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This disease is often the butt of jokes, no pun intended. Yet, these bothersome projections may be a harbinger of serious underlying disease. These dilated mucosal lined polyps are caused by dilatation of the underlying veins. It is often secondary to venous stasis. In more serious cases, it may be a manifestation of venous backflow secondary to conditions such as portal hypertension, usually associated with cirrhosis of the liver.


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The prevalence of hemorrhoids.

Haas PA, Haas GP, Schmaltz S, Fox TA Jr.


Dis Colon Rectum 1983 Jul;26(7):435-9 Abstract quote

The clinical records of 835 patients were reviewed. Five hundred ninety four had symptoms of hemorrhoids (symptomatic group) and 241 had no symptoms (asymptomatic group).

Eight-six per cent of the entire group had hemorrhoids, 88 per cent among the symptomatic group and 82 per cent among the asymptomatic group. It was felt that if the prevalence rate of hemorrhoids in the symptomatic and asymptomatic groups is similar or close to similar in every age, it is likely that a certain number of people will have hemorrhoids in every age group irrespective of the presence or absence of symptoms. If the prevalence rate is high, it would seem to support the theory that hemorrhoids are normal parts of the human body, not a disease but a sign of aging.

Although the difference in the prevalence rate overall in the symptomatic and asymptomatic groups, 88 versus 82 per cent was mathematically significant, this was due to the large sample size and it was small enough to be without clinical importance. No significant differences in the prevalence rate between symptomatic and asymptomatic patients within age groups were found.

Prevalence of benign anorectal disease in a randomly selected population.

Nelson RL, Abcarian H, Davis FG, Persky V.

Department of Surgery, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago, USA.


Dis Colon Rectum 1995 Apr;38(4):341-4 Abstract quote

BACKGROUND: The prevalence of benign anorectal diseases (BAD) in the general population has been difficult to establish, either because the individual diseases themselves were difficult to characterize in surveys or because of bias in the selection of the survey population. Reported herein is a prevalence survey of BAD symptoms and treatment history of a sample of the general population, selected by random digit dialing.

METHOD: A survey instrument that inquired into symptoms of BAD, BAD treatment history, and health-seeking behaviors was administered by telephone interview with 102 individuals, between the ages of 21 and 65 of both genders and all races, chosen by random digit dialing in the Joliet, Illinois area. For selected variables (gender, education level, obesity, previous BAD treatment, fiber supplementation, time for defecation and reading during defecation all related to BAD symptoms) odds ratios and 95 percent confidence intervals were calculated.

RESULTS: Of the 102 individuals, 9 had been previously treated for hemorrhoids, 4 by surgery, and 5 medically. Twenty individuals currently have BAD symptoms, six of these have multiple symptoms frequently, implying established BAD, and four of these have been previously treated for hemorrhoids. Seven of eight individuals with rectal bleeding in the past year have not sought medical evaluation. Of the associations tested, statistical significance was found only between female gender and BAD symptoms (odds ratio = 4.6; 95 percent confidence interval = 1.3-20.4).

CONCLUSIONS: History of hemorrhoidal treatment and current BAD symptomatology are highly prevalent in a randomly selected population, and 80 percent of the subjects with symptoms of BAD have not consulted a physician regarding BAD. Some previously held correlates of hemorrhoidal symptoms, such as obesity and extended time for defecation, showed no apparent association with hemorrhoid treatment history or current BAD symptoms. The best predictors of current BAD symptoms were female gender (odds ratio = 4.6; 95 percent confidence interval = 1.3-20.4) and previous hemorrhoid treatment (odds ratio = 3.9; 95 percent confidence interval = 0.7-20).


Lower gastrointestinal hemorrhage in African-American and Hispanic elderly patients.

Akhtar AJ.

Department of Internal Medicine, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science/King-Drew Medical Center, Los Angeles, California 90059, USA.

Ethn Dis 2002 Summer;12(3):379-82 Abstract quote

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the frequency and etiology of lower gastrointestinal hemorrhage (LGIH) in African-American and Hispanic elderly patients and to determine its natural history and the risks and benefits of therapeutic interventions.

SETTING: Inner-city community teaching hospital serving predominantly African-American and Hispanic populations.

METHODS: Records of 236 patients, 65 to 103 years of age, with a diagnosis of LGIH were reviewed retrospectively, over a period of 7 years, (9 White and 6 Asian patients were excluded).

