Purpose: Surgery for hemorrhoidectomy remains a painful procedure despite advances in pain management. Gabapentin is widely used for control of acute and chronic pain. Our aim was to evaluate the effect of gabapentin on posthemorrhoidectomy pain and opioid use. Methods: A prospective, open-label study. Patients requiring hemorrhoid surgery were recruited to be in control (standard of care) or treatment group (standard of care plus daily gabapentin). Results: Twenty-one treatment and 18 control patients were recruited. One patient from study group and two patients from control group were excluded due to failure to follow up. Pain levels for gabapentin group were significantly lower on postoperative days 1, 7, and 14 compared to the standard treatment group (3.68 vs. 6.82 p < 0.01, 2.68 vs. 5 p = 0.02 and 0.75 vs. 3.64 p < 0.001 respectively). There was a trend toward less opioids taken in gabapentin group for postoperative days 1, 7, and 14 (4.69 vs. 6.36; 2.13 vs. 2.73, and 0.125 vs. 0.9) but it did not reach statistical significance. The average hemorrhoidal grade and number of hemorrhoidal complexes removed was slightly higher in gabapentin group. Five control group patients experienced postoperative complications versus two gabapentin group patients. No gabapentin related complications were seen in the treatment group. The average cost of gabapentin course was $5.34 per patient. Conclusions: Daily use of gabapentin in perioperative period significantly decreased reported levels of postoperative pain. This effective, inexpensive addition improves pain after hemorrhoid surgery. Randomized placebo-controlled studies would better define the usefulness of this medication for posthemorrhoidectomy pain.
- Colorectal surgery
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