Background and aims: Nowadays there is still controversy as to whether open or closed haemorrhoidectomy is the surgical treatment of choice for haemorrhoidal pathology.
Patients and methods: We carried out a randomised prospective study in the Day Surgery Unit comparing 100 patients undergoing Milligan-Morgan haemorrhoidectomy (group A) versus 100 patients undergoing Ferguson haemorrhoidectomy (group B) for symptomatic haemorrhoids, in whom medical treatment or rubber band ligation had failed.
Results: Characteristics of the population were: mean age 43.5 years, with predominance of males, 123 vs. 77; 88% ASA I-II.
Clinical presentation: 95% rectal bleeding; 87.5% third-fourth degree. The anaesthetic technique of choice was local anaesthesia plus sedation in 180 patients (90%). Length of surgery: 24 min (group A) and 30 min (group B) (p=n.s.). Resection of three haemorrhoidal cushions was done in 87.5% of cases. There were no re-operations or re-admissions after discharge. Symptomatic recurrence, stenosis and incontinence were not found during the follow-up of the first year. Postoperative pain during the first postoperative week was greater in the open haemorrhoidectomy group, but the difference was statistically significant (p<0.05) only during bowel movements. There was complete healing in 40% of the patients in group A and 90% of those in group B (p<0.05) after 1 month. After 1 year, the results and complications were similar in both groups (p=n.s.).
Conclusions: Closed haemorrhoidectomy gives better results in terms of pain and healing than open haemorrhoidectomy, whereas recurrence and complications are similar after 1 year.