Forty-nine consecutive patients with symptomatic prolapsed hemorrhoids were prospectively randomized for conventional scissors excision with ligation (Group A; n = 16) or diathermy excision without ligation (Group B; n = 33). The median time taken to complete the procedure was 20 minutes (range, 10-40 minutes) and 10 minutes (range, 5-35 minutes) in Groups A and B, respectively (P<0.05). Length of hospital stay was similar in both groups, with a median of three days and a range of two to five days. The median length of follow-up was 35 weeks (range, 20-50 weeks) and 35 weeks (range, 20-51 weeks) for Groups A and B, respectively. There was no statistical difference in the severity of postoperative pain between the two groups. The use of postoperative oral analgesics was significantly lower in Group B (P<0.02), but there was no significant difference in the demand for intramuscular or topical analgesics. Diathermy excision of hemorrhoids is significantly faster than scissors excision, there is less bleeding, the vascular pedicles need not be ligated, and there is significant reduction in the requirement for oral analgesics postoperatively without any increase in early or late postoperative complications.