RESULTS: In 21 patients, the source of bleeding was located in the upper gastrointestinal tract, and these patients were excluded from the study. The source of bleeding remained unidentified in 16 of 200 patients, and they were also excluded. Bleeding was so profuse in 19 patients that satisfactory endoscopy could not be performed and emergency angiography and/or surgery was required. Endoscopic results were available in 165 patients and included: internal hemorrhoids in 60 (active bleeding in 23) patients, diverticular bleeding in 55, angiodysplasia in 50, polyps in 37, cancer in 23, drug-induced (anti-coagulants, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) lesions in 20, ischemic colitis in 15, ulcerative colitis in 10, solitary rectal ulcer in 9, Crohn's disease in 8, and colonic varices in 6 patients. Forty-eight patients had more than one lesion. Endoscopic therapy was given to 101 patients and was helpful in stopping bleeding and/or delaying surgery in 69 patients. Overall, there were 43 deaths, mostly due to underlying multiple system disease. Mortality rates did not differ by race/ethnicity or gender. Older elderly (76-85 yrs.; P < 0.01) and (> 85 yrs.; P < 0.001) had higher mortality rates. None of the deaths were directly due to endoscopy.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite the small number of patients, our study suggests that acute LGIH in African-American and Hispanic elderly patients is a common condition, with the potential to become a life-threatening event. All such patients should be offered the benefits of early endoscopy and therapeutic interventions, unless contraindicated by their advanced directives. A patient's advanced age should not be a deterrent to any of the diagnostic or therapeutic interventions.



Hemorrhoids: associated pathologic conditions in a family practice population.

Trilling JS, Robbins A, Meltzer D, Steinbardt S.

Department of Family Medicine, State University of New York, Stony Brook 11794-8461.

J Am Board Fam Pract 1991 Nov-Dec;4(6):389-94 Abstract quote

BACKGROUND: Hemorrhoidal disease is an affliction that in referral populations coexists with other significant anorectal diseases. Published texts recommend aggressive procedures to diagnose associated pathologic conditions and as an aid for planning the extirpation of these diseases. Procrastination in management is said to be characteristic of both patient and primary care physician. The purpose of this study was to ascertain whether patients with hemorrhoids in the general population are truly at high risk for significant anorectal disease.

METHODS: Charts of 173 patients with hemorrhoids from a nonselected population were reviewed for treatment management, associated anorectal disease, and sequelae.

RESULTS: A small subpopulation of persons aged more than 55 years was identified who may be at higher risk for colon polyps. Anoscopy, barium enema, fecal occult blood testing, and complete blood counts had very low yields. These findings differ significantly from data collected on highly selected populations that suggest hemorrhoids rarely exist alone.

CONCLUSIONS: It appears that family physicians have not been cavalier in their attitudes toward and management of this common ailment. Clinical investigation of hemorrhoids should be initiated based on clinical impression from evaluating symptoms and signs combined with age-specific screening recommendations.

Associations between hemorrhoids and other diagnoses.

Delco F, Sonnenberg A.

Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center and The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque 87108, USA.

Dis Colon Rectum 1998 Dec;41(12):1534-41; discussion 1541-2 Abstract quote

PURPOSE: The risk factors and mechanisms that contribute to the occurrence of hemorrhoids are not well understood. The study of the comorbid occurrences of hemorrhoids with other diagnoses in identical patients may point to a common underlying pathophysiology. The present study was undertaken to determine which diagnoses are associated with the occurrence of hemorrhoids.

METHODS: A case-control study compared the occurrence of comorbid diseases in case subjects with hemorrhoids with that of control subjects without hemorrhoids. The case population comprised all patients with hemorrhoids (International Classification of Diseases codes 455.0-455.9), who were discharged from hospitals of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs between 1986 and 1996. In a multiple logistic regression analysis, the occurrence of hemorrhoids served as outcome variable, and age, gender, ethnicity, and the comorbid occurrence of other diagnoses served as predictor variables.

RESULTS: A total of 96,314 individual patients with hemorrhoids and the same number of control subjects were identified. In a chart review of a random sample of 100 cases, the diagnosis of hemorrhoids could be confirmed in 97 percent of all instances checked. The variety of diagnoses associated with hemorrhoids could be broken down into five large categories: 1) diseases associated with diarrhea (odds ratio, 1.30; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.27-1.33); 2) spinal cord injuries (odds ratio, 1.17; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.09-1.26); 3) constipation and related diseases (odds ratio, 1.48; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.43-1.54); 4) various types of anorectal diseases (odds ratio, 4.71; 95 percent confidence interval, 4.44-5.0); and 5) conditions that could be considered manifestations or sequelae of the hemorrhoidal disease itself (odds ratio, 3.41; 95 percent confidence interval, 3.30-3.51).

CONCLUSIONS: The types and spectrum of comorbid diagnoses associated with hemorrhoids suggest that an increased tone of the anal sphincter constitutes a common pathophysiologic mechanism for the development of hemorrhoids.



