Hemorrhoid banding is a procedure used to treat internal hemorrhoids. It works by placing rubber bands on the base of hemorrhoids, which cut off its blood supply. Hemorrhoids then shrink and slough off in about 1 week.
The procedure can be performed in the doctor’s office or in the ambulatory endoscopy center. It can be performed in conjunction with other procedures such as an endoscopy or colonoscopy. The only preparation that is sometimes required is an enema before the procedure unless the hemorrhoid banding is being done with a colonoscopy in which case the colonoscopy preparation is adequate.
Patients are placed on their left side. The procedure can be performed with or without intravenous sedation. An endoscope with the attached hemorrhoid banding device is inserted through the anal canal. The rubber bands are then deployed on the internal hemorrhoids. The procedure takes about 5 to 10 minutes.
The procedure is generally well tolerated by patients. Pain around the anus is common and can last a few days. Bleeding from the anus can occur up to 7 to 10 days after the procedure, but usually will stop on its own without any further treatment. After hemorrhoid banding, physicians generally will advise patients to take stool softeners and fiber supplements to prevent straining and constipation, which can aggravate hemorrhoids. To relieve any discomfort from the procedure, patients can take a sitz bath (sit in warm tub of water for 15 minutes) and mild pain relievers to relieve any discomfort from the procedure.
Risks from rubber band ligation of hemorrhoids are low, but can include bleeding or infection at the anus, anorectal pain, or a temporary inability to urinate.
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