Stapled hemorrhoidectomy: initial experience of a Latin American group

Angelita Habr-Gama, Afonso H S e Sous, José Manuel Correia Roveló, Jayme Vital Santos Souza, Fernando Benício, Francisco S P Regadas, Cláudio Wainstein, Túlio Marcos Rodrigues da Cunha, Carlos Frederico S Marques, Renato Bonardi, José Reinan Ramos, Luiz Cláudio Pandini, Desidério Kiss
Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery 2003, 7 (6): 809-13
The purpose of the present study was to determine the value of circular hemorrhoidectomy (procedure for prolapse and hemorrhoids [PPH]) on the basis of data collected prospectively during the initial experience of a group of Latin American surgeons. Between 2000 and 2001, PPH was performed using a circular stapler in 177 patients who had third- and fourth-degree hemorrhoidal disease. The average age of the patients was 47.7 years (range 26 to 85 years). Anal bleeding was the most common preoperative complaint (93.2%) followed by anal pain (60.2%), anal itching (43%), and constipation (41%). Hemorrhoids were classified as third degree in 132 patients (74%) and fourth degree in 45 patients (25.4%). Skin tags were detected in 86 patients (48.8%) and rectocele in 14 patients (7.9%). Data collected included patient demographics, type of anesthesia, and specific details of the surgery such as duration of the operation, distance from the staple line to the dentate line, need for complementary hemostasis, and any unexpected occurrences. Postoperative data collected included the degree of pain, which was evaluated on the basis of the type and dosage of analgesics required, laxative consumption, and the presence of bleeding, fever, urinary retention, or hematomas. Each patient completed a written questionnaire addressing these events. Patients returned for follow-up visits on days 7, 15, 30, and 90. Responses to pain, bleeding, fever, anal continence, recurrence of hemorrhoids, and level of satisfaction were compiled. The duration of the procedure ranged from 6 minutes to 2 hours (average 23 minutes), and most operations lasted no more than 20 minutes, with the exception of one that lasted 2 hours because of intraoperative bleeding. Intraoperative problems were minor. An additional one or a few sutures were required in 58.7% of patients to achieve perfect hemostasis. In 128 patients (72.3%) the hospital stay was less than 24 hours. Same-day surgery was chosen for 37 patients (20.9%). Pain was controlled with analgesia only using one to six doses of oral dipirona in 126 patients. Five patients were readmitted to the hospital: four for control of bleeding and one for conventional hemorrhoidectomy due to an acute episode of external hemorrhoidal thrombosis. At day 30, patients rated the efficacy of the procedure in alleviating preoperative symptoms as follows: 77.5% excellent; 16% good; 5.3% average, and 1.2% poor. At 3 months postoperatively no patient had had a recurrence of hemorrhoidal prolapse, and there were no instances of stenosis or anal incontinence. Surgeons also rated the efficacy of the procedure as excellent in 75%, good in 19.8%, average in 4.7%, and poor in 0.6%. With proper selection of patients and adequate stapling technique, stapled hemorrhoidectomy may be considered safe; it is easily learned, has a satisfactory degree of pain, and is well accepted by both patients and surgeons.

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