The hemorrhoid laser procedure with suture-pexy (HeLPexx), consisting of Doppler-guided hemorrhoidal dearterialization with laser and the addition of anal mucopexy, is a novel non-excisional procedure to treat hemorrhoids. The aim of the present study was to describe the technique and report the clinical and long-term results.
A prospective study was conducted on patients with grade III hemorrhoids who had HeLPexx from January 2012 to February 2018. Pre- and postoperative assessment included a thorough clinical examination, constipation and incontinence scoring systems and a symptom questionnaire which was administered at all patients before surgery and at each follow-up visit to evaluate bleeding, prolapse, manual reduction, discomfort or pain, and impact on quality of life. Each symptom had a score between 0 and 4, (0 indicates no symptoms and 4 indicates daily symptoms). The sum of the score for each symptom constituted the Hemorrhoid Symptom Score. Resolution of symptoms, pain, morbidity, need for further medical and/or surgical therapy were also recorded.
One hundred and seventy consecutive patients with grade III hemorrhoids [74 females; mean age 49.5 years (range 22-79) years] were included. Median length of follow-up was 36 (range 12-72) months. Postoperative morbidity included urinary retention (7 patients, 4.1%), bleeding not requiring transfusion (1 patient, 0.6%) and thrombosis of hemorrhoidal piles (2 patients, 1.2%). The mean postoperative pain VAS score at 1 week postoperatively was 1.8 ± 1.1 (range 0-5) and 12 (7%) patients used pain medications for more than 1 week postoperatively while none of the patients reported any pain by the end of the third week postoperatively. The Hemorrhoid Symptom Score significantly improved from 15.83 ± 3.04 to 1.3 ± 2.4 (p ≤ 0.001) and showed a statistically significant improvement in all items. Recurrent symptoms were reported in 12 patients (7%) who required further treatment. Severe chronic constipation prior to surgery was found to be a predictive factor of failure (p = 0.04).
HeLPexx appears to be safe and effective for treatment of symptomatic hemorrhoids. Further studies are needed to confirm our results.