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 < or = .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.