Hemorrhoid Banding

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What is hemorrhoid banding?

Hemorrhoids are enlarged veins in the lower rectum or anus. A hemorrhoid can occur within the rectum (internally) or on the anus (externally). It typically develops when the vein walls in the rectum or anus become so thin that the veins bulge or protrude. In some cases, a blood clot will form in the hemorrhoid (thrombosed hemorrhoid) and can cause pain.

If a hemorrhoid begins to become too painful or is causing other health complications, then it might need to be removed. One procedure commonly used to remove internal hemorrhoids is hemorrhoid banding, also known as rubber band ligation. At GI Alliance, our physician-led network of gastroenterologists commonly treat hemorrhoids with hemorrhoid banding procedures.

What are the benefits of hemorrhoid banding?

If you have hemorrhoids, you presumably have dealt with the associated effects, such as itching, pain, and blood in the stool. Hemorrhoid banding at a GI Alliance location can be an effective nonsurgical treatment for various reasons. Primary benefits of rubber band ligation procedures involve:

  • Nonsurgical process: Since hemorrhoid banding is a nonsurgical treatment option, you do not have to worry about surgical difficulties or long recovery times. This procedure is safe and generally allows you to return to your normal daily routine.
  • Nearly painless: While you might notice minor discomfort during the procedure, it should not cause pain as the hemorrhoid becomes smaller and falls off.
  • Long-lasting: Though at-home solutions, including creams, baths, or medicated pads, might relieve smaller types of hemorrhoids, these generally only address the symptom and not the actual cause. Hemorrhoid banding treatment offers a longer-lasting solution.

How is hemorrhoid banding performed?

Hemorrhoid banding is a procedure in which blood flow to the hemorrhoid is interrupted by placing a rubber band at its base. Over time, the hemorrhoid will shrink and then die. A scar will form in the place of the hemorrhoid, preventing nearby veins from bulging or creating further hemorrhoids within the area.

Hemorrhoid banding is accomplished by placing an anoscope into the anus. The physician then secures the hemorrhoid and uses an instrument to position a band around the base of the hemorrhoid. Hemorrhoid banding is typically limited to treating one or two hemorrhoids at a time unless the patient is placed under anesthesia.

What happens after a hemorrhoid banding procedure?

Depending on the patient, the recovery and process after hemorrhoid banding can differ. Some patients are able to resume regular activities almost immediately after the procedure, while others need a couple of days of bed rest to recover. Pain is common for up to 48 hours after hemorrhoid banding and bleeding might occur for up to 10 days after the procedure.

Our GI Alliance gastroenterology team will provide detailed aftercare instructions to follow once the hemorrhoid banding procedure is complete. To reduce the risk of bleeding, it is important to avoid taking aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for four days before or after the procedure. To reduce pressure in the rectum, it is recommended that patients drink plenty of fluids and eat a diet high in fiber to help ensure smooth bowel movements.

A non-surgical approach to hemorrhoid treatment

Hemorrhoid banding is a non-surgical treatment commonly performed by a board-certified gastroenterologist. Our GI specialists offer this routine procedure at GI Alliance facilities across the nation and have helped thousands of patients find relief from hemorrhoid symptoms. If you suffer from hemorrhoids, please contact a GI Alliance office in your community to learn more about hemorrhoid banding or to locate a gastroenterologist near you.

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How should I prepare for hemorrhoid banding?

In most cases, there is not anything you need to do to prepare for your hemorrhoid banding procedure. Your GI specialist will most likely ask you about any prescribed and over-the-counter medications and/or health supplements you take, so you may want to have a list written down. Following the procedure, you might need a friend or family member to help with daily tasks to reduce the risk of causing excess strain while you recover. Additionally, it is essential to follow any pre- and post-treatment guidelines given by your GI Alliance provider.

Is hemorrhoid banding a safe process?

Like many other procedures, there is a slight risk involved with hemorrhoid banding, including recurring hemorrhoids, bleeding, and infection. Bear in mind, though, our GI specialists take precautions to avoid as many risks as possible. We will work with you to help set you up for success throughout your recovery.

Can I go back to work after hemorrhoid banding?

In most instances, it is fine to return to work after hemorrhoid banding. Our GI specialists suggest that you do not perform manual labor or strenuous activity following your procedure; however, if you have a desk job, you can typically go back to work after the treatment.

Does hemorrhoid banding cause discomfort?

Your provider’s objective is to help you be as comfortable as possible, no matter the reason for your visit. We will use a numbing agent to reduce pain, but you might experience slight discomfort during and after your hemorrhoid banding.

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