PPH Complications: Reducing the Risk

Procedure for prolapse and hemorrhoids, commonly called PPH, offers an effective treatment for Grade 3 and 4 hemorrhoids that previously required invasive surgery to remove. However, like any medical procedure, some people experience side effects or complications after undergoing a stapling procedure.

As surgeons gain experience with any procedure, they become more comfortable and more proficient. They often develop ways to safeguard against common complications, reducing the risk. Our doctors are recognized experts in PPH and can explain how they work to ensure you get the best possible outcome after a stapled hemorrhoidectomy.

Possible PPH Side Effects and Complications

Serious complications are rare following PPH. However, there is the chance the anal sphincter muscle could be cut or women could experience a rectovaginal fistula if the stapler device is not placed properly. Trauma to the rectal wall is possible, and in some cases there could be a narrowing of the anus or rectum if too much scar tissue develops.

Relatively minor side effects are more common than serious complications. In general, the procedure is safe and effective.

The most common side effect people experience following PPH is a feeling of pressure or fullness, like they need to urinate or have a bowel movement. We see this frequently in recovery after PPH and offer medication to reduce the discomfort. We also send patients home with medication to help them sleep the first night. Usually this feeling goes away in the first 48 hours.

Other possible side effects include:

  • Bleeding that may require a return trip to the doctor
  • Anal fissures
  • Recurring hemorrhoids
  • Trauma to the rectal wall

In general, most patients bounce back quickly after PPH. Most people do not need to re-visit their surgeon for treatment of side effects or complications beyond the scheduled check up appointments. The first two days after this procedure some patients report mild pain and discomfort, but most return to work and their regular activities within 72 hours.

Our Surgeons Work to Minimize Complications

As recognized experts in PPH, our doctors have played a role in developing and modifying the procedure as it is currently performed. We have contributed to the evolution of the instruments used to perform stapled hemorrhoidectomies, and have extensive experience with this operation.

Having a colorectal surgeon who performs PPH operations regularly is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of a serious complication. This procedure requires precision and careful attention to exactly what tissues are taken into the stapler to prevent complications.

Our team uses two surgeons in the operating room during every procedure, and one of them is always a colorectal specialist who has performed this operation many times. By using two surgeons, we can greatly reduce the risk of a problem by double-checking placement and mechanism every step of the way.

What Is Procedure for Prolapse and Hemorrhoids?

PPH, or procedure for prolapse and hemorrhoids, is a minimally invasive surgery used primarily to treat third and fourth degree hemorrhoids. Depending on the situation, it may also be appropriate for some symptomatic second degree hemorrhoids.

This procedure is sometimes called a stapled hemorrhoidectomy and is often used as an alternative for a traditional hemorrhoidectomy.  The PPH stapler incises a circumferential strip of rectum stapling the cut edges of tissue together thus lifting the prolapsed tissue back inside the anorectum.

PPH: The Best Option for Many

All medical procedures come with some risk. Even minimally invasive stapled  hemorrhoid procedures can lead to complications and side effects. However, when faced with a choice between a traditional hemorrhoidectomy and PPH, many patients prefer stapling procedures.

The best thing you can do if you are considering having a hemorrhoid procedure is to discuss your options with a colorectal specialist. We can help you understand the risks of PPH and how these compare with a traditional hemorrhoid removal operation, and guide you through making the best choice based on your medical needs.