Radiofrequency ablation and plication: a non-resectional therapy for advanced hemorrhoids

Pravin J Gupta
Journal of Surgical Research 2005 June 1, 126 (1): 66-72

BACKGROUND: Radio frequency ablation followed by plication of the hemorrhoidal mass for patients who would otherwise require hemorrhoidectomy is being practiced at our hospital since last 5 years. This procedure accomplishes hemorrhoidal symptom relief with far less post-operative pain and other complications as compared to various other types of hemorrhoidectomies.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective study of 1000 patients having grade III or grade IV hemorrhoids treated with the above technique over a period of 30 months is reported. A Ellman radiofrequency generator was used for ablation of the hemorrhoids. Follow-up record of these patients is presented. The post-operative outcome and procedure related complications are compared with conventional hemorrhoidectomy procedures.

RESULTS: With this procedure, the post-defecation pain score reported was between 1 and 4 (VAS) in the first week, which subsided thereafter. There were 42% patients who had post-defecation bleeding in the first 10 days. There were 82% patients able to resume duties on the 6th post-operative day. Of these, 5% of the patients had post-operative urinary retention needing catheterization for a single time, and 18 patients required readmission for secondary bleeding. None of the patients complained of fecal incontinence, sepsis, or anal stenosis. In the subsequent follow-up at a mean of 19 months, 4% of the patients had residual skin tags, 3% of them had symptomatic anal papillae, and 2% developed recurrence of hemorrhoids.

CONCLUSION: The combined procedure described above could be a feasible alternative for surgical treatment of hemorrhoids being quick and easy to perform. With this procedure, the hospital stay is short, post-operative pain is less, return to work is faster, and recurrence rate is low.

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