Evaluation of Transanal Hemorrhoidal Dearterialization as a Minimally Invasive Therapeutic Approach to Hemorrhoids

Ratto C., Donisi L., Parello A., Litta F., Doglietto G.B.
Dis. Colon Rectum. 2010; 53 (5): 803-811

Transanal hemorrhoidal dearterialization (THD) is an innovative technique to treat hemorrhoids using a specially designed proctoscope for Doppler-guided transanal ligation of hemorrhoidal arteries. We analyzed results of experience at a single-institution with this THD device.

Overall, 170 patients were submitted to THD during the period July 2005 through October 2008. The operation consisted of hemorrhoidal dearterialization (of 6 arteries) in all patients, with major mucosal/submucosal pexy in 56 patients (32.9%). The first consecutive 11 patients (6.4%) were treated under general/spinal anesthesia, the remaining 159 (93.6%) by sedation with propofol, supported by analgesia with remifentanil. Following THD surgery, patients were regularly evaluated at 2 weeks, 1 and 3 months, and once a year after operation.

The mean age of the 170 patients was 47.3 ± 13.0 years; 102 (60%) were men. Hemorrhoidal disease was grade II in 13 (7.6%); grade III in 141 (82.7%), and grade IV in 16 (9.6%). Postoperative bleeding requiring surgical hemostasis occurred in 2 cases (1.2%). Mean follow-up was 11.5 ± 12 (range, 1-41) months. Hemorrhoidal thrombosis occurred in 4 patients (2.3%), chronic pain and fecal incontinence in none. Hemorrhoidal prolapse was reported at follow-up by 50 patients (29.5%), but prolapse was confirmed only in 18 (10.5%) and was mild; some patients reporting prolapse were found to have skin tags. Overall, long-term control of bleeding was obtained in 159 patients (93.5%) and control of prolapse in 152 (89.5%). Recurrence of hemorrhoidal disease requiring surgery was found in 7 patients (4.1%).

THD appears to be a very effective minimally invasive option to treat hemorrhoids and can be performed in a day-surgery setting. Future controlled trials comparing THD with other procedures will show the real potential of THD and define adequate indications for this approach.