Randomized trial of rubber band ligation vs. stapled hemorrhoidectomy for prolapsed piles.
The introduction of stapled hemorrhoidectomy may replace local techniques such as rubber band ligation as a first-line treatment for Grade III and small Grade IV piles. We conducted a randomized trial to determine the role of rubber band ligation in the era of stapled hemorrhoidectomy. Fifty-five patients with Grade III or small Grade IV hemorrhoids were randomly allocated to either rubber band ligation or stapled hemorrhoidectomy. Patient demographics and procedure-related details were recorded. Follow-up was at two weeks and two and six months to assess complications, symptom relief, incontinence scores, quality of life, and patient satisfaction. Twenty-five patients were randomly assigned to rubber band ligation and 30 to stapled hemorrhoidectomy. The groups were equally matched for age, gender, grade of piles, continence scores, and quality of life. Stapled hemorrhoidectomy was associated with increased pain and analgesia usage at both 2-week and 2-month follow-up (P < 0.001). Rubber band ligation and stapled hemorrhoidectomy were equally effective in controlling symptomatic prolapse, but rubber band ligation was associated with an increased incidence of recurrent bleeding (P = 0.002). There were 6 procedure-related complications in the stapled hemorrhoidectomy group compared with none in the rubber band ligation group (P = 0.027). There was no difference between the two groups in terms of continence scores, patient satisfaction, or quality of life. Stapled hemorrhoidectomy is associated with more pain and minor morbidity than rubber band ligation in the treatment of Grade III and small Grade IV piles. However, for those patients who do not want the risk of further intervention procedures, stapled hemorrhoidectomy offers the better chance of a symptomatic cure.