Providing compassionate, patient-centered gastroenterology care to the Greater Piedmont Triad area.

What is Hemorrhoid Banding?

What are hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the lower rectum that may cause discomfort.  There are two types: external or internal.  External hemorrhoids tend to be painful, whereas internal hemorrhoids tend to cause symptoms such as: itching, bleeding, swelling, prolapse, and/or leakage.

What causes them?

While there are factors that can contribute to their formation, they can affect any adult, at any time.  Examples of things that may trigger them include lack of fiber in your diet, sitting for extended periods of time on the toilet, improper lifting, pregnancy, family history, etc.

Is hemorrhoid banding right for me?

If you are someone with symptomatic internal hemorrhoids experiencing itching, bleeding, swelling, prolapse, or leakage, hemorrhoid banding may be a good option for you. The in-office procedure only takes minutes, is minimally invasive, and is a generally pain-free alternative to surgery.

How does it work?

It involves your provider inserting a small, smooth-tipped tool (called a ligator) in the anal canal, applying gentle suction, and releasing a small rubber band around the base of the tissue. The technique is meant to cut off the blood supply to the hemorrhoid/tissue, causing it to wither and drop off on its own. The banded tissue typically falls off within a few days.  You may not even notice when this happens, since it usually passes at the same time as a bowel movement.

Only one hemorrhoid is banded per visit, and most patients require at least 3 bandings (one banding every two weeks) unless symptoms resolve sooner.

How do you prepare?

There is no prep or sedation required for this procedure. There is no recovery time, and most patients return to work the same day.

What happens afterwards?

After the band is placed, you will remain in the office for approximately 10 minutes to feel for any discomfort. If you are experiencing any, the band will be readjusted. It is completely normal to feel fullness in the rectum after the banding.

There may be some light bleeding immediately following the procedure but this is typically from the hemorrhoid and not the banding procedure itself. There may be additional light bleeding for 5-7 days after the procedure due to the tissue falling off.

Post-Banding Advice:

During the healing period, you should avoid heavy lifting and sitting for more than 2-3 hours at a time. Consider taking a fiber supplement and increasing your water intake to encourage easy bowel movements. Only spend 2-3 minutes on the commode, and if you are unsuccessful passing bowel movement, try again at a later time.

Final thoughts…

If you aren’t sure if you qualify for hemorrhoid banding, we recommend scheduling a consultation. In many cases, the consultation and banding can occur during the same appointment. Our experienced team at GAP has special training to perform this technique and can help establish the best plan of care for your situation.

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