JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Long-term outcome and efficacy of endoscopic hemorrhoid ligation for symptomatic internal hemorrhoids.

AIM: To assess the long-term outcome of endoscopic hemorrhoid ligation (EHL) for the treatment of symptomatic internal hemorrhoids.

METHODS: A total of 759 consecutive patients (415 males and 344 females) were enrolled. Clinical presentations were rectal bleeding (593 patients) and mucosal prolapse (166 patients). All patients received EHL at outpatient clinics. Hemorrhoid severity was classified by Goligher's grading. The mean follow-up period was 55.4 mo (range, 45-92 mo).

RESULTS: The number of band ligations averaged 2.35 in the first session for bleeding and 2.69 for prolapsed patients. Bleeding was controlled in 587 (98.0%) patients, while prolapse was reduced in 137 (82.5%) patients. After treatment, 93 patients experienced anal pain and 48 patients had mild bleeding. Patient subjective satisfaction was 93.6%. Repeat treatment or surgery was performed if symptoms were not relieved in the first session. In the bleeding group, the recurrence rate was 3.7% (22 patients) at 1 year, and 6.6% and 13.0% at 2 and 5 years. In the prolapsed group, the recurrence rate was 3.0%, 9.6% and 16.9% at 1, 2 and 5 years, respectively.

CONCLUSION: EHL is an easy and well-tolerated procedure for the treatment of symptomatic internal hemorrhoids, with good long-term results.

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