Background: In the past, most people sought medical information by consulting health
care professionals. Nowadays, many people started to use online resources to access medical information.
Objective: The study aims to investigate whether YouTube videos on hemorrhoids and hemorrhoid
surgery can be a useful e-learning source for the general population, surgical trainees and specialists.
Methods: A YouTube search was performed in October 2019 using the keywords “hemorrhoids”
and “hemorrhoid surgery”, and the videos were divided into 2 groups according to the keywords.
Three independent researchers assessed the metadata and classified them according to the level of
accuracy (hemorrhoid group) and the level of usefulness (hemorrhoid surgery group). Cohen’s test
and Kappa (K) value were used to evaluate the inter-investigators agreement.
Results: A total of 200 videos were analyzed, 100 for each keyword. Regarding the hemorrhoid
group, 43 videos (48.3%) were misleading, 9 were accurate (10.1%), 18 were approximate
(20.2%), and 19 were considered a personal experience (21.4%). Regarding the hemorrhoid
surgery group, around 60% of the videos were lacking a clear explanation, while about 16% were
inaccurate. Only the remaining 24% were considered useful for teaching.
Conclusion: Around half of the YouTube videos regarding hemorrhoids topic were found to be
misleading or inaccurate and present a risk of harmful consequences. Credible videos with accurate
information need to be uploaded by medical professionals and medical institutions and some sort
of filtering, using categories by the staff of YouTube, appears to be necessary. Care must be taken
to produce clear, high-quality operative clips with proper scientific commentary.