Closed vs. open hemorrhoidectomy—is there any difference?

G Arbman, H Krook, S Haapaniemi
Diseases of the Colon and Rectum 2000, 43 (1): 31-4

PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to compare closed (Ferguson) hemorrhoidectomy to open (Milligan-Morgan) hemorrhoidectomy regarding postoperative conditions, complications, and long-term results.

METHOD: This was a randomized study of 77 patients with second-degree or third-degree hemorrhoids suitable for hemorrhoidectomy. In 39 patients the Milligan-Morgan procedure was used, and in 38 patients the Ferguson procedure was used. Details of operations, postoperative complications, and length of postoperative stay were recorded. Pain was assessed from a visual analog scale and by registration of postoperative analgesic medication. Follow-up was done at three weeks, six weeks, and by visit or telephone interview after at least a year.

RESULTS: No statistically significant differences were found between the two methods regarding complications, pain, or postoperative stay. There were four reoperations for bleeding, all after Milligan-Morgan operations. At follow-up after three weeks 86 percent of the Ferguson patients had completely healed wounds, and none had signs of infection. Of the Milligan-Morgan patients, only 18 percent had completely healed wounds, and symptoms of delayed wound healing were significantly more frequent. One patient had a superficial wound infection. After one year more than 10 percent in each group had recurrent hemorrhoids with symptoms.

CONCLUSION: Both methods are fairly efficient treatment for hemorrhoids, without serious drawbacks. The closed method has no advantage in postoperative pain reduction, but wounds heal faster, and the risk of wound dehiscence seems exaggerated.

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