JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Short-term and long-term results of combined sclerotherapy and rubber band ligation of hemorrhoids and mucosal prolapse.

PURPOSE: Rubber band ligation is a common office procedure for symptomatic hemorrhoids. The aim of the study was to assess our short-term and long-term results of combined sclerotherapy and rubber band ligation in the management of hemorrhoids and incomplete mucosal prolapse.

METHODS: Data on 6,739 patients who had previous combined sclerotherapy and rubber band ligation by the senior authors (GLN and PRD) were retrieved from the database dating between January 1976 and June 2000. These patients either had hemorrhoids or incomplete mucosal prolapse. Furthermore, questionnaires were sent to a random sample of 2,400 patients. Telephone interviews were performed for 600 of the nonrespondents.

RESULTS: Of 6,739 patients (3,683 males; mean age, 46.7 years) in the database, 4,686 (70 percent) received the procedure once, and 2,053 (30 percent) received the procedure more than once. There were 5,689 patients (84 percent) who had their procedures performed consecutively within a planned period, and only 1,050 patients (16 percent) had repeat procedures after a period of more than 12 months from their last treatments. Thus, the recurrence rate was 16 percent. The overall complication rate was 3.1 percent, with minor bleeding being the major complaint. With regard to the questionnaire, 44 percent responded. The mean follow-up period was 6.5 (range, 1-11) years. There were patients who had residual symptoms of bleeding (19 percent), itch (21 percent), and lump (20 percent). However, 58 percent of patients who replied were asymptomatic. With satisfaction scores ranging from +3 to -3 (+3 indicating complete satisfaction and -3 indicating complete dissatisfaction), 90 percent scored >/=1, 9 percent scored 0 or less, and 1 percent did not specify a score. Hemorrhoidectomy was required in 7.7 percent of the responders. Of 600 phone interviews with the nonrespondents, 152 responded to the questionnaires. Although there was less satisfaction from the phone respondents, which may have accounted for the initial nonresponse, no statistical difference was detected in residual symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS: Combined triple sclerotherapy and rubber band ligation is an effective treatment for early hemorrhoids and incomplete mucosal prolapse, with low rates of recurrence, complications, and hemorrhoidectomy, and it can be repeated easily.

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