The prevalence of hemorrhoids and chronic constipation. An epidemiologic study.

Johanson JF, Sonnenberg A.

Department of Medicine, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Gastroenterology 1990 Feb;98(2):380-6 Related Articles, Books, LinkOut

Comment in:
Gastroenterology. 1990 Dec;99(6):1856-7.

The prevalence of hemorrhoids and chronic constipation. An epidemiologic study.

Johanson JF, Sonnenberg A.

Department of Medicine, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Hemorrhoids are a frequently occurring disorder widely believed to be caused by chronic constipation. In the present study, the epidemiology of hemorrhoids was evaluated and compared with the epidemiology of constipation. The analysis was based on 4 data sources: from the United States, the National Health Interview Survey, the National Hospital Discharge Survey, and the National Disease and Therapeutic Index; from England and Wales, the Morbidity Statistics from General Practice. Results showed that 10 million people in the United States complained of hemorrhoids, corresponding to a prevalence rate of 4.4%. In both sexes, a peak in prevalence was noted from age 45-65 yr, with a subsequent decrease after age 65 yr. The development of hemorrhoids before age 20 yr was unusual. Whites were affected more frequently than blacks, and increased prevalence rates were associated with higher socioeconomic status. This was in contrast to the epidemiology of constipation, which demonstrated an exponential increase in prevalence after age 65 yr and was more common in blacks and in families with low incomes or low social status. The data presented illustrate differences in the epidemiologic behavior of hemorrhoids and constipation, calling the presumption of causality between constipation and hemorrhoids into question.


Association of hemorrhoidal disease with diarrheal disorders: potential pathogenic relationship?

Johanson JF.

University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford, USA.

Dis Colon Rectum 1997 Feb;40(2):215-9; discussion 219-21 Abstract quote

Despite frequent occurrence of hemorrhoidal disease, its etiology remains controversial. Recent evidence suggests that diarrhea may represent a pathogenic risk factor. The present study examined prevalence of diarrheal disorders in elderly patients with hemorrhoidal disease to provide further insight into its pathogenic mechanisms.

METHODS: Using 8.8 million Medicare patients hospitalized in the United States during 1987, the frequency distribution of all three-digit International Classification of Diseases codes was compared in patients with and without hemorrhoidal disease. A more frequent occurrence of a specific disorder in patients with hemorrhoidal disease compared with the general Medicare population suggests that this disorder may be pathophysiologically related or share common etiologic risk factors with hemorrhoidal disease.

RESULTS: Strong associations were observed between hemorrhoidal disease and a number of diarrheal disorders, including ulcerative colitis, noninfectious gastroenteritis, and functional diarrhea. Hemorrhoidal disease was likewise closely associated with benign and malignant anorectal neoplasms.

CONCLUSIONS: Results of this study must be interpreted with caution because epidemiologic studies cannot establish cause and effect relationships. Nevertheless, these data would seem to further support the pathogenic influence of diarrhea in development of hemorrhoidal disease.


Incidence of haemorrhoids and anorectal varices in children with portal hypertension.

Heaton ND, Davenport M, Howard ER.

Department of Surgery, King's College Hospital, London, UK.

Br J Surg 1993 May;80(5):616-8 Abstract quote

A prospective study of 60 children with portal hypertension showed a significant incidence of haemorrhoids (33 per cent), anorectal varices (35 per cent) and external anal varices (15 per cent).

Four children (7 per cent) complained of anorectal symptoms. A comparison of extrahepatic with intrahepatic disease showed that the former was associated with a higher incidence of both haemorrhoids and anorectal varices (57 versus 26 per cent and 64 versus 26 per cent respectively). The occurrence and severity of haemorrhoids was related to the number of previous oesophageal sclerotherapy sessions (P = 0.001).

Problems relating to anorectal pathology were unusual, but treatment with haemorrhoidal sclerotherapy or banding was satisfactory for the symptomatic patients.

Endosonographic, endoscopic, and histologic evaluation of alterations in the rectal venous system in patients with portal hypertension.

Dhiman RK, Saraswat VA, Choudhuri G, Sharma BC, Pandey R, Naik SR.

Departments of Gastroenterology and Pathology, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, India.

Gastrointest Endosc 1999 Feb;49(2):218-27 Abstract quote

BACKGROUND: Colorectal varices and congestive rectopathy or colopathy have been erratically reported in patients with portal hypertension. The clinical importance of these entities has not been described. We assessed the changes in the venous system of the rectum by endoscopy and rectal endosonography (EUS). We also assessed the role of factors such as etiology of portal hypertension, grade of esophageal varices, sclerotherapy, and liver disease severity on the occurrence of these vascular changes.

