The Rafaelo® procedure at Spire Leicester

A fast and effective way to treat haemorrhoids - perfect for those with busy lives.

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Piles (haemorrhoids) are a common condition and it's thought that half the population will suffer from them at some point in their life.

Piles are swollen blood vessels just inside or around the bottom (anus and lower rectum), thought to be caused by a variety of factors but commonly constipation, chronic (long-term) diarrhoea, pregnancy or excessive straining. Piles often go away on their own, although this can take time. For larger piles, your doctor may recommend a non-surgical treatment. Some people may eventually need an operation.

The Rafaelo®procedure

The Rafaelo® procedure is an effective treatment that significantly reduces and eliminates symptoms of internal piles using the safe, established technology of radiofrequency ablation. It's performed as a short day case procedure, allowing you to go home on the same day of treatment. Most patients report very little pain or discomfort, during or after the procedure, and are able to resume their regular daily activities very soon after treatment.

What is radiofrequency ablation?

Radiofrequency ablation heats up the tissue within the haemorrhoid, cutting off its blood supply, causing it to shrink and detach from the anal wall.

Who would benefit from Rafaelo®?

The Rafaelo® procedure is designed to treat haemorrhoid grades 1 - 3.

Some grade 4 haemorrhoids may be reduced in size, and symptoms might be significantly improved, but in most cases this treatment will not remove the remaining physical mass completely and surgery may still be required.

Radiofrequency ablation aims to significantly reduce symptoms of piles with minimal risk of complications such as the possibility of surgical bleeding or pain after surgery often associated with more invasive surgical treatments such as haemorrhoidectomy.

Having Rafaelo®

Rafaelo® is usually done under local anaesthetic, with or without sedation. In a small number of cases, general anaesthetic may be needed - the most appropriate option for you will be discussed in your consultation.

The procedure involves inserting a small device into your back passage called a proctoscope. This allows your surgeon to examine the haemorrhoids.

Your surgeon uses the Rafaelo® probe to deliver the radiofrequency energy to treat the haemorrhoid. This limits the blood supply to the haemorrhoid causing it to shrink and fall away, relieving you of your symptoms. The procedure typically takes on average about 15 minutes.


Mr Mike Norwood, Consultant Colorectal and General Surgeon carries out the Rafaelo® procedure here at Spire Leicester Hospital.

The Rafaelo procedure is one of several procedures that use different techniques to shrink piles by blocking their blood supply. You and your doctor can discuss which option would be best for you.

The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.

Haemorrhoid removal treatments

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