Rafaelo Procedure involves a small amount of local aneasthetic being applied underneath the haemorrhoid, protecting the muscle layer, and then a probe is applied to the tissue which emits an instanteanous radiofrequency energy, reaching temperatures of 100 degrees. This heat cauterises the feeding blood vessel, ultimately cutting off its blood supply, causing the tissue to shrink, eventually die and fall away.
At the end of the procedure, the treated areas will be cooled with a cold gause.
Over the next few days, the treated tissue (pile) will detach from the anal wall and you will be left with a flat internal scar, free of haemorrhoids, enabling you to carry on your life without pain, without bleeding, without the inconvenience of this awful condition.
What are the alternatives?
There are numerous treatment options for piles, ranging from 'over the counter creams', to 'banding' and 'injections of sclerosant', through to a full open haemorrhoidectomy. The creams and ointments might generally calm the symptoms of minor conditions but they are often not seen as a long term cure. All other treatments aim to reduce or stop the blood flow to the piles, causing them to fall away. Banding is often offered as a first option for smaller piles but this can be very painful and is less than reliable. There is also a relatively new treatment which uses electrotherapy. Most people we hear from have had one or other, or both, without success. Historically, those with piles too severe for 'banding' would be offered either artery ligation methods or a haemorroidectomy where the offending tissue is literally cut away using diathermy or staples. All of these treatments are carried out under general anaesthetic, for good reason! They can be incredibly painful, both during and post procedure and many wish to aviod these options if at all possible. In 2016, The Rafaelo Procedure was developed to bridge the gap, to provide an option more reliable than banding but less invasive, and less painful, than traditional surgery. It has proved so popular amongst patients and colorectal surgeons alike, that it is now being adopted by clinics and hospitals across the UK, and across the world. Just take a look at just some of the testimonials!
How can we help?
We have dedicated Rafaelo Patient Advisers on hand to answer any queries you may have and to direct you on to your nearest Rafaelo practitioner.
Ask today to be referred to a Rafaelo trained Consultant and you will find that treatment is more bearable than you imagined!
IMPORTANT – make sure, whichever treatment you decide to opt for, that you are seen and treated by a qualified Colorectal Surgeon. This is vital for two main reasons – sometimes, what appears to be symptoms of haemorrhoids can in fact be indicators of something far more serious, potentially life threatening, and it is vitally important that your physician is able and qualified to identify that. Also, your physician needs to be able to deal with any complications of treatment, which is possible with all types of anal surgery/treatment, so that you are comforted in the knowledge that you simply won’t be left to suffer.
What are the benefits of The Rafaelo Procedure?
The benefits of The Rafaelo Procedure are that it is a minimally-invasive, day case procedure, which typically takes no longer than 15 minutes to perform. It can be carried out using only local anaesthetic (although some patients may choose to have a mild sedative, or even a general anaesthetic). Most patients report very little pain or discomfort, and as a result the post-operative recovery time is very short.
Unlike some other widely marketed treatments, in 99% of cases you will only require ONE Rafaelo treatment session – other, perhaps cheaper options, will often require you to go back time and time again, costing you much more in the long run.
Is The Rafaelo Procedure safe and effective?
The safety and effectiveness of The Rafaelo Procedure is easily demonstrated simply by looking at the number of highly respected colorectal surgeons offering it and the number of high quality venues where it is available. See our Find a Clinic Page. Moreover you can read what past patients have said about their experience by visiting our testimonials.
What should I expect after The Rafaelo Procedure?
After the procedure, expect that you may be given some painkillers to take home with you. The recovery time from the procedure is normally between one and seven days, depending on the severity of the haemorrhoids, although many patients walk away from the treatment within an hour or two without any pain whatsoever. You may be able to return to work immediately or within a couple of days after the procedure. You will be seen again in clinic typically between 6 and 8 weeks after the procedure.
It is important to avoid becoming constipated after the procedure, as with any other procedure, as straining may cause unnecessary bleeding and discomfort. A healthy diet that includes plenty of fibre, fruit and leafy vegetables together with a good oral fluid intake will all help to avoid constipation.
What is the price of The Rafaelo Procedure?
The price of The Rafaelo Procedure packages typically cost in the region of £2,000. However, different hospitals set their own pricing structure for The Rafaelo Procedure, as they do with any other procedure. Some hospitals price it as an inclusive package and others price for the component parts of the process, namely Initial Consultation, Scope (if required), Treatment and follow-up. Usually the Consult and/or Scope will be carried out on the first visit, with the treatment planned (if suitable) at a later date. Some hospitals and clinics do offer Consult and Treatment on the same day.
When comparing treatments, before you decide which to opt for, one generally looks at the success of the treatment and its cost, although sometimes not in that order.
The success of Rafaelo speaks for itself – just take a look at the calibre of colorectal surgeons offering it – some of the most senior and well respected Colorectal Surgeons in the Country are advocates of Rafaelo and many offer it as their first line of treatment. With regard to cost, it is true to say that Rafaelo is not the cheapest treatment on the market but, in the vast majority of cases, you will only require ONE treatment session to be cured of your symptoms. Other cheaper options, at least may appear cheaper, but often require several treatment sessions in order to gain any sort of symptomatic relief, proving to be vastly more expensive in the long run. Many patients who have taken the cheaper route, come back to us dissatisfied.
For NHS Patients, you will need, in the first instance, to visit your GP and obtain a referral to the NHS hospital where The Rafaelo Procedure is available. Details of those sites can be found on the Find a Clinic Page.