METHODS: We studied changes in the venous system of the rectum using endoscopy and EUS in 60 patients with portal hypertension (cirrhotic 41, noncirrhotic 19). Ten patients with irritable bowel syndrome and 6 patients with hemorrhoids served as controls. Rectal varices were classified as tortuous, nodular, and tumorous. Corresponding appearances on rectal EUS were classified as single or discrete multiple, multiple, and innumerable submucosal veins, respectively. Evidence of congestive rectopathy was also recorded.

RESULTS: Prevalence of rectal varices was 43.3% on endoscopy (73% tortuous, 19% nodular, and 8% tumorous) and 75% on EUS (p < 0.0005). The latter showed corresponding appearances of submucosal veins in 25 of 26 patients and detected submucosal veins not identified at endoscopy in 19 other patients. Congestive rectopathy was found in 38.3% of patients. Multiple small dilated vessels in the submucosa were seen in 23.3% patients on rectal EUS. The development of these vascular changes was significantly influenced by sclerotherapy, but not by higher grade of esophageal varices, the etiology of portal hypertension, or severity of liver disease.

CONCLUSIONS: Changes in the rectal venous system are common, with rectal EUS being superior to endoscopy in detecting early, as well as florid, changes.


Anal fissure and thrombosed external hemorrhoids before and after delivery.

Abramowitz L, Sobhani I, Benifla JL, Vuagnat A, Darai E, Mignon M, Madelenat P.

FAMA de Coloproctologie, Service de Gastroenterologie et de Gynecologie-Obstetrique, Hopital Bichat-Claude Bernard, Paris, France.

Dis Colon Rectum 2002 May;45(5):650-5 Abstract quote

PURPOSE: Thrombosed external hemorrhoids and anal fissures are common and are responsible for severe discomfort during childbirth. However, the real incidence of these lesions is unknown. The aim of our study was to evaluate their incidence and the risk factors for these lesions during childbirth.

METHODS: A prospective study with proctologic examination during the last 3 months of pregnancy and after delivery (within 2 months) was performed in 165 consecutive pregnant females.

RESULTS: Fifteen females (9.1 percent) with anal lesions (13 thrombosed external hemorrhoids and 2 anal fissures) were observed during pregnancy. Fifty-eight females (35.2 percent) with anal lesions (33 thrombosed external hemorrhoids and 25 anal fissures) were observed during the postpartum period. Ninety-one percent of thrombosed external hemorrhoids were observed during the first day after delivery, whereas anal fissures were distributed, with no peak, over the two months after delivery. The 2 independent risk factors for anal lesions (among obstetric, baby's, and mother's information) were dyschezia, with a 5.7 odds ratio (95 percent confidence interval, 2.7-12), and late delivery, with a 1.4 odds ratio (95 percent confidence interval, 1.05-1.9). Furthermore, many thrombosed external hemorrhoids were observed after superficial perineal tears and heavier babies (P < 0.05). Only 1 of the 33 patients with thrombosed external hemorrhoids who were observed underwent a cesarean section.

CONCLUSION: One third of females have thrombosed external hemorrhoids or anal fissures in the postpartum period. The most important risk factor is dyschezia. Traumatic delivery appears to be associated with thrombosed external hemorrhoids.




Thrombosed hemorrhoid mimicking rectal carcinoma at CT.

Ben-Chetrit E, Bar-Ziv J.

Department of Medicine, Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel.

Acta Radiol 1992 Sep;33(5):457-8 Abstract quote

A 46-year-old man with cirrhosis and portal hypertension complained of lower pelvic pain. CT of the rectum raised a strong suspicion of a rectal tumor. However, rectal examination, anoscopy, direct rectoscopy, and, unfortunately, post-mortem dissection, failed to confirm its existence. Nevertheless, large flat hemorrhoids were evident.

Review of the patient's chart disclosed the presence of large thrombosed hemorrhoids detected by rectal examination prior to the CT examination. It is suggested that rectal hemorrhoids be included in the differential diagnosis of rectal tumor shown by CT in patients with portal hypertension.



The necessity of routine pathologic evaluation of hemorrhoidectomy specimens.

Cataldo PA, MacKeigan JM.

Ferguson Hospital, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Surg Gynecol Obstet 1992 Apr;174(4):302-4 Abstract quote

Unsuspected carcinoma of the anus found on routine pathologic analysis of specimens taken at hemorrhoidectomy is a rare occurrence. Rates of 1 to 2 per cent are quoted, but without the support of objective data.

