BACKGROUND: Hemorrhoidectomy is associated with postoperative pain and prolonged wound healing. Glyceryl trinitrate has been shown to decrease muscle spasm and increase anodermal blood flow. A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of topical glyceryl trinitrate application in pain relief after hemorrhoidectomy.

METHODS: PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, Scopus, and ClinicalTrials.gov registries were searched for studies published before August 2015. Individual effect sizes were standardized, and a meta-analysis was conducted to calculate a pooled effect size using random effects models. Pain was assessed using a visual analog scale on days 1, 3, 7, and 14 after operation. Secondary outcomes included time taken to resume routine activities, wound healing at 3 weeks after operation, complication, and headache incidence.

RESULTS: A total of 12 trials with 1095 patients were reviewed. Significant pain reduction was observed on days 1, 3, 7, and 14 after hemorrhoidectomy in the glyceryl trinitrate groups. Glyceryl trinitrate-treated patients appeared to resume routine activities earlier than those in the control group (weight mean difference -7.52; 95% confidence interval: 16.13-1.08). The wound healing rates 3 weeks after operation were significant higher in the glyceryl trinitrate-treated groups than in the control group (risk ratio 1.79; 95% confidence interval: 1.38-2.33). However, the incidence of headache significantly increased in the glyceryl trinitrate group (risk ratio 3.68; 95% confidence interval: 1.62-8.34).

CONCLUSION: Topical application of glyceryl trinitrate effectively relieves pain and promotes wound healing after hemorrhoidectomy; however, the substantial headache incidence may limit extensive application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-224
Number of pages10
JournalWorld Journal of Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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