18 March 2022

Sheffield Hospitals awarded £1 million grant for pioneering trial into haemorrhoid treatment

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have been awarded a £1 million grant to trial a novel technique of haemorrhoid surgery using radiofrequency ablation.

The pioneering research, named the ORION trial, will be led by researchers at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with the University of Sheffield and will assess whether radiofrequency ablation is as effective as existing surgical methods of treating haemorrhoids. It will also investigate whether this method is superior in terms of pain and recurrence.

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a procedure that uses radio waves to shrink the haemorrhoid rather than other methods that aim to tie off or cut out the pile.

Funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the trial will include 300 participants across 16 hospitals within the UK and is being led by Professor Steven Brown, Consultant Surgeon at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust:

“We are very pleased to be leading on this important trial into radiofrequency ablation as a treatment for haemorrhoids. Radiofrequency ablation has many potential advantages over other surgical interventions and so we hope that the trial will potentially demonstrate an effective and less painful treatment for haemorrhoids, which affect as many as 1 in 4 of the population.”

The trial follows on from previous research into the optimal surgical intervention for low-grade haemorrhoids, named the Hubble trial, which was reported in the Lancet in 2016.


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