What is The Rafaelo Procedure?

The Rafaelo Procedure is a relatively new treatment that utilises safe and reliable radio frequency technology to reduce, and in most cases, eliminate, the common symptoms of internal (Grade 1-3) haemorrhoids. Similar technology has been used successfully for many years to treat varicose veins in the legs, and this has now been adapted and modified for the treatment of haemorrhoids by the insertion of a special needle probe into the haemorrhoidal cushion, through which radio frequency energy is applied, aiming to restrict its blood supply causing it to necrose and fall away, relieving the patient of their symptoms.

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.

Is The Rafaelo Procedure safe and effective?

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has approved the procedure when it is carried out with special arrangements for clinical governance, consent and audit or research (NICE Interventional procedures guidance IPG589). Currently, The Rafaelo Procedure is a novel treatment, which means that there is limited published evidence about how well it works, it’s long-term effects, or how safe it is for treating haemorrhoids.

Learn about how safe and effective The Rafaelo Procedure is by visiting our testimonials page to find out patient’s own recommendations on The Rafaelo Procedure.

Information About The Rafaelo Procedure

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 – £3,000. 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 do offer Consult and Treatment on the same day.

An illustration of packages broken down into their component parts can be shown using Whiteley Clinics as an example, namely:

Initial Consultation (including scope examination): £425*
Rafaelo Treatment (including one follow-up): £2,100*
Any additional follow-up: £295*

*Prices supplied by Whiteley Clinics as of 2nd November 2018 and is subject to change. Finance may be available, subject to status.

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, 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 almost 40 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 BUPA, CIGNA and WPA. Others are expected to cover the procedure in the future.