Background: Distal Doppler-guided transanal hemorrhoidal dearterialization with mucopexy (Doppler-guided THD) seems to be associated with better short-term outcomes than conventional hemorrhoidectomy, but there are little data about long-term recurrence. The aim of this study was to compare Doppler-guided THD for grade III-IV hemorrhoids with conventional hemorrhoidectomy with regard to long-term postoperative morbidity and recurrence.
Methods: This was a single-center longitudinal and comparative study of a cohort of patients who underwent either distal Doppler-guided THD with low ligation of the hemorrhoidal artery and mucopexy or conventional excisional hemorrhoidectomy (Milligan and Morgan or Ferguson) for grade III and IV hemorrhoids. Short- and long-term postoperative morbidity was recorded. Severity of hemorrhoid symptoms (bleeding, prolapse, manual reduction, discomfort or pain and impact on quality of life) and fecal continence status (Vaizey score) were evaluated before surgery and at minimum of 1 year after surgery.
Results: Eighty-three patients were included in the study. Forty-nine patients (59%) underwent Doppler-guided THD, and 34 (41%) patients underwent conventional hemorrhoidectomy. The 30-day postoperative surgical morbidity was 26.5% in the Doppler-guided THD group and 8.82% in the conventional hemorrhoidectomy group (p = 0.085). No significant differences between the groups were observed in terms of persistence of bleeding, prolapse, need for manual reduction in prolapse and pain. One (2%) patient in the THD group and 2 (5.4%) patients in the conventional hemorrhoidectomy group needed further surgical procedures. Minor fecal incontinence occurred only after conventional hemorrhoidectomy in 2 (5.4%) patients.
Conclusions: Our results showed that Doppler-guided THD is not inferior to conventional excisional hemorrhoidectomy for advanced hemorrhoidal disease in terms of postoperative complications and long-term recurrence of symptoms.
Keywords: Dearterialization; Doppler-guided THD; Hemorrhoidectomy; Long-term results; Mucopexy.