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Original Article
March 2002

Stapled vs Excision Hemorrhoidectomy: Long-term Results of a Prospective Randomized Trial

Author Affiliations

From the Department for Visceral and Transplantation Surgery, University Hospital of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Arch Surg. 2002;137(3):337-340. doi:10.1001/archsurg.137.3.337

Hypothesis  Stapled hemorrhoidectomy offers several advantages over excision hemorrhoidectomy, including reduced postoperative pain, a reduced hospital stay, and an earlier recovery time. Furthermore, stapled hemorrhoidectomy is associated with lower hemorrhoidal recurrence on long-term follow-up.

Design  A randomized prospective trial. Patients were blinded to the operation technique used. Follow-up occurred at 1 and 3 weeks and 12 months postoperatively.

Setting  A university hospital providing primary, secondary, and tertiary care.

Patients  Forty patients with second- and third-degree hemorrhoid disease were randomized to undergo either stapled or excision hemorrhoidectomy. Two patients were excluded. All patients were subject to a follow-up examination.

Interventions  Stapled hemorrhoidectomy (Longo technique) vs excision hemorrhoidectomy (Ferguson technique).

Main Outcome Measures  Operating time, postoperative pain (measured by the visual analog scale), hospital stay, histologic features, morbidity, defecation habit, continence, recovery time (return to work), and hemorrhoid recurrence at 1 year.

Results  Stapled vs excision hemorrhoidectomy was associated with a significantly reduced operating time (30 vs 43.25 minutes; P<.001), reduced postoperative pain scores (visual analog score) on the first 4 postoperative days (day 1: 2.7 vs 6.3; day 2: 1.7 vs 6.3; day 3: 0.8 vs 5.4; and day 4: 0.5 vs 4.8, where 0 indicates no pain, and 10, maximum pain; P≤.001), and an earlier return to work (6.7 vs 20.7 days;P = .001). There were no differences for stapled vs excision hemorrhoidectomy in length of hospital stay (2.4 vs 2.1 days), complications (3 [15%] of 20 patients vs 5 [25%] of 20 patients), and recurrence rate (1 [5%] of 20 patients vs 1 [5%] of 20 patients).

Conclusions  Stapled hemorrhoidectomy is associated with reduced postoperative pain, earlier recovery time and return to work, and a similar recurrence rate compared with the excision technique. Provided further clinical trials confirm these findings, stapled hemorrhoidectomy may become a future gold standard.