During the past 20 years, 21,257 hemorrhoidectomies have been performed at Ferguson Hospital. During that time period, only one instance of unsuspected carcinoma of the anus was diagnosed solely by microscopic analysis of a specimen that was taken at hemorrhoidectomy. Based on this information, we recommend selective rather than routine pathologic evaluation of hemorrhoidectomy specimens. All patients should undergo careful anorectal examination prior to hemorrhoidectomy. Repeat examination should be performed with the patient under anesthesia and all excised tissue should be visually and manually inspected by the operating surgeon.

Any suspicious areas as based on preoperative evaluation, examination under anesthesia or inspection of excised tissue should be sent for gross and microscopic evaluation.


Pagetoid Dyskeratosis Is a Frequent Incidental Finding in Hemorrhoidal Disease

J. Fernando Val-Bernal, MD, PhD and Jesús Pinto, MD From the Department of Anatomical Pathology, Marqués de Valdecilla University Hospital, Medical Faculty, University of Cantabria, Santander, Spain.

Arch Pathol Lab Med 2001;125:1058–1062. Abstract quote

Background. —Pagetoid dyskeratosis is considered a selective keratinocytic response in which a small part of the normal population of keratinocytes is induced to proliferate. Pagetoid dyskeratosis has been found incidentally in the squamous epithelium of the skin in various locations and in the ectocervix in uterine prolapse. In cases in which these pale cells are conspicuous, there is a hazard of overdiagnosis. It has been suggested that friction is the most probable inductor of the lesion. To the best of our knowledge, pagetoid cells have not been reported in surgically resected hemorrhoids.

Objective and Design. —We here describe the location of pagetoid dyskeratosis in the squamous epithelium of hemorrhoids and the incidence of this lesion in a group of 100 unselected patients surgically treated for hemorrhoidal disease. In addition to the conventional histologic method, special staining procedures and an immunohistochemical study of cytokeratins were performed in selected cases.

Results. —Pagetoid dyskeratosis was found in 68 cases (68%) and was a prominent finding in 22 cases (22%). The cells of pagetoid dyskeratosis were strongly positive for high–molecular weight cytokeratin. These cells showed an immunohistochemical profile that was different from that of the surrounding squamous cells and indicative of premature keratinization.

Conclusions. —In hemorrhoidal disease, the cushions are susceptible to trauma as a result of prolapse. In this setting, friction may be the stimulus for the appearance of pagetoid dyskeratotic cells. These cells must be distinguished from the artifactual clear cells of the squamous epithelium, glycogen-rich cells, and koilocytes. The lesion must also be distinguished from extramammary Paget disease, pagetoid spread of carcinoma cells, pagetoid Bowen disease, and pagetoid melanoma. Pathologists should be familiar with the histologic features of pagetoid dyskeratosis in hemorrhoidectomy specimens to avoid misdiagnosis. Routine histologic study is usually adequate for recognizing this lesion.



Metastatic renal cell carcinoma presenting as a hemorrhoid.

Sawh RN, Borkowski J, Broaddus R.

Department of Pathology, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Arch Pathol Lab Med 2002 Jul;126(7):856-8 Abstract quote

Metastatic, noncolorectal carcinoma involving the anal canal is exceptionally rare, with only 3 cases being described in the medical literature.

We report the case of a 53-year-old man with an anal mass clinically presenting as a large, thrombosed, internal hemorrhoid. The patient had a history of nephrectomy for renal cell carcinoma 9 years previously. The resected anal lesion was histologically identical to the primary tumor in the kidney, showing features of renal cell carcinoma of the clear cell type.

To the best of our knowledge, this is only the fourth reported case of metastatic, noncolorectal carcinoma involving the anal canal and is the first report of a renal cell carcinoma metastasis to this site.



Retroperitoneal sepsis complicating stapled hemorrhoidectomy: report of a case and review of the literature.

Maw A, Eu KW, Seow-Choen F.

Department of Colorectal Surgery, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore.

Dis Colon Rectum 2002 Jun;45(6):826-8 Abstract quote

Stapled hemorrhoidectomy (mucosectomy) is a new technique that has recently been introduced for the treatment of third-degree and fourth-degree hemorrhoids and rectal mucosal prolapse.

We present a case of severe retroperitoneal sepsis complicating stapled hemorrhoidectomy that was successfully treated by conservative means, further surgery therefore being avoided. The literature on the more serious complications associated with stapled hemorrhoidectomy is reviewed.


Anal cancer incidence: genital warts, anal fissure or fistula, hemorrhoids, and smoking.

Holly EA, Whittemore AS, Aston DA, Ahn DK, Nickoloff BJ, Kristiansen JJ.

