The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Aloe vera following hemorrhoidectomy

    Researchers at Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, in Iran studied Aloe vera cream to reduce pain and promote healing.

    First, the details.

    • 49 patients were assigned to a treatment group for 4 weeks after hemorrhoidectomy.
      • Aloe vera cream applied by patients to the surgical site 3 times per day
      • Placebo cream
    • Pain was assessed with a visual analogue scale (VAS) immediately after surgery, 12, 24, and 48 hours after surgery, and at weeks 2 and 4.
    • Wound healing was evaluated at the end of 2 and 4 weeks.
    • The use of pain medicine was recorded.
    • Neither the patients nor researchers knew the treatment given — double blind.

    And, the results.

    • Topically applied aloe cream was associated with significant changes in the following areas.
      • Less pain after surgery: 12, 24, and 48 hours, and at 2 weeks.
      • Reduced pain after defecation: 24 and 48 hours after surgery.
      • Greater wound healing: 2 weeks after surgery vs placebo.
      • Fewer additional pain meds after hemorrhoidectomy were used.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “Application of Aloe vera cream on the surgical site is effective in reducing postoperative pain both on resting and during defecation, healing time, and analgesic requirements in the patients compared with the placebo group.”

    This is the first study on the use of Aloe vera following surgical removal of hemorrhoids. Another treatment option, in addition to pain meds, is sitz bath. It might be interesting to see the results of a comparative study.

    Ms. Assunta Hunter at the Australian Centre for Complementary Medicine Education and Research [ACCMER], in Australia, has written a succinct review of Aloe vera. You can read it here.

    7/21/10 20:27 JR

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