Stapled vs excision hemorrhoidectomy: long-term results of a prospective randomized trial

Arch Surg. 2002 Mar;137(3):337-40. 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 < 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.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Digestive System Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Fecal Incontinence / etiology
  • Fecal Incontinence / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Hemorrhoids / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain, Postoperative / etiology
  • Pain, Postoperative / prevention & control
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Surgical Stapling*
  • Sutures*
  • Treatment Outcome