Background: The stapled hemorrhoidopexy is reported to have a low recurrence while treating the major hemorrhoidal symptoms of bleeding and prolapse. The aim of this study is to obtain long-term results on the outcome of the stapled hemorrhoidopexy.
Methods: All patients with a hemorrhoidal disease grade III, who underwent stapled hemorrhoidopexy from May 1999-December 2003, were included. Data collection was based on a standardized telephone interview. In the questionnaire, we recorded information regarding the postoperative recurrence and severity of hemorrhoidal symptoms (defined as bleeding, prolapse, burning, itching and moisture), further hemorrhoidal treatments and functional results (incontinence, fecal urgency and outlet obstruction) as well as patients' satisfaction.
Results: Of the 257 patients, who underwent stapled hemorrhoidopexy, follow-up data were available in 140 patients. In 47.4% of the patients, a recurrence of at least one hemorrhoidal symptom was registered, whereas this recurrence was observed in 47.3% of these patients more than 10 years postoperatively. A surgical re-intervention was necessary in 15.2%. We found a postoperative new incontinence in 15.5%, a fecal urgency in 28.0% and an outlet obstruction in 9.4%. Of all patients, 62.3% were "very satisfied" with the operation.
Conclusions: The results of the study revealed a relatively high recurrence of hemorrhoidal symptoms after a mean follow-up of 15 years with a high recurrence rate more than 10 years postoperatively. In consideration of not negligible risk of incontinence, fecal urgency and outlet obstruction, the indication for a stapled hemorrhoidopexy should be made well considered. However, patients' satisfaction is very high.