RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
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Randomized controlled trial to compare the early and mid-term results of stapled versus open hemorrhoidectomy.

BACKGROUND: The new technique of circular stapler for the treatment of hemorrhoids has shown early promise in terms of minimal or no postoperative pain, early discharge from hospital, and quick return to work. This study was designed to compare stapled technique with the well-accepted conventional Milligan Morgan hemorrhoidectomy.

METHODS: After fulfilling the selection criteria, 84 patients were randomly allocated to the stapled (n = 42) or open group (n = 42). All patients were operated on under spinal anesthesia. The 2 techniques were evaluated with respect to the operative time, pain scores, complications, day of discharge, return to work, and level of satisfaction.

RESULTS: The mean age of patients was 46.02 years (SD, 12.33) in the stapled group and 48.64 years (14.57) in the open group. Grade III or IV hemorrhoids were more common in men (ie, 80.9% and 85.7% in the stapled and open group, respectively). The mean operative time was shorter in the stapled group 24.28 minutes (4.25) versus 45.21 minutes (5.36) in the Milligan-Morgan group (P < .001). The blood loss, pain scores and requirement of analgesics was significantly less in the stapled group. Mean hospital stay was 1.24 days (0.62) and 2.76 days (1.01) (P < .001) in the stapled and open group, respectively. The patients in the stapled group returned to work or routine activities earlier (ie, within 8.12 days [2.48]) as compared with 17.62 (5.59) in the open group. Only 88.1% of patients were satisfied by the open method compared with 97.6% after the stapled technique. The median follow-up period was 11 months with a maximum follow-up of 19 months (range 2-19 months).

CONCLUSIONS: Stapled hemorrhoidectomy is a safe and effective day-care procedure for the treatment of grade III and grade IV hemorrhoids. It ensures lesser postoperative pain, early discharge, less time off work, complications similar to the open technique, and in the end a more satisfied patient with no perianal wound. However, more such randomized trials are essential to deny any long-term complication.

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