To compare Doppler-guided hemorrhoidal artery ligation (DGHAL) with circular stapled hemorrhoidopexy (SH) in the treatment of grade II/III hemorrhoidal disease (HD).Background:
DGHAL is a treatment option for symptomatic HD; existing studies report limited risk and satisfactory outcomes. DGHAL has never before been compared with SH in a large-scale multi-institutional randomized clinical trial.Methods:
Three hundred ninety-three grade II/III HD patients recruited in 22 centers from 2010 to 2013 were randomized to DGHAL (n = 197) or SH (n = 196). The primary endpoint was operative-related morbidity at 3 months (D.90) based on the Clavien-Dindo surgical complications grading. Total cost, cost-effectiveness, and clinical outcome were assessed at 1 year.Results:
At D.90, operative-related adverse events occurred after DGHAL and SH, respectively, in 47 (24%) and 50 (26%) patients (P = 0.70). DGHAL resulted in longer mean operating time (44±16 vs 30±14 min; P < 0.001), less pain (postoperative and at 2 wks visual analogic scale: 2.2 vs 2.8; 1.3 vs 1.9; P = 0.03; P = 0.013) and shorter sick leave (12.3 vs 14.8 d; P = 0.045). At 1 year, DGHAL led to more residual grade III HD (15% vs 5%) and a higher reoperation rate (8% vs 4%). Patient satisfaction was >90% for both procedures. Total cost at 1 year was greater for DGHAL [€2806 (€2670; 2967) vs €2538 (€2386; 2737)]. The D.90, incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) was €7192 per averted complication. At 1 year DGHAL strategy was dominated.Conclusions:
DGHAL and SH are viable options in grade II/III HD with no significant difference in operative-related risk. Although resulting in less postoperative pain and shorter sick leave, DGHAL was more expensive, took longer, and provided a possible inferior anatomical correction suggesting an increased risk of recurrence.