Patient Stories at NCH

Bob's Story

No more discomfort

No More Discomfort

Bob Diviacchi spends his days working as a truancy officer, making sure children attend schools throughout the northwest suburbs. During a typical day, the former police officer often visits several schools a day to follow up on cases of truant and tardy students.

When Bob began feeling symptoms of low-grade hemorrhoids, he delayed treatment because he could not find the time for surgery and did not want to miss work. Hemorrhoids, swollen and inflamed veins in the anus and lower rectum, can cause debilitating pain. More than 15 million people in the U.S. are affected by hemorrhoids each year.

“I had discomfort for over a year,” Bob says. “It was something that needed to be treated, but I was busy working and never found the time for treatment.”

Deciding It’s Time

Bob eventually made an appointment with Willis Parsons, MD, medical director of the gastroenterology center at Northwest Community Healthcare. Dr. Parsons recommended a simplified hemorrhoid treatment—hemorrhoid energy therapy (HET), a new technology now offered at NCH.

“This new therapy is often painless, takes between five to seven minutes and can be done during a colonoscopy or scheduled as a separate procedure,” says Dr. Parsons, who has performed approximately 25 HET procedures since late 2014.

HET delivers low-power energy to the blood supply feeding enlarged hemorrhoids, which causes the blood volume to be reduced and the hemorrhoid to shrink. Doctors use a device to heat tissue above the hemorrhoid, which minimizes collateral tissue damage. Patients with low-grade hemorrhoids are treated in just one procedure.

Many treatment options, including banding and infrared coagulation, often require multiple procedures to treat the hemorrhoids. In contrast, HET can be used to treat multiple hemorrhoids in a single session. As a result, HET enables a more efficient treatment of grades I and II internal hemorrhoids compared with banding, Dr. Parsons says.

Quick and Painless

“The HET procedure was quick, painless and very simple,” Bob says. “The whole process took only a few short minutes.”

Bob fasted for approximately 12 hours and then came to NCH for his therapy. He was administered anesthesia, and the five-minute procedure began.

“When I woke up after the treatment, I had no discomfort at all,” Bob recalls. “I wish I had taken this route sooner, because now I feel great. I would strongly recommend the hemorrhoid energy therapy for anyone who has low-grade hemorrhoids.” 

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