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 CIGNA, AVIVA, VITALITY & WPA under code H5120. Rafaelo is also available on the NHS at University College London Hospital, Queen Mary’s Hospital, Darent Valley Hospital, St. Albans City Hospital, King George Hospital, West Middlesex Hospital, Royal Hampshire County Hospital and Northern General Hospital, Sheffield. Others will soon be offering it too.

There are clear benefits of The Rafaelo Procedure over and beyond the traditional treatment options. The procedure 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 (with or without sedation) or under general anaesthetic, if preferred. Most patients report very little pain or discomfort, during or post procedure, and are able to resume their regular daily activities very soon after treatment.

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 your piles will resolve simply by change of diet and lifestyle but generally waiting will see them worsen and, if you wait too long, your treatment options may be limited to full blown surgery. Ask today to be referred to a Rafaelo Consultant and you will find that treatment is more bearable than you think!

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.

Information About The Rafaelo Procedure, including Pricing

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.

What are the side effects and risks 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.

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.

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 (co-called Rafaelo®: “radio frequency of haemorrhoids in 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.

Where Can I Get Treatment?

How many Hospitals or clinics offer The Rafaelo Procedure?

Currently, there are more than 56 Hospitals and Clinics across the UK offering The Rafaelo Procedure, reaching, from Truro in the South, to Glasgow in the North. Use our Find a Clinic tool to find your nearest clinic.

The Rafaelo Procedure Logo

Which Insurance Companies cover The Rafaelo Procedure?

The Rafaelo Procedure is reimbursed by various insurance companies, including CIGNA, AVIVA, VITALITY and WPA. Others are expected to cover the procedure in the future.