Stapled hemorrhoidopexy compared with conventional hemorrhoidectomy: systematic review of randomized, controlled trials.
This study was designed to determine whether conventional hemorrhoidectomy or stapled hemorrhoidopexy is superior for the management of hemorrhoids. A systematic review of all randomized trials comparing conventional hemorrhoidectomy with stapled hemorrhoidopexy was performed. MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library databases were searched using the terms "hemorrhoid*" or "haemorrhoid*" and "stapl*." A list of clinical outcomes was extracted. Meta-analysis was calculated if possible. Fifteen trials recruiting 1,077 patients were included. Follow-up ranged from 6 weeks to 37 months. Qualitative analysis showed that stapled hemorrhoidopexy is less painful compared with hemorrhoidectomy. Stapled hemorrhoidopexy has a shorter inpatient stay (weighted mean difference, -1.02 days; 95 percent confidence interval, -1.47 to -0.57; P = 0.0001), operative time (weighted mean difference, -12.82 minutes; 95 percent confidence interval, -22.61 to -3.04; P = 0.01), and return to normal activity (standardized mean difference, -4.03 days; 95 percent confidence interval, -6.95 to -1.10; P = 0.007). Studies in a day-case setting do not prove that stapled hemorrhoidopexy is more feasible than conventional hemorrhoidectomy. Stapled hemorrhoidopexy has a higher recurrence rate (odds ratio, 3.64; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.40-9.47; P = 0.008) at a minimum follow-up of six months. Although stapled hemorrhoidopexy is widely used, the data available on long-term outcomes is limited. The variability in case selection and reported end points are difficulties in interpreting results. Stapled hemorrhoidopexy has unique potential complications and is a less effective cure compared with hemorrhoidectomy. With this understanding, it may be offered to patients seeking a less painful alternative to conventional surgery. Hemorrhoidectomy remains the "gold standard" of treatment.