The ligasure technique is superior in terms of patient tolerance, but long term risk of recurrence of hemorrhoids needs to be evaluated.

Hemorrhoidectomy is a frequently performed surgical procedure. The excisional technique is regarded to be the first choice for grade III and IV or recurrent hemorrhoids. As conventional hemorrhoidectomy is associated with postprocedural pain, modifications have been proposed to diminish this complication. An example is the use of the Ligasure as coagulation between the forceps only with high frequency currency and active feedback control over the power output has minimal thermal spread and limited tissue charring. This could result in a decreased incidence of postoperative pain.

Authors' conclusions: 

Since the usage of the Ligasure technique results in significantly less immediate postoperative pain after hemoroidectomy without any adverse effect on postoperative complications, convalescence and incontinence-rate, this technique is superior in terms of patient tolerance. Although there was a tendency for equal efficacy, more evaluation of the long-term risk of recurrent hemorrhoidal disease is required.

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Background: 

Hemorrhoidectomy is a frequently performed surgical procedure and associated with postprocedural pain. The use of the Ligasure could result in a decreased incidence of pain as coagulation with high frequency currency and active feedback control over the power output has minimal thermal spread and limited tissue charring.

Objectives: 

To compare patient tolerance focussing on pain following Ligasure and conventional hemorrhoidectomy in patients with symptomatic hemorrhoids.

Search strategy: 

A multi-database (MEDLINE, EMBASE, CENTRAL and CINAHL) systematic search was conducted. Key journals were handsearched. There was no restriction on language.

Selection criteria: 

Randomized controlled trials comparing hemorroidectomy using the Ligasure-technique with conventional diathermy techniques for symptomatic hemorrhoids in adult patients were included.

Data collection and analysis: 

Two reviewers independently extracted data, assessed trial quality and resolved discrepancies together with a third party. Odd Ratios were generated for dichotomous variables. Weight Mean Differences were used for analysing continuous variables. Only random effects models were used. Heterogeneity was explored by sensitvity analysis.

Main results: 

Twelve studies with 1142 patients met the inclusion criteria. The pain score at the first day following surgery was significantly less in the Ligasure group (10 studies, 835 patients, WMD -2.07 CI -2.77 to -1.38). Most outcomes concerning analgesics used (7 studies) and pain scores up to 7 days (5 studies) favoured the Ligasure-technique. The benefit was diminished at day 14 (VAS pain score, 4 studies, 183 patients, WMD -0.12 CI -0.37 to 0.12). The conventional technique took significantly longer to complete (11 trials, 9.15 minutes, CI 3.21 to 15.09). There was no relevant difference in postoperative complications, symptoms of recurrent bleeding or incontinence at final follow-up. Hospital stay was similar for both groups (6 reports, 525 patients, WMD -0.19 CI -0.63 to 0.24). Patients treated with the Ligasure-technique returned to work significantly earlier (4 studies, 451 patients, 4.88 days, CI 2.18 to 7.59). Sensitivity analysis on high quality studies, fixed effects models, open or closed conventional techniques revealed no clinical relevant different results.

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