(Hemorrhoid Ligation; Rubber Band Ligation for Hemorrhoids)
Hemorrhoids are enlarged, bulging blood vessels in the anus and lower rectum. Hemorrhoid banding is a procedure to remove them.
Reasons for Procedure
Banding is used to treat painful, swollen hemorrhoids. The procedure is most often done for the following reasons:
Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have hemorrhoid banding, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
Your doctor may do the following:
The procedure does not typically call for anesthesia. A local anesthesia may be used in some cases to numb the area.
Description of the Procedure
An anoscope will be inserted through the anus. The doctor will look through the tube to see inside the rectum and locate the hemorrhoid. The doctor will then use a special banding tool. The tool will place a small rubber band around the hemorrhoid. The band cuts off the blood supply. This will make the hemorrhoid fall off. More than one hemorrhoid may be banded. The band and the hemorrhoid will fall off in about 1-2 weeks.
How Long Will It Take?
This is a relatively quick procedure. The length of time depends on how many hemorrhoids need treatment.
Will It Hurt?
Patients often report some discomfort during and after this procedure. If you feel sharp or severe pain, tell the doctor immediately. Mild pain medicine will help you manage discomfort during recovery.
For a few days, you may have difficulty controlling the passage of gas and bowel movements. When you return home after the procedure, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
Expect some bleeding when the hemorrhoid falls off. See your doctor for a follow-up 3-4 weeks after the procedure.
Call Your Doctor
After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.
American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons
National Digestive Diseases Clearinghouse
Canadian Digestive Health Foundation
American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.fascrs.org/ .
Last reviewed October 2012 by Peter Lucas, MD