JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Retroflexed endoscopic band ligation of bleeding internal hemorrhoids.

BACKGROUND: Elastic band ligation is a well-established nonoperative method for treatment of bleeding internal hemorrhoids, stages II-III. Usually, one or two bands are placed at a single session by using rigid instruments. The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility, tolerability, safety, and efficacy of multiple band ligation of internal hemorrhoids performed in one session by using a flexible endoscope with an attached band ligation device in the retroflexed position.

METHODS: Eighty-three patients with chronically bleeding and/or prolapsing internal hemorrhoids were treated by retroflexed endoscopic band ligation. From 1 to 6 bands were placed in a single session. Bands were targeted at the apex and proximal body of the internal hemorrhoid so that final band placement was entirely proximal to the dentate line. Malpositioned bands were removed by using a novel method. Patients were followed prospectively to assess tolerance, complications, and efficacy. Retreatment was offered if the desired result was not achieved.

RESULTS: A mean of 3.0 (SD 1.2) bands (range 1-6) were placed in a single session. Five percent of bands were malpositioned and removed. Patients were followed for 26 (17) months (range 1-52 months). An excellent result was achieved in 80% of patients with stage II hemorrhoids. Patients with stage II hemorrhoids were more likely to have an excellent result compared with patients with stage III hemorrhoids (80% vs. 54%, p < 0.01). Retroflexed endoscopic band ligation was well tolerated overall. The rate of major, nonfatal complications was 4%.

CONCLUSIONS: Retroflexed endoscopic band ligation is a feasible, well-tolerated, effective, and safe for treatment of bleeding stage II internal hemorrhoids. A novel method of endoscopic band removal is described.

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