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Stapled haemorrhoidopexy: extent of tissue excision and clinical implications in the early postoperative period.

AIM: This study quantified prospectively the amount of rectal wall removed during stapled haemorrhoidopexy and assessed its effect on ano-rectal function and health-related quality of life.

METHOD: Thirty-three consecutive patients who underwent stapled haemorrhoidopexy for second- or third- degree haemorrhoids, or for failed medical treatment, in the Department of Surgery and Gastroenterological Sciences at the University of Padova were included. All patients were assessed preoperatively and postoperatively using a structured questionnaire to determine the number of defecations per week, incomplete defecations, time taken to defecate any difficulty in defecating, soiling, the use of drugs and continence. All patients were reassessed at 1 and 2 weeks and at 30 days after the procedure using the Cleveland Global Quality of Life (CGQL) questionnaire. All patients underwent preoperative and postoperative ano-rectal manometry at least 30 days after stapled haemorrhoidopexy.

RESULTS: The median surface area of the resected rectal wall was 10.5 (range, 9-15) mm(2) and the median thickness was 3 (range, 2-4) mm. Muscle tissue was included in all specimens. The median thickness of the resected rectal wall correlated inversely with the rectal volume when the recto-anal inhibitory reflex (RAIR) was initiated during postoperative manometry (ρ = -0.50, P = 0.07). A significant, direct correlation was found between the surface area of the resected rectal wall and the rectal volume during postoperative manometry (ρ = 0.53, P = 0.08) and the use of analgesic drugs after 2 weeks (ρ = 0.63, P = 0.04). Significant correlations were found between being female and postoperative resting pressure (ρ = -0.74, P < 0.01), squeeze pressure (ρ = -0.64, P = 0.01) and maximum tolerated volume (ρ = -0.78, P < 0.01).

CONCLUSION: Stapled haemorrhoidopexy is safe and effective. The thicker the resected rectal wall, the lower the volume of initiation of the RAIR.

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