JOURNAL ARTICLE
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[Rubber band ligation in treatment of hemorrhoids: our experience].

OBJECTIVES: Hemorrhoids are a very common condition. The treatment depends upon persistence and severity of symptoms. For hemorrhoids of II and III grade the rubber band ligation may be therapeutic. Our aim is to report the outcomes of rubber band ligation of hemorrhoids, with a follow up of 6 months.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 50 patients underwent rubber band ligation for symptomatic hemorrhoids (grade II and III) without prolapse, between June 2012 and June 2014. All patients underwent plug test to rule out presence of rectal mucosal prolapse and were classified according to PATE classification (1). Each hemorrhoid was ligated with one rubber band through a ligator. All patients were evaluated immediately at the end of the procedure, after ten days and six months after the treatment. Patient's demographic and operative data were collected and analyzed.

RESULTS: The mean patients age was 47.6±12.3 years (range 24-72). All procedures were performed without complications. Before rubber band ligation, 42 patients had rectal bleeding, 38 had perineal discomfort and 27 had itching. Ten days after the treatment, 12 patients presented self-limited rectal bleeding, but 10 of these had more hemorrhoids and underwent a second rubber band ligation. No patients complained perineal discomfort, and 8 patients had itching; 78% and 16% of patients respectively, experienced feeling of a foreign body inside the canal anal and anal pain. After 6 months, only 13 patients were occasionally symptomatic: 4 patients had rectal bleeding, 2 had perineal discomfort and 4 had itching. Three more patients presented both perineal discomfort and hitching. None had the feeling of a foreign body in anal canal or anal pain.

CONCLUSIONS: Rubber band ligation is an efficacious, cost-effective and simple treatment for the second and third degree hemorrhoids without rectal mucosal prolapsed. In our hands, no severe complications developed and minor complications could be handled with ease.

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