Last updated on August 2018

Ligation and Hemorrhoidopexy Technique Versus Ligation of Hemorrhoidal Arteries Using Ultrasound for Hemorrhoids

Brief description of study

The purpose of this study is to compare two techniques for treating hemorrhoids, the ligation and hemorrhoidopexy technique and the conventional ligation of hemorrhoidal arteries using ultrasound, in patients with non-complicated hemorrhoids.

Detailed Study Description

Surgical operations for the treatment of perianal diseases are a major part of all elective surgical cases. The reduction in the hospitalization time of patients undergoing surgical procedures for benign perianal diseases is to the benefit of both the patient and healthcare provider. The importance of 'one day' surgical operations lies in the fact that the patient returns directly to his social and working environment, while the number of occupied hospital beds and the total hospitalization costs are reduced. A typical example is the goal set by National Health Service (NHS), where the 75% of the scheduled operations should consist of 'one day' operations. In order to achieve this goal, several obstacles should be dealt with, including the implementation of more efficient and safe surgical techniques. Therefore, this would be associated with a decrease in the operation time, early recovery and faster hospital discharge.

Hemorrhoids is one of the most common benign perianal diseases. According to a recent prospective study of 976 patients, 38.93% of them suffered from hemorrhoids, with 8.16% and 0.53% being Grade III and IV, according to Goligher classification, respectively. The percentage of the symptomatic patients was, also, significant (44.74%). Symptomatic hemorrhoids, include bleeding, pruritus, pain, poor hygiene and the presence of palpable hemorrhoid nodules.

As far as the blood supply of the rectum and the broader anatomic region is concerned, it is provided by the superior, middle and inferior hemorrhoidal arteries. The superior hemorrhoidal artery is a branch of the inferior mesenteric artery and is carried behind the rectum, where it provides branches up to the internal sphincter muscle. The right and left middle hemorrhoidal artery originate from the respective internal iliac artery and their branches are cross-linked with the respective branches deriving from the superior hemorrhoidal artery. Finally, inferior hemorrhoidal arteries derive from the respective internal pudendal arteries. Correspondingly, hemorrhoidal venous plexus consists of the middle and inferior hemorrhoidal veins, which through the internal iliac veins drain into the inferior cava vein. Hemorrhoidal tissue constitutes a continence mechanism of the upper rectum and consists of vascular tissue, connective tissue and smooth muscle fibers, within the rectal canal. Through the approximation of the hemorrhoidal tissue, closure of the anal canal and protection of the sphincter mechanism is achieved. Since modern pathogenesis theories of hemorrhoidal disease attribute to the increased arterial flow in the hemorrhoidal plexus the generating cause of this disease, recent anatomical studies mapped the vascular network, indicating that the arteries are not confined to the anatomical regions described in the literature.

According to recent guidelines, the modification of dietary intake, through the increase of fluid and fiber intake, consists the first line treatment of symptomatic hemorrhoidal disease. However, in Grade III-IV hemorrhoidal disease or in Grade II, where conservative therapy failed, surgical intervention is required. Surgeon has plenty of techniques at his disposal, in order to treat hemorrhoids. Examples of these techniques are operations, such as hemorrhoidectomy (open, closed, Milligan-Morgan, Parks, using staplers, using energy sources, e.g. Harmonic, Ligasure, Laser, bipolar forceps), elastic rings ligation, sclerotherapy and Hemorrhoidal Arteries Ligation (L) or Transanal Hemorrhoidal Dearterialization (THD).

Ligation of hemorrhoidal arteries using a Doppler apparatus, is a minimally invasive technique that was first applied by Morinaga et al. in 1995 and has as principle the elective ligation of the arteries that supply the hemorrhoidal plexus. In a recent meta-analysis, the superiority of HAL in areas such as, postoperative bleeding, emergency reoperation, operative duration, length of hospital stay and postoperative pain, was shown. A major drawback of this technique, however, remains the high rate of recurrence, which ranges from 11.1% to 59.3%, for Grade IV hemorrhoids.

Despite the comparative advantages of this minimally invasive technique, the high cost of the necessary equipment and the respective consumables, is a barrier to its broad application. Gupta et al. in a prospective randomized study, compared Doppler-Guided HAL (DG-HAL) to hemorrhoid artery ligation and hemorrhoidopexy. Ligation was performed on the hemorrhoid nodule at the 3rd, 7th and 11th hours, followed by continuous hemorrhoidal nodule ligation and hemorrhoidopexy. The DG-HAL group had a significantly longer operative time (31 min vs 9 min) and post-operative pain (4.4 vs 2.2), without any differences in complication or recurrence rates. Similarly, Huang et al., reported a respective ligation technique, where, through the use of the index finger, the artery was palpated, followed by repeating compression and ligation cycles, in order to fix the affected hemorrhoids above the dental line. In this group, operative time was longer when compared to the DG-HAL group (35.57 vs. 12.73). There was no difference in terms of postoperative improvement of symptoms and hospitalization duration. In the experimental group, however, the cost of hospitalization and the relapse rate was significantly lower. Finally, Aigner et al., in a recent randomized study, investigated the efficacy of hemorrhoidopexy for Grade III hemorrhoids. They concluded that the techniques of hemorrhoidopexy are effective and the addition of DG-HAL does not affect the results.

Given these facts, the present trial was designed, in order to compare the two techniques for hemorrhoidal disease treatment, the ligation and hemorrhoidopexy technique and the conventional ligation of hemorrhoid arteries using ultrasound.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03298997

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