Hemorrhoid banding is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat symptomatic hemorrhoids in which the hemorrhoid is tied off at its base with rubber bands, cutting off the blood flow. The procedure can be used to treat both internal and external symptoms.
Hemorrhoid banding is the most widely used and effective treatment for symptomatic hemorrhoids. To do this, a doctor inserts a viewing instrument into the anus. Using gentle suction, the hemorrhoid is grasped and a device places a rubber band around the base of the hemorrhoid. Hemorrhoid then shrinks and, in a few days, falls off. A scar will form in place of a hemorrhoid, holding nearby veins so they no longer bulge into the anal canal.
What to Expect
The procedure takes place in our office and lasts roughly 60 seconds. You can expect your total visit to last between 15-30 minutes. The procedure itself is painless; during the first 24 hours, you may experience a feeling of fullness or a dull ache in the rectum, but over-the-counter pain medication will provide sufficient relief.
If you have multiple hemorrhoids, you’ll likely need to come back to treat each one separately. This will allow your doctor to monitor your treatment and ensure the complication rate is kept to an absolute minimum.
Before the procedure, you should tell your doctor about any prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, or herbal supplements you use.
If you are having anesthesia, you may need to avoid eating or drinking for several hours before the procedure. Consult with your doctor to find out if you need to fast.
While the procedure is straightforward, it is always a good idea to have a ride home after hemorrhoid banding. To avoid straining, which could lead to complications, you might also benefit from having someone stay with you and help around for a day or two after the procedure.
Recovery from Hemorrhoid Banding
A few days after the procedure, you may experience:
- flatulence (passing gas)
- abdominal swelling
- abdominal discomfort
Your doctor may recommend taking a laