Hemorrhoidal ablation and fixation: an alternative procedure for prolapsing hemorrhoids

Pravin J Gupta
Digestion 2005, 72 (2): 181-8

BACKGROUND: Many new techniques have been evolved to curb the problem of post-operative pain after hemorrhoidectomy. Stapler hemorrhoidopexy and Doppler-guided hemorrhoidal artery ligation are the two methods gaining popularity amongst proctologists. The author proposes another technique called radiofrequency ablation and fixation of hemorrhoids to add to this list.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: The surgical technique and clinical follow-up of 410 patients operated by this technique are presented. An Ellman radiofrequency generator was used for hemorrhoidal ablation at the output power intensity of 80. Post-defecation pain and pain at rest were assessed using a visual analogue scale. Patient satisfaction score was calculated at the mean follow-up of 60 months (range 48-72). The results in terms of mean hospital stay, post-operative pain, post-operative complications, and period of incapacity for work were compared with the published data of results of stapled hemorrhoidopexy and Doppler-guided hemorrhoidal artery ligation.

RESULTS: Pain score at first evacuation was 6. The post-defecation pain score in the first week was 4 (range 3-6) and it was 3 (range 2-5) in the second week. The mean pain score at rest in the first week was 2 (range 1-4) and 1 (range 0-2) in the second post-operative week. In the long-term follow-up at a mean of 60 months, this procedure was found in most of the cases to control prolapse, discharge, and bleeding, with no stenosis or incontinence. The recurrence rate was less than 2%. The patient satisfaction score was high.

CONCLUSION: The results of this technique of radiofrequency ablation and fixation of hemorrhoids hold positive promises in terms of less post-operative pain, early discharge from the hospital and faster return to work. The results are comparable to stapled hemorrhoidopexy and are better than Doppler-guided hemorrhoidal artery ligation in terms of effectiveness and symptomatic relief on a long-term basis.

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