Five-year follow-up of Doppler-guided hemorrhoidal artery ligation

S Avital, R Inbar, E Karin, R Greenberg
Techniques in Coloproctology 2012, 16 (1): 61-5

BACKGROUND: Doppler-guided hemorrhoidal artery ligation (DGHAL) was described as lower risk and a less painful alternative to hemorrhoidectomy. We report our experience and 5-year follow-up with this procedure.

METHODS: Between May 2003 and December 2004, 100 patients with symptomatic Grade II or III hemorrhoids underwent ultrasound identification and ligation of 6-8 terminal branches of the superior rectal artery above the dentate line by a single surgeon using local, regional, or general anesthesia. There were 42 men and 58 women (mean age 42 years, median duration of symptoms 6/3 years). A 10-point visual analog scale was used for postoperative pain scoring. Surgical and functional outcome was assessed at 6 weeks and 3 and 12 months after surgery, with long-term follow-up by a telephone questionnaire at 5 years after the procedure.

RESULTS: The mean operative time was 19 min. Local anal block combined with intravenous sedation (n = 93) or general or spinal (n = 7) anesthesia was used. Only 5 patients were hospitalized overnight. There was no urinary retention, bleeding, or mortality in the immediate postoperative period. The mean pain score decreased from 2.1 at 2 h postoperatively to 1.3 on the first postoperative day. All patients had complete functional recovery by the third postoperative day. Ninety-six patients completed 12 months of follow-up. Eighty-five of these patients (89%) remained asymptomatic at 12 months, though this number dropped to 67/92 (73%) at 5 years.

CONCLUSIONS: Long-term follow-up confirms the effectiveness of the DGHAL procedure for treatment for Grade II hemorrhoids. The DGHAL procedure alone seems less effective for Grade III hemorrhoids.

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