JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Effective treatment of haemorrhoids: early complication and late results after 150 consecutive stapled haemorrhoidectomies.

BACKGROUND: Haemorrhoidectomy according to Longo potentially reduces post-operative pain and allows an early return to work. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of the technique, the early and especially late complications, and recurrences, in 150 patients.

METHODS: Between January 2005 and December 2006, we performed 150 consecutive haemorrhoidectomies with the Longo technique: 82 for third degree haemorrhoids and 68 for fourth degree haemorrhoids. The mean age of patients was 42 years. Every patient had a pre-operative proctoscopy and endoscopy KIT PPH01 (Ethicon Endo Surgery) was used. We evaluated the length of the operation, the post-operative pain, the early and late complications, and the recurrence of the disease. The mean follow up was 52 months (range 36-72).

RESULTS: There was no mortality. The mean length of the operation was 25 minutes with a range of 15 to 45 minutes. Pain, evaluated using the V.A.S. scale, was very light in 114 patients (V.A.S. 2,1) and light in 36 (V.A.S. 3.2). Only 11 (7.5%) patients took painkillers, on demand, for a week after discharge from hospital and 2 patients (1,3%) for more than one month. Early complications (6.6%) were: 5 bleeding (2 after seven days), 4 acute urinary retentions, 1 external haemorrhoid thrombosis and 1 haematoma of the rectus wall. Mean Hospital stay was 2.1 days. Late complications (10%) were: 5 "faecal urgency" which disappeared after six months, 6 moderate asymptomatic strictures, and 4 persistent skin tags. There were 8 recurrences (5.1%), 2 for haemorrhoids of grade 3 e 6 for haemorrhoids of grade 4. All the recurrences appeared within the first 24 months.

CONCLUSION: The stapled procedure according to Longo is an effective treatment for haemorrhoids. The results for postoperative pain and early return to work are very good. However, special care for haemostasis is essential in order to avoid bleeding. An effective surgical technique prevents late complications, but results after long term follow up show a not insignificant percentage of recurrences that appeared especially in the fourth degree haemorrhoids. Therefore a careful pre-operative exclusion of those patients with a prominent prolax is necessary

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