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Sclerotherapy treatment

What is sclerotherapy?

In simple terms, sclerotherapy is the injection of a chemical solution into the area around the haemorrhoid resulting in a scarring reaction which makes the haemorrhoid gradually shrink or shrivel up over time. It is typically reserved for grades 1 and 2 internal haemorrhoids.

During haemorrhoid injections, a chemical solution called a sclerosant, is injected into the submucosa of the back passage (the area of tissue just under the inner lining of the bowel) rather than directly into the blood vessels .

Injections are placed above the dentate line (this is the line or point where the outside sensitive skin becomes the inside less sensitive mucosa, and injecting above this point results in the injections being largely painless).

What does the treatment involve?

The procedure is undertaken by a doctor as an outpatient appointment. No preparation is required, and anaesthesia is not used.

After a proctoscope or endoscope (the tube-like devices a doctor might use to gain access to the inside of the bottom via the anus or bottom opening) is inserted, the doctor will be able to see and access the haemorrhoids. One of these devices is inserted into the anus to open up the anal canal to be able to see the haemorrhoids to be treated. A chemical solution is injected using a needle and syringe around the submucosal area where the haemorrhoid is located. The chemical traditionally used is phenol suspended in almond oil, although sometimes now suspended in groundnut oil. An alternative is 50% dextrose water. The sclerotherapy process gradually hardens (scleroses) the tissue around the hemorrhoid with the development of scar tissue, also called sclerosis. After 4-6 weeks the haemorrhoid should shrivel up. The name sclerotherapy derives from the sclerosing/scarring effect of the treatment or therapy; sclerotherapy literally means scarring treatment.

The treatment typically takes 5-10 minutes and 2-3 haemorrhoids can be treated at one time. Repeat treatments can be undertaken if necessary.

You will normally be asked to avoid any strenuous activity for the rest of the day following treatment. You will usually be able to resume normal activities the next day.

For any haemorrhoid questions or to organise an appointment with an eXroid consultant, please call us on 0800 999 3777 or click here for all other queries.

What are the risks with sclerotherapy injection treatment?

You may experience low level pain for a while but nothing that can’t be managed with over the counter painkillers. You also may have a little bleeding, but this is perfectly normal. Care must be taken in men as injecting towards the front of the body could affect the prostate gland. This could lead to symptoms, including prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland), haematospermia (blood in the semen), haematuria (blood in the urine), epididymitis (inflammation of the epididymis or sperm tube) and impotence (the inability to get an erection), although the latter is uncommon.

Side effects are unusual, but the commonest following treatment, apart from mild pain, are ulcers affecting the anal mucosa, which typically heal without any specific treatment. More serious but rare complications include severe allergy to the nut oil the phenol is suspended in, rectal perforation (going through the bowel wall), rectourethral fistula (a connection between the rectum or bottom and the outflow tract of the bladder or urethra), hepatic abscesses (abscesses in the liver), life-threatening sepsis and abdominal compartment syndrome.

One study has shown that a high fibre diet works just as well as sclerotherapy, but without complications.

In another study, immediately after sclerotherapy injection treatment had been performed, a haemorrhoidectomy was carried out and the haemorrhoids removed were examined under the microscope. There were no significant short-term changes seen in the treated tissue where the sclerosant had been injected.


  • Madoff RD, Fleshman JW. Clinical Practice Committee and American Gastroenterological Association: American Gastroenterological Association technical review on the diagnosis and treatment of hemorrhoids. Gastroenterology 2004; 126: 1463-1473.
  • Bullock N. Impotence after sclerotherapy of haemorrhoids: case reports. BMJ 1997; 314: 419.
  • Senapati A, Nicholls RJ. A randomised trial to compare the results of injection sclerotherapy with a bulk laxative alone in the treatment of bleeding haemorrhoids. Int J Colorectal Dis 1988; 3: 14-126.
  • Ganz RA. The evaluation and Treatment of Hemorrhoids. A guide for the Gastroenterologist. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2013; 11 (6): 593-603.
  • McCloud JM, Jameson JS, Scott AN. Life-threatening sepsis following treatment for haemorrhoids: a systematic review. Colorectal Dis 2006 Nov; 8(9): 748-755.

We're here to help you

eXroid®: fully regulated and accredited

As a medical device manufacturer, all of our equipment is made and developed in the UK and we are proud to be CE and ISO 13485 accredited by the British Standards Institution BSi.

Our service has been evaluated by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) who have produced two sets of approval guidelines which accredit the treatment as safe and effective (IPG525 and MIB201). eXroid is a registered and regulated service Provider with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as we strive for the highest levels of care and service standards.

The eXroid service is also PCI DSS compliant, giving both financial assurance and security to our patients when they make their payments with us.

Why choose the eXroid® haemorrhoid treatment


The eXroid® treatment takes 30 minutes or less. Effects can be felt from immediately and no waiting for a referral


The procedure is supported and carried out by the UK's leading specialist consultant surgeons in CQC registered clinics


The eXroid® procedure is low risk, as it requires no anaesthetic, cutting or stitching


Get back to your life straightaway, with no time off work needed after the eXroid® procedure


eXroid® electrotherapy is subject to NICE guidance (IPG525 & MIB201), is rated as Outstanding by the CQC and carries the CE mark

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