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World J Gastroenterol. 2012 Aug 14;18(30):4059-63. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v18.i30.4059.

Excisional hemorrhoidal surgery and its effect on anal continence.

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Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310003, Zhejiang Province, China.



To investigate the role of anal cushions in hemorrhoidectomy and its effect on anal continence of the patients.


Seventy-six consecutive patients (33 men and 43 women) with a mean age of 44 years were included. They underwent Milligan-Morgan hemorrhoidectomy because of symptomatic third- and fourth-degree hemorrhoids and failure in conservative treatment for years. Wexner score was recorded and liquid continence test was performed for each patient before and two months after operation using the techniques described in our previous work. The speed-constant rectal lavage apparatus was prepared in our laboratory. The device could output a pulsed and speed-constant saline stream with a high pressure, which is capable of overcoming any rectal resistance change. The patients were divided into three groups, group A (< 900 mL), group B (900-1200 mL) and group C (> 1200 mL) according to the results of the preoperative liquid continence test.


All the patients completed the study. The average number of hemorrhoidal masses excised was 2.4. Most patients presented with hemorrhoidal symptoms for more than one year, including a mean duration of incontinence of 5.2 years. The most common symptoms before surgery were anal bleeding (n = 55), prolapsed lesion (n = 34), anal pain (n = 12) and constipation (n = 17). There were grade III hemorrhoids in 39 (51.3%) patients, and grade IV in 37 (48.7%) patients according to Goligher classification. Five patients had experienced hemorrhoid surgery at least once. Compared with postoperative results, the retained volume in the preoperative liquid continence test was higher in 40 patients, lower in 27 patients, and similar in the other 9 patients. The overall preoperative retained volume in the liquid continence test was 1130.61 ± 78.35 mL, and postoperative volume was slightly decreased (991.27 ± 42.77 mL), but there was no significant difference (P = 0.057). Difference was significant in the test value before and after hemorrhoidectomy in group A (858.24 ± 32.01 mL vs 574.18 ± 60.28 mL, P = 0.011), but no obvious difference was noted in group B or group C. There was no significant difference in Wexner score before and after operation (1.68 ± 0.13 vs 2.10 ± 0.17, P = 0.064). By further stratified analysis, there was significant difference before and 2 months after operation in group A (2.71 ± 0.30 vs 3.58 ± 0.40, P = 0.003). In contrast, there were no significant differences in group B or group C (1.89 ± 0.15 vs 2.11 ± 0.19, P = 0.179; 0.98 ± 0.11 vs 1.34 ± 0.19, P = 0.123).


There is no difference in the continence status of patients before and after Milligan-Morgan hemorrhoidectomy. However, patients with preoperative compromised continence may have further deterioration of their continence, hence Milligan-Morgan hemorrhoidectomy should be avoided in such patients.


Anal cushion; Anal incontinence; Hemorrhoidectomy; Liquids continence test; Wexner score

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