Prospective randomized clinical trial on suction elastic band ligator versus forceps ligator in the treatment of haemorrhoids

A R Mohd Ramzisham, Ismail Sagap, Sukumar Nadeson, Ismail M Ali, Mohd J Hasni
Asian Journal of Surgery 2005, 28 (4): 241-5

OBJECTIVE: This prospective randomized clinical trial was undertaken to compare the use of a single-operator vacuum suction ligator and the traditional forceps ligator in terms of pain perception following the procedure, intra-procedure bleeding and other complications.

METHODS: One hundred consecutive patients with second- and third-degree haemorrhoids presenting between July 2002 and September 2003 were randomized into suction and forceps groups for rubber band ligations. They were equally distributed in both groups, with a mean age of 48.7 years (range, 15-83 years). The immediate, 24-hour, 7-day and 14-day pain scores after the procedure were evaluated using a visual analogue scale. Intra-procedure bleeding and other complications at follow-up were evaluated.

RESULTS: Pain perception was worse in the forceps group immediately after ligation, with a mean score of 6.08 compared with 3.08 in the suction group (p < 0.001). Pain score remained high among the forceps patients at 24 hours post-banding, with a mean score of 4.00 compared with 1.92 in the suction group (p < 0.001). There was no significant difference in terms of immediate and 24-hour pain perceptions whether two or three haemorrhoids were banded per session (p = 0.904 and p = 0.058). The amount of analgesia consumed after banding correlated well with the severity of pain reported, being higher among the forceps group with a mean of 4.48 tablets (p = 0.003). Intra-procedure bleeding occurred in 25 patients in the forceps group compared with five in the suction group (p < 0.001). There were no severe complications such as perianal sepsis, urinary retention, sphincter dysfunction or bleeding during the trial.

CONCLUSION: Suction band ligation is superior to forceps ligation for the treatment of second- and third-degree haemorrhoids in terms of pain tolerance, amount of analgesia consumed and intra-procedure bleeding.

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