Ambulatory hemorrhoid therapy with radiofrequency coagulation. Clinical practice paper

Pravin J Gupta
Romanian Journal of Gastroenterology 2005, 14 (1): 37-41

BACKGROUND: Despite availability of numerous surgical and non-surgical options for the treatment of hemorrhoids like sclerotherapy, rubber band ligation, cryosurgery, infrared photocoagulation, bipolar diathermy, and electro coagulation, none of these therapies has been acclaimed as the ultimate. Coagulation of hemorrhoids using a radio-frequency device is a new therapy to be added to the list.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: In the present retrospective study, the early and long -term effects of radiofrequency coagulation on patients presenting with hemorrhoids is described. An Ellman radiofrequency generator was used for this procedure. In a separate, randomized, and blinded study, a comparative evaluation was carried out between radiofrequency coagulation and rubber band ligation in terms of their effectiveness and patient comfort.

RESULTS: Two hundred and forty patients with Grade I and II hemorrhoids were treated by radiofrequency coagulation technique and were followed up for a period of 16 months. While 33 patients reported persistence or recurrence of bleeding, only few complained of pain or discomfort. The comparative study showed that though rubber band ligation is an effective procedure, its pain quotient is greater than the radiofrequency coagulation.

CONCLUSION: This study shows that radiofrequency coagulation is an easy and effective alternative to conventional techniques employed in the treatment of bleeding hemorrhoids. It is easy to perform, is less painful, and has a low rate of complications. However, further results based on a longer follow-up of larger number of patients and its comparison with other conventional treatment techniques are called for.

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