PADUCAH, Ky -
There are some problems so embarrassing that we don't like to talk about them. For Lourdes nurse,Sharon Schoenthaler, the problem was hemorrhoids that showed up after the birth of her first child.
The pain and swelling got worse over time, but she was worried about surgery.
"There is surgery, but as a nurse I knew it was one of the most painful surgeries in the recovery phase to endure," she admits.
Gastroenterologist Shane Hendon says hemorrhoids are caused when veins outside the rectum become engorged from increased pressure. That pressure can be from childbirth, sitting all the time, chronic constipation, or excess weight gain.
He says 50 percent of the population over the age of 30 has hemorrhoids, but they doctor them with creams and suppositories. Surgery comes later, when the condition has already taken a big toll on a person's quality of life.
Now there is another choice. It's called banding. Dr. Hendon does it in his office and says it takes about 15 minutes. Basically, it's placing a tiny rubber band around the hemorrhoid, which then shrivels up and falls off.
Dr Hendon says, "It's an office based procedure. No prep is involved. You walk in, it takes a couple minutes. You walk out the same way you came in."
Shoenthaler had the procedure done about a year ago. She says it was relatively painless, there was no long recovery, and she's confident that the hemorrhoids aren't coming back.
She says she can now go on vacation and not worry that a long car ride will aggravate the hemorrhoids and ruin her trip.
Dr. Shane Hendon's office is located in the Marshall Neimer Pavilion at Lourdes Hospital in Paducah. His phone number is (270) 443-0777