Forty-eight patients with third- or fourth-degree circular hemorrhoids were randomly assigned into two groups to receive either anal cushion resection or Milligan-Morgan hemorrhoidectomy. Comparison of the two approaches were conducted in terms of postoperative pain scores, operation time, wound healing time, mean hospital stay, incidence of postoperative complications and the curative effect. Results No significant difference was found in view of postoperative pain scores according to visual analogue scale between the 2 groups. The operative time of anal cushion resection was significantly longer than that of the other group, however, its wound healing time, mean hospital stay and incidence of postoperative complications were significantly less. Follow-up study for 3 months after operation found that anal cushion resection had significantly better curative effect than Milligan-Morgan hemorrhoidectomy. Conclusion Anal cushion resection is a safe and practical approach for third- or fourth-degree circular hemorrhoids.