Background: Despite early studies reporting significant decreases in postoperative pain and morbidity with the procedure for prolapse and hemorrhoids (PPH) compared to traditional hemorrhoidectomy, certain complications and long-term efficacy remain uncertain. This study was performed to assess the prevalence of usage of PPH and the observed postoperative complaints and complications.
Methods: A questionnaire was mailed to national and international members of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS) and the accumulated data were reviewed.
Results: The rate of response to the 2,642 questionnaires was 28.5% (n=754). Of the 754 respondents, 531 (70.4%) had performed PPH and 451 (84.9%) continued to perform PPH. The most commonly reported postoperative complaint was delayed postoperative pain. Pain lasting for months was reported by 15.1% of respondents. Persistent bleeding was reported by 34.5%, and 40.9% felt there is a post-PPH syndrome.
Conclusions: Some long-term studies critically examining PPH have come to fruition. A majority of respondents continued to perform PPH. Nearly half of these agreed that there is a "post-PPH syndrome" relating to postoperative morbidities. The most disturbing morbidity was lasting perineal pain of unexplained etiology demanding challenging management. Persistent bleeding from hemorrhoidal disease distal to the staple line requires further management and raises the question as to the use of PPH as a permanent remedial procedure.