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Volume 84 - 2021 - Fasc.1 - Expert Point of View

Belgian consensus guideline on the management of hemorrhoidal disease

Introduction: Hemorrhoidal disease is a common problem that arises when hemorrhoidal structures become engorged and/or prolapse through the anal canal. Both conservative and invasive treatment options are diverse and guidance to their implementation is lacking. Methods: A Delphi consensus process was used to review current literature and draft relevant statements. These were reconciliated until sufficient agreement was reached. The grade of evidence was determined. These guidelines were based on the published literature up to June 2020. Results: Hemorrhoids are normal structures within the anorectal region. When they become engorged or slide down the anal canal, symptoms can arise. Every treatment for symptomatic hemorrhoids should be tailored to patient profile and expectations. For low-grade hemorrhoids, conservative treatment should consist of fiber supplements and can include a short course of venotropics. Instrumental treatment can be added case by case : infrared coagulation or rubber band ligation when prolapse is more prominent. For prolapsing hemorrhoids, surgery can be indicated for refractory cases. Conventional hemorrhoidectomy is the most efficacious intervention for all grades of hemorrhoids and is the only choice for non-reducible prolapsing hemorrhoids. Conclusions: The current guidelines for the management of hemorrhoidal disease include recommendations for the clinical evaluation of hemorrhoidal disorders, and their conservative, instrumental and surgical management.