Northern California Cancer, Center Program in Epidemiology, Belmont, CA 94002.

J Natl Cancer Inst 1989 Nov 15;81(22):1726-31 Abstract quote

We conducted a study of 126 patients with anal and rectal squamous cell carcinoma and 372 randomly selected control subjects in the San Francisco Bay Area (CA) to test the hypothesis that these tumors are related to a history of anal intercourse, the presence of sexually transmitted diseases and other conditions of the anal area, treatment of these diseases or conditions, and history of use of cigarettes or other substances.

The relative risk (RR) of cancer was elevated for men with a history of homosexual activity (RR = 12.4, P less than .001). However, after adjustment for other risk factors, this risk was reduced to 2.7 (P = .28). Risk was elevated for homosexual male patients who reported a history of genital warts (RR = 12.6, P = .03), anal fissure or fistula (RR = 9.1, P = .05), and cigarette smoking (RR = 1.9 for 20 pack-yr, P less than .001; RR = 5.2 for 50 pack-yr, P less than .001). (Pack-year is a unit of cigarette use equal to 365 packs.) There was also elevated risk for heterosexual male and female patients who reported a history of genital warts (RR = 4.4, P = .003), anal fissure or fistula (RR = 2.4, P = .03), and more than 12 episodes of hemorrhoids (RR = 2.6, P less than .001).

These findings suggest that anal cancer risk is etiologically related to human papillomaviruses that cause genital warts. In addition, constant irritation, chronic inflammatory changes, and repeated epithelial regeneration that accompany noninfectious conditions may be related to risk of anal cancer. The higher risk among homosexual men is related to the higher prevalence of anal cancer risk factors for this group.


Rubber band ligation of symptomatic internal hemorrhoids: results of 500 cases.

Komborozos VA, Skrekas GJ, Pissiotis CA.

2nd Department of Surgery, 'Evangelismos' Hospital, Athens, Greece.

Dig Surg 2000;17(1):71-6 Abstract quote

BACKGROUND/AIM: In this prospective study the results of rubber band ligation (RBL) of symptomatic hemorrhoids in 500 consecutive patients with 2nd (255 cases), 3rd (218 cases) and 4th degree (27 cases) hemorrhoids are presented.

METHODS: The patients' symptoms were hemorrhage in 142 cases (28.4%), prolapse in 33 cases (6.6%) and both hemorrhage and prolapse in 325 cases (65%). Sixteen patients with hemorrhoids had liver cirrhosis and portal hypertension. RBL was performed using the St Marks' applicator (Seward) on an outpatient basis. Multiple ligations in two (259 cases) or three (190 cases) sessions were undertaken in 449 patients (89.8%), while a single ligation was done in 51 cases (10.2%).

RESULTS: Successful results were achieved in 440 cases (88%) in a 24-month follow-up. A total of 94 patients (18.8%) had complications which required no hospitalization. Pain and hemorrhage were the most frequent complications. RBL proved to be safe in 16 patients with coagulation disorders due to liver cirrhosis. Two years after RBL, symptomatic recurrence was 11.9% (53/445) with repeat RBL or surgery in 9.2% (41/445).

CONCLUSIONS: RBL is a useful, safe and successful method for treating symptomatic 2nd and 3rd degree hemorrhoids, which can be applied successfully in selected cases with 4th degree hemorrhoids, but with an increased rate of recurrence and additional treatment requirements. Also, RBL seems to be safe in patients with liver cirrhosis and portal hypertension.

Early experience with stapled hemorrhoidectomy in the United States.

Singer MA, Cintron JR, Fleshman JW, Chaudhry V, Birnbaum EH, Read TE, Spitz JS, Abcarian H.

Department of Surgery, University of Illinois, Chicago 60612, USA.

Dis Colon Rectum 2002 Mar;45(3):360-7; discussion 367-9 Abstract quote

INTRODUCTION: We report the early results of patients treated with stapled hemorrhoidectomy, which has recently been introduced into the United States.

METHODS: Sixty-eight patients with symptomatic hemorrhoids were treated at two institutions with the Proximate HCS Hemorrhoidal Circular Stapler supplied by Ethicon Endo-Surgery. Patients were prospectively evaluated for functional recovery and postoperative pain on a 1 to 10 scale.

RESULTS: There were 45 (66 percent) males and 23 (34 percent) females with a mean age of 56 years and median duration of symptoms of 5 years. The mean operative time was 22.2 minutes. The operation was performed with spinal (50 percent), local (40 percent), or general (10 percent) anesthesia and as an outpatient (56 percent) or overnight admission (44 percent). Ninety-three percent of patients remained asymptomatic with a mean follow-up of 34 weeks, whereas the remaining 7 percent required either surgical excision or rubber band ligation for persistent symptoms. There was no mortality, new incontinence, fecal impaction, or persistent pain. The total morbidity was 19 percent, with urinary retention as the most common complication (12 percent). The mean pain score decreased from 3.6 on postoperative Day 1 to 1.4 at postoperative Day 7. Ninety-nine percent of patients made a complete functional recovery by postoperative Day 7.

