Hemorrhoidectomy in Patients with Grade III or IV Disease: Harmonic Scalpel Compared With Conventional Closed Technique.
Background: Harmonic scalpel (Ultracision) is a device that simultaneously cuts and coagulates soft tissues through ultrasonic vibration. In this study we aimed to determine the operative and postoperative characteristics of hemorrhoidectomy using the harmonic scalpel compared with the conventional closed technique.
Methods and Findings: Patients with grade III or IV hemorrhoids, operated between 2010 and 2013, using the harmonic scalpel (n=21) or the conventional closed technique (n=42) were included in the study. Exclusion criteria were thrombosed or strangulated hemorrhoids, concomitant perianal disease, history of recurrent perianal surgery and known tendency for bleeding. Patient characteristics, duration of operation, complications, postoperative pain measured on a visual analog scale (VAS), hospital stay, and return to regular activity were compared between the two groups retrospectively.
Patient characteristics (female:male ratio, mean age, hemorrhoid grade, and symptom duration) were similar between the two groups. Harmonic scalpel and conventional hemorrhoidectomy patients did not differ significantly in terms of VAS score of pain, complications, hospital stay or return to regular activity. However, duration of operation was significantly shorter with harmonic scalpel (24.2 vs. 36.2 min, p<0.05).
Conclusion: There is no clear evidence to support the routine use of harmonic scalpel system in hemorrhoid surgery.
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