- Chris Morris
- Oct 12, 2016
- 3427 Views
A Scottish trial on haemorrhoids treatment could save the NHS millions of pounds, it has been claimed.
Results of the five year study, jointly sponsored by NHS Highland and the Aberdeen University, have been published in The Lancet journal.
The trial was run by Professor Angus Watson, consultant colorectal surgeon for NHS Highland and honorary clinical senior lecturer at Aberdeen University.
Watson said the study team recruited 777 patients from 32 UK hospitals in order to conduct a comparison between the two most common surgical treatments for haemorrhoidal disease.
A stapled haemorrhoidopexy (SH) involves using a surgical stapler that removes a ring of tissue above the haemorrhoids to reduce the swelling and the blood supply to the piles.
The second one is a traditional surgery (TH) which uses electro-cautery to physically cut out the haemorrhoids.
Commenting on the results, Watson noted that previous research was conspicuous by its absence.
“There was very little robust economic data as to how much the surgeries cost the NHS or the patients.”
The eTHoS (either Traditional Haemorrhoidectomy or Stapled) trial compared the two procedures.
The trial showed that over 24 months the quality of life experienced by patients after surgery was better after TH.
It is also notable that this an affordable treatment.
The cost of the treatment was cheaper by £337 and patients who had received the TH had fewer pile symptoms over two years.
Patients who had SH were almost twice as likely to report the presence of pile symptoms compared with patients who had undergone TH.
Professor Watson suggested that the results of the experiment could be valuable for the NHS as a whole, both in terms of better results and economic savings.
“If the results of the trial are adopted across the UK and further afield, patients will have better results after traditional surgery and its use may potentially save the NHS millions of pounds every year.”
Half the UK population will suffer from haemorrhoids at some point in their lives.
Traditional surgical treatment involves excision of the piles and is effective, but with considerable post-operative pain.
Research has suggested that in the United Kingdom, haemorrhoids affect 13%-36% of the general population.
However, this estimation may be higher than actual prevalence because the community-based studies mainly relied on self-reporting and patients may attribute any anorectal symptoms to haemorrhoids.