Frequently asked Questions
What are the side effects of The Rafaelo Procedure?
Your consultant will discuss the benefits and risks of The Rafaelo Procedure during your initial consultation in full detail. All surgical treatments and procedures have inherent risks. The most common side effects post-procedure and during the following 2 weeks, include minor discomfort, mild bleeding or spotting or anal discharge. Other rarer post-procedure complications might include recurrence of symptoms, infection, ulceration, fissure, thrombosis, or significant bleeding/haemorrhage. It is important to avoid becoming constipated after the procedure, as with any other procedure, as straining may cause unnecessary bleeding and discomfort. A healthy diet that includes plenty of fibre, fruit and leafy vegetables together with a good oral fluid intake will all help to avoid constipation.
How soon will I recover?
Recovery times will vary from patient to patient, depending on the patient themselves and the extent of the treatment needing to be carried out. Often one’s symptoms cease immediately after the treatment. Whilst some patients have no post-operative pain at all, some might feel some discomfort for a day or two, which can simply be relieved with basic analgesia. In rare cases, patients could suffer post-operative pain for additional days but this should settle over time. Whatever pain they incur, it would be significantly less than had they opted for a haemorrhoidectomy or similar.
What is the success rate?
A recent paper was published in the Journal of Coloproctology – “In this paper, we are first describing the application of a newly developed probe that is operated with radio frequency (so-called Rafaelo®: “radio frequency ablation of haemorrhoids under local anaesthesia”), by F Care Systems, Antwerp, Belgium. A probe was used that was directly inserted into the haemorrhoid via a surgical proctoscope. The patients were mainly treated with local anaesthesia and were in a continuous outpatient setting. The goal of this paper was to examine the safety and effectiveness of the Rafaelo® method in patients with segmental grade 3 haemorrhoids. There are many published papers now which indicate that the Rafaelo Procedure is extremely safe and highly effective in the vast majority of cases with the prospect of failure or need for further treatment significantly less than any alternative treatment. A recent study, with a 5 year follow-up, suggested that they achieved a 95% success rate with a similar percentage of their patients keen to recommend it to others.
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"I had three large grade 3 prolapsing haemorrhoids. I’d had them for about ten years, and in the last four years they had become really problematic. Two sessions of rubber band ligation had not helped, and they were now too large to be eligible for a third. I was preparing myself for the possibility of a haemorrhoidectomy when I found out about the Rafaelo procedure. Upon enquiry I was very quickly seen by Mr Amin Haji at the Whitely Clinic. (I should note that my GP was able to refer me to another consultant, further away, who could undertake the procedure on the NHS. However because the haemorrhoids were by now causing me to miss work, and I chose to pay and go privately in order to be seen quickly). The procedure itself was uncomfortable but less painful than the banding had been. In fact the initial sigmoidoscopy (examination with a camera) was more uncomfortable than the procedure. I was able to go about my business the next day, and went to several meetings in different parts of London. Seven days after the procedure I felt completely normal after a bowel movement. The sense of freedom was incredible. This is what other people must feel like! A few days went by and symptoms returned. Oh no! Was I the only person for whom the Rafaelo hadn’t worked? Thankfully, no. Due to the size of the haemorrhoids it seems the healing process was taking a little longer. A further examination four weeks after the procedure revealed that one haemorrhoid had not healed, but had been reduced in size enough that a final banding session would remove it. However, at the eight week follow up, more good news. The final troublesome haemorrhoid had healed completely and I was now completely asymptomatic. I am delighted and hugely grateful to be able to have a normal life after struggling for so long, and without the need for very painful surgery."Anonymous Rafaelo Testimonial
"I have suffered from haemorrhoids for many years. In desperation I consulted Mr Alla Amin. He recommended Rafaelo. Since having the treatment I have not looked back. It has changed my life. The haemorrhoids have gone. I would not hesitate to recommend Mr Amin and Rafaelo."Mr Anon, Hertfordshire
"I introduced the Rafaelo Procedure in my NHS hospital over 5 years ago and have been using this technique in my private practice for almost 2 years. I was formally trained by attending the training course at UCL with Prof Richard Cohen. Recently, I have been part of the faculty of the training course at UCL hospital and I now run an informal course at my NHS hospital for colorectal consultants. I have carried out over 200 cases (>150 in the NHS) under LA, GA or deep sedation. I have initially offered this technique only for the stage I and II symptomatic patients who failed the conservative treatment however in the last few years I have been offering this technique also to the patient with 3rd degree haemorrhoids because I have noted that it is effective not just in controlling the haemorrhoidal bleeding but also the prolapse. I had no major complications and only 3 patients were readmitted for rectal bleeding, managed conservately and discharged within 24hours. I have formally audited my short term preliminary results (including the learning curve) and noted that the post-operative pain is minimal and most of the patients return to their normal activity within 48hours. The patient satisfaction is also very high. I tend to offer this technique under LA without sedation because most of the patients can tollerate it very well. Currently I am assessing the long term results of my practice and I am recruiting patients for the ORION trial. The available literature published so far including a recent systematic review with metanalisis report similar results of my practice and prove that in short term this is a safe, effective minimally invasive technique, with no major complications, minimal post-operative pain and high patients satisfaction. The long term results and the comparison with other surgical procedures for haemorrhoids are still unclear."
Mr Piero Nastro FRCS
For more Patient and Surgeon testimonials, please click on the 'Testimonials' link at the top of the pageThe Rafaelo Team
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