First 100 cases with Doppler-guided hemorrhoidal artery ligation

Ron Greenberg, Eliad Karin, Shmuel Avital, Yehuda Skornick, Nahum Werbin
Diseases of the Colon and Rectum 2006, 49 (4): 485-9

PURPOSE: This study was designed to examine the benefits of a Doppler-guided hemorrhoidal artery ligation technique in terms of surgical outcome, functional recovery, and postoperative pain.

METHODS: Using local, regional, or general anesthesia, 100 patients with symptomatic Grades II or III hemorrhoids underwent sonographic identification and suture ligation of six to eight terminal branches of the superior rectal artery above the dentate line. Visual Analog Scales were used for postoperative pain scoring. Surgical and functional outcomes were assessed at 6 weeks and 3, 6, and 12 months after surgery.

RESULTS: There were 42 (42 percent) males and 58 (58 percent) females (mean age, 42 years; median duration of symptoms, 6.3 years). The mean operative time was 19 minutes. Local anal block combined with intravenous sedation (n = 93) or general or spinal (n = 7) anesthesia was used. Only five were hospitalized overnight. There was no urinary retention, bleeding, or mortality in the immediate postoperative course. The mean pain score decreased from 2.1 at two hours postoperative to 1.3 on the first postoperative day. All patients had a complete functional recovery by the third postoperative day. Ninety-four patients remained asymptomatic after a mean follow-up of six months: four patients required additional surgical excision, and two required rubber band ligations for persistent bleeding. On follow-up, there was no report of incontinence to gas or feces, fecal impaction, or persistent pain.

CONCLUSIONS: Our experience indicates that Doppler-guided hemorrhoidal artery ligation is safe and effective and can be performed as an outpatient procedure with local or regional anesthesia and with minimal postoperative pain and early recovery.

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