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Doppler-guided hemorrhoidal artery ligation for the treatment of symptomatic hemorrhoids: early and three-year follow-up results in 100 consecutive patients.

PURPOSE: Doppler-guided ligation of the hemorrhoidal arteries was described as an alternative to hemorrhoidectomy. The authors report their experience with this procedure.

METHODS: From 2002 to 2004, 100 consecutive patients underwent hemorrhoidal artery ligation procedure for symptomatic hemorrhoids and were reviewed at one month and at three years.

RESULTS: There were 54 females. Seventy-eight patients had Grade III hemorrhoids. Eighteen patients had previously been treated for the disease. The mean operative time was 28 minutes. On average, 8.4 ligatures were placed. Seventy-nine patients were discharged the same day. Six patients presented with early complication: isolated pain in one, pain and bleeding in three, isolated bleeding in one, and obstructed defecation in one. Late complications occurred in six patients: anal pain in one, fissure in two, and thrombosis of residual hemorrhoids in three. Twelve patients presented with a recurrence at a mean delay of 12.6 months, which was treated by repeat hemorrhoidal artery ligation (n = 1), hemorrhoidopexy (n = 7), and hemorrhoidectomy (n = 4).

CONCLUSIONS: Hemorrhoidal artery ligation procedure is safe, easy to perform, and should be considered as an alternative for the treatment of symptomatic hemorrhoids, even with a recurrence rate of 12 percent, which can be treated by the same technique or another.

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