Objective: Aloe vera is an herbal medicine, which has wound healing effects in burn injury. This study assessed the effects of Aloe vera cream in reducing postoperative pain, postdefection pain, and its promotion of wound healing after open hemorrhoidectomy.
Design: A prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted comparing the effects of a cream containing Aloe vera versus a placebo cream on posthemorrhoidectomy pain. The study preparations were applied by patients to the surgical site 3 times per day for 4 weeks after hemorrhoidectomy. Pain was assessed with a visual analog scale immediately postoperatively and at hours 12, 24, and 48 after surgery and at weeks 2 and 4. Wound healing was examined and evaluated at the end of 2 and 4 weeks. The use of analgesics was recorded.
Results: Forty-nine (49) patients were randomly assigned to receive aloe (n = 24) or placebo (n = 25). Patients in the topical aloe cream group had significantly less postoperative pain at hours 12, 24, and 48 hours and at 2 weeks. Aloe cream reduced the pain after defecation in 24 and 48 hours postsurgery (p < 0.001). Wound healing at the end of the second postoperative week was significantly greater in the aloe group compared with the placebo group (p < 0.001). Patients required fewer additional analgesics posthemorrhoidectomy (p < 0.001).
Conclusions: Application of Aloe vera cream on the surgical site is effective in reducing postoperative pain both on resting and during defecation, healing time, and analgesic requirements in the patients compared with the placebo group.