RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
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The effect of glyceryl trinitrate ointment on posthemorrhoidectomy pain and wound healing: results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

PURPOSE: Spasm of the internal sphincter may be a source of anal pain and delayed healing after hemorrhoidectomy. This study assessed whether glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) ointment reduces pain and promotes wound healing after hemorrhoidectomy.

METHODS: A prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted comparing effects of an ointment containing GTN (0.2 percent) vs. a placebo ointment. The study preparations were self-applied by the patient to the surgical site twice per day for two weeks after the hemorrhoidectomy. Pain was assessed with a visual analog scale, and 24-hour analgesic use was recorded on postoperative days 1, 3, and 7. Complete healing was defined as complete epithelialization and evaluated at the end of the third postoperative week.

RESULTS: Sixty-nine patients were randomly assigned to receive topical 0.2 percent GTN group or placebo. Data from 30 patients in each group were available for analyses. Patients in the GTN group experienced significantly less postoperative pain than those with placebo on days 1, 3, and 7 (P < 0.05). Use of prescribed analgesics (metamizole and acetaminophen) was significantly greater for the placebo group on days 1 and 3. Wound healing at the end of the third postoperative week was significantly greater with GTN compared with placebo (76.7 percent vs. 46.7 percent, P = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS: Compared with placebo, perianal application of 0.2 percent GTN ointment significantly decreases postoperative pain after hemorrhoidectomy and reduces analgesic requirements in the immediate postoperative period. GTN ointment also achieves more rapid healing of wounds.

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