Rubber Band Ligation Of Hemorrhoids
It is a procedure in which the hemorrhoid is tied off at its base with rubber bands, cutting off the blood flow to the hemorrhoid.
To perform the procedure, a doctor inserts a viewing instrument (anoscope) into the anus. The hemorrhoid is grasped with an instrument, and a device places a rubber band around the base of the hemorrhoid. The hemorrhoid then shrinks and dies and, in about a week, falls off.
A scar will form in place of the hemorrhoid, holding nearby veins so they don't bulge into the anal canal.
After the procedure, you may feel pain and have a sensation of fullness in the lower abdomen. Or you may feel as if you need to have a bowel movement.
Treatment is limited to 1 to 2 hemorrhoids at a time if done in the doctor's office. Several hemorrhoids may be treated at one time if the person has general anesthesia. Additional areas may be treated at 4- to 6-week intervals.
What To Expect After Treatment
People respond differently to this procedure. Some are able to return to regular activities (but avoid heavy lifting) almost immediately. Others may need 2 to 3 days of bed rest.
Pain is likely for 24 to 48 hours after rubber band ligation. You may use acetaminophen (for example, Tylenol) and sit in a shallow tub of warm water (sitz bath) for 15 minutes at a time to relieve discomfort.
To reduce the risk of bleeding, avoid taking aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for 4 to 5 days both before and after rubber band ligation.
Bleeding may occur 7 to 10 days after surgery, when the hemorrhoid falls off. Bleeding is usually slight and stops by itself.
Doctors recommend that you take stool softeners containing fiber and drink more fluids to ensure smooth bowel movements. Straining during bowel movements can cause hemorrhoids to come back.
Why It Is Done
Rubber band ligation is the most widely used treatment for internal hemorrhoids. If symptoms persist after three or four treatments, surgery may be considered.
Rubber band ligation cannot be used if there is not enough tissue to pull into the banding device. This procedure is almost never appropriate for fourth-degree hemorrhoids .
How Well It Works
Rubber band ligation works for about 7 to 9 out of 10 people who have it. People who have this treatment are less likely to need another treatment compared to people who have coagulation treatments. About 1 out of 10 people may need surgery.
Risks: Side effects are rare but include:
- Severe pain that does not respond to the methods of pain relief used after this procedure. The bands may be too close to the area in the anal canal that contains pain sensors.
- Bleeding from the anus.
- Inability to pass urine (urinary retention).
- Infection in the anal area.