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Research Article

Prospective randomised comparison of photocoagulation and rubber band ligation in treatment of haemorrhoids.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983; 286 doi: (Published 30 April 1983) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983;286:1389
  1. N S Ambrose,
  2. M M Hares,
  3. J Alexander-Williams,
  4. M R Keighley


    Two hundred and sixty eight patients with haemorrhoids were allocated at random to treatment by either photocoagulation (group 1, n=141) or rubber band ligation (group 2, n=127) and followed up for one year. There was no significant difference in the symptomatic outcome of treatment between the two groups at one, four, or 12 months, irrespective of whether first or second degree haemorrhoids were treated. Side effects of treatment (bleeding or severe pain) were significantly more common after rubber band ligation (n=11) than after photocoagulation (n=2; p less than 0.01). Further outpatient treatment, however, was required significantly more often after photocoagulation (n=23) than rubber band ligation (n=6) (p greater than 0.02), and 19 patients (14 in group 1 and five in group 2; NS) subsequently had a haemorrhoidectomy. At one year 26 of 103 patients were dissatisfied after photocoagulation compared with 20 of 88 after rubber band ligation. Photocoagulation is a safe and comfortable treatment which gives long term results that are as good as those of rubber band ligation. Complications are more common after rubber band ligation, but further treatment is required more commonly after photocoagulation.