The guidelines offer a weak recommendation of 2C, based on the lack of quality evidence, for the use of early surgical excision to treat patients with thrombosed external hemorrhoids. “Although most patients treated nonoperatively will experience eventual resolution of their symptoms, excision of thrombosed external hemorrhoids may result in more rapid symptom resolution, lower incidence of recurrence, and longer remission intervals,” the committee noted.
Surgical hemorrhoidectomy received the strongest possible recommendation (1A, based on high-quality evidence) for the treatment of patients with external hemorrhoids or a combination of internal and external hemorrhoids with prolapse.
Surgical options described in the recommendations include surgical excision (hemorrhoidectomy), hemorrhoidopexy, and Doppler-guided hemorrhoidectomy, with citations of studies on each procedure. Data from a meta-analysis of 18 randomized prospective studies comparing hemorrhoidectomy with office-based procedures showed that hemorrhoidectomy was “the most effective treatment for patients with grade III hemorrhoids,” but it was associated with greater pain and complication rates, according to the guidelines.
However, complications in general are low after surgical hemorrhoidectomy, with reported complication rates of 1%-2% for the most common complication of postprocedure hemorrhage, the guidelines state. After surgery, the guidelines recommend with a 1B grade (moderate quality evidence) that patients use “a multimodality pain regimen to reduce narcotic usage and promote a faster recovery.”