• Vol. 27 No. 4, 512–514
  • 15 July 1998

Ambulatory Anorectal Surgery—Is it Feasible Locally?



Currently, anorectal procedures are done in an inpatient setting in most local hospitals. This study examines the feasibility of performing these procedures in an outpatient setting.

Patients (age range 16 to 65 years) with anorectal complaints requiring surgery were randomized into 2 groups of 40 patients each. Procedures performed included haemorrhoidectomy, fistulotomy, lateral sphincterectomy, excision of rectal polyps and examination under anaesthesia. The first group was managed in the conventional inpatient setting with regional anaesthesia. The second group was done on an ambulatory basis with local anal block. Intravenous and oral ketorolac was used for postoperative pain control and patients were discharged about 4 hours postoperatively.

No complications were noted in the second group while the first group had 2 cases of acute urine retention requiring temporary catheterisation and 2 cases of significant bleeding requiring hospitalisation. Pain and satisfaction scores for both groups were similar.

Anorectal surgery can be performed in an outpatient setting locally with safety and efficacy. The cost savings can be significant.

Economic and social pressures are compelling surgeons to modify their practice. An increasing number of procedures are being done in an outpatient setting.

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