BACKGROUND: Surgical hemorrhoidectomy has a reputation for being a painful procedure. The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy and safety of a new procedure for surgical treatment of hemorrhoid disease. STUDY DESIGN: From April 1998 to August 1998, 140 patients (83 men and 57 women) with an average age of 43.8 years (range 19 to 83 years) underwent hemorrhoidectomy using a circular stapler. Operative times, peri- and postoperative complications, mean hospital stay, assessment of the post-operative pain, period of incapacity for work, and functional results were collected. All patients were evaluated at 2 weeks, 2 months, and 18 months after operation. RESULTS: The average length of the operation was 18 minutes (range 8 to 60 minutes). There were no perioperative complications. The postoperative complication rate was 6.4% (n = 9). Mean hospital stay was 36 hours (range 8 to 72 hours). Paracetamol was the only analgesic used. Eighty-three patients (59.3%) required analgesic for less than 2 days, 45 patients (32.1%) between 2 and 7 days, and 12 patients (8.6%) more than 7 days. No patients had anal wound care. One hundred four patients had professions. The period of incapacity for work was less than 3 days for 22 patients (21.1%), between 3 and 7 days for 13 patients (12.5%), between 7 and 14 days for 62 patients (59.6%), and more than 14 days for 7 patients (6.8%). At 18 months, 95.7% of patients were fully satisfied with the results, 3.6% were somewhat satisfied (n = 4), and 0.7% were unsatisfied. CONCLUSIONS: Treatment of hemorrhoids with a circular stapler appears to be safe, effective, and rapid, causing few postoperative complications and minimal postoperative pain. At 18 months, 95.7% of the patients were fully satisfied with the results.
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