Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate early outcomes of ALTA (aluminum potassium sulfate and tannic acid, Ziohn*) injection compared with those of a submucosal hemorrhoidectomy for the treatment of internal hemorrhoids. Methods: From September 2008 to April 2009, a total of 50 patients who had internal hemorrhoids (Golliger grade II to IV) were treated by using either ALTA injection (n=25) or a submucosal hemorrhoidectomy (n=25). Outcomes with respect to pain scores, analgesics use, and satisfaction levels of the patients, and complications were compared. Results: The mean number of hemorrhoidal piles was 3.52 in the ALTA injection group and 3.56 in the operation group. The average amount of ALTA injection was 27.34 cc. Pain scores measured at one day and 7 days after the treatment, and the number of analgesics used in the injection group were significantly lower than those in the operation group (P<0.001). However, there was no significant difference in the satisfaction level between two groups. One case of treatment failure was found in the ALTA injection group. There was no difference in complications between the injection group (n=4) and the operation group (n=5) (P=0.725). Conclusion: When compared with a submucosal hemorrhoidectomy, ALTA injection showed less post-treatment pain and less analgesics use. Overall complication rates were not different between the two groups. We found the early outcomes of ALTA injection for the treatment of internal hemorrhoids to be comparable to those of surgery. Thus, large-scale and long-term follow-up studies are needed to clarify the proper indications for ALTA injection.
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