CONCLUSIONS: Stapled hemorrhoidectomy is safe, effective, and can be performed as an outpatient procedure with local or regional anesthesia. There seems to be minimal postoperative pain and early recovery, although a benefit over traditional hemorrhoidectomy needs to be proven in a randomized trial.

Comparative study between multiple and single rubber band ligation in one session for bleeding internal, hemorrhoids: a prospective study.

Chaleoykitti B.

Department of Surgery, Phramongkutklao Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand

J Med Assoc Thai 2002 Mar;85(3):345-50 Abstract quote

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to compare the cessation of bleeding and the complications between multiple and single ligation using high ligation technique.

MATERIAL AND METHOD: All first-visit patients with bleeding internal hemorrhoids were studied and randomly divided into multiple and single ligation groups. High ligation technique was used. Patients visited the clinic in the second week and were invited to visit the clinic or completed questionnaires after one year.

RESULTS: 109 patients were included in the study. 61 patients had multiple ligation and 48 patients had single ligation. The cessation of bleeding in one week occurred in 96.7 per cent of patients in the multiple group and 79 per cent of patients in the single group (p = 0.004). There were no differences between the multiple group and single group concerning postligation pain and tenesmus (6.5% vs 2%, p = 0.532), urinary hesitancy and frequency (6.5% vs 4%, p = 0.904), and rebleeding in one year (27.9% vs 34%, p = 0.710). No major complications such as massive bleeding and pelvic sepsis were noted.

CONCLUSIONS: Multiple ligation of bleeding internal hemorrhoids in one session can stop bleeding better than single ligation with no more complications.

Harmonic scalpel hemorrhoidectomy: five hundred consecutive cases.

Armstrong DN, Frankum C, Schertzer ME, Ambroze WL, Orangio GR.

Georgia Colon & Rectal Surgical Clinic, Atlanta 30342, USA.

Dis Colon Rectum 2002 Mar;45(3):354-9 Abstract quote

PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence of postoperative complications after Harmonic Scalpels hemorrhoidectomy and to identify any predisposing factors leading to postoperative complications.

METHODS: Five hundred consecutive cases of Harmonic Scalpel hemorrhoidectomy were studied in a prospective manner. Postoperative complications were recorded, and any predisposing factors were evaluated.

RESULTS: Three hundred fifty-five patients (71 percent) underwent Harmonic Scalpel hemorrhoidectomy alone. One hundred twenty patients (24 percent) underwent additional fissurectomy/sphincterotomy for fissure-in-ano, and 25 patients (5 percent) underwent additional fistulotomy. A total of 24 (4.8 percent) patients experienced some form of postoperative complication. Three patients (0.6 percent) experienced a secondary postoperative hemorrhage requiring reexploration under anesthesia. Two of the three patients were taking postoperative oral Toradol, and both had undergone an "open" hemorrhoidectomy technique. The third patient required suture ligation of multiple bleeding sites on two separate occasions at 7 and 14 days postoperatively. The patient was subsequently diagnosed as having Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. One patient experienced postoperative incontinence to flatus and stool. The patient had large, Grade TV postpartum hemorrhoids and had undergone a three-quadrant closed hemorrhoidectomy. The sphincter mechanism was intact on postoperative ultrasound, and an underlying pudendal neuropathy likely contributed to the sphincter dysfunction. Postoperative urinary retention was noted in 10 (2 percent) patients, postoperative fissure in 5 (1 percent), and abscess/fistula in 4 (0.8 percent). One patient (0.2 percent) required readmission for colonic pseudo-obstruction.

CONCLUSION: Harmonic Scalpel hemorrhoidectomy is a safe surgical modality, and postoperative complication rates compare favorably with previously published studies. The combination of an "open" hemorrhoidectomy technique and prolonged oral Toradol administration may result in a higher incidence of postoperative hemorrhage.

Management of hemorrhoidal disease in patients with chronic spinal cord injury.

Scott D, Papa MZ, Sareli M, Velano A, Ben-Ari GY, Koller M.

Division of Proctology, Department of Surgical Oncology, The Sheba Medical Center, Tel Aviv University Medical School, Tel Hashomer, Ramat Gan, Israel.

Tech Coloproctol 2002 Apr;6(1):19-22 Abstract quote

Hemorrhoidal disease is a common pathology in patients with chronic spinal cord injury (SCI).

We describe our experience with the primary approach to this problem at the Proctology Division of the Sheba Medical Center. We treated 29 patients (26 men) with paraplegia due to SCI between 1995 and 1999. The mean age was 49 years (range, 22-74 years). All patients had hemorrhoids in stages ranging between II and IV. Main complaints were rectal bleeding (83%), difficulties in evacuation (38%) and discomfort or pain (28%). Eleven patients (38%) were treated conservatively (e. g. diet, hygiene and laxatives), while 18 patients (62%) underwent either banding or sclerotherapy of hemorrhoids or both. No major complication were observed. In 28 of 29 patients (96%), there was a significant reduction or cessation of bleeding and/or relief of symptoms; one patient (3%) required hemorrhoidectomy. Of the 28 successful treatments, 16 (57%) had partial reduction of bleeding or relief of symptoms, while in 12 (43%) response was complete. Of those who were treated conservatively, 9 (82%) had partial and 2 (18%) had complete relief of symptoms. Of those who had banding/sclerotherapy, 7 (41%) had partial and 10 (59%) had complete relief.

We also examined the effect of perianal sensation on the treatment outcome. Of 16 patients with complete anesthesia, 11 (69%) had partial and 5 (31%) had complete relief, whereas of the 12 patients with preserved sensation, 5 (42%) had partial and 7 (58%) had complete relief. In conclusion, the approach of banding or sclerotherapy of hemorrhoids in SCI patients is safe and effective. When sensation of the perianal region is preserved, the outcome seems to be better. The cause of SCI has no impact on the treatment results.

There was no difference in the outcome of treatment between patients with stage II and stage III hemorrhoids; patients with stage IV hemorrhoids seem to do worse than those with stages II and III.

Double-blind, randomized trial comparing Harmonic Scalpel hemorrhoidectomy, bipolar scissors hemorrhoidectomy, and scissors excision: ligation technique.

Chung CC, Ha JP, Tai YP, Tsang WW, Li MK.

Department of Surgery, Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital, Chai Wan, Hong Kong Special Adminisrative Region, China.


Dis Colon Rectum 2002 Jun;45(6):789-94 Abstract quote

PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to compare the outcome of patients receiving hemorrhoidectomy using Harmonic Scalpel, bipolar scissors, and the conventional scissors excision-ligation technique.

METHODS: Eighty-six patients with irreducible prolapsing piles were randomly assigned to receive 1) Milligan-Morgan hemorrhoidectomy using scissors excision-ligation technique or 2) bipolar scissors hemorrhoidectomy and Harmonic Scalpel hemorrhoidectomy. Neither the patient nor the independent assessor were aware of the technique used at operation. Patients were followed up at 4 and 12 weeks after operation. The measured outcomes included 1) operation time; 2) blood loss; 3) postoperative hospital stay; 4) pain score; 5) pain expectation score; 6) date of first bowel movement; 7) number of pethidine injections; 8) number of dologesic tablets taken; 9) time off work or normal activity; 10) wound healing; 11) satisfaction score; and 12) postoperative complications, including anal stenosis and fecal or flatus incontinence.

RESULTS: There was no difference among the three groups in the operation time, hospital stay, pain expectation score, day of first bowel movement, number of dologesic tablets taken, time off work or normal activity, wound healing, and satisfaction score. The complication rate also did not differ in the three groups. Both Harmonic Scalpel hemorrhoidectomy and bipolar scissors hemorrhoidectomy were superior to Milligan-Morgan hemorrhoidectomy in terms of reduced blood loss. Harmonic Scalpel hemorrhoidectomy had the best pain score when compared with bipolar scissors hemorrhoidectomy and Milligan-Morgan hemorrhoidectomy, and patients required significantly less pethidine injection after Harmonic Scalpel hemorrhoidectomy than after Milligan-Morgan hemorrhoidectomy. Although the time required to return to work or normal activity remained similar, patients after Harmonic Scalpel hemorrhoidectomy had the best satisfaction score among the three groups.

CONCLUSION: The study shows that Harmonic Scalpel hemorrhoidectomy is as good as bipolar scissors hemorrhoidectomy in terms of reduced blood loss but is superior because it is associated with less postoperative pain and hence, better patient satisfaction. However, these observed benefits are small, and the time off work or normal activity remains similar.

Rosai J. Ackerman's Surgical Pathology. Eight Edition. Mosby 1996.
Sternberg S. Diagnostic Surgical Pathology. Third Edition. Lipincott Williams and Wilkins 1999.

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Last Updated 8/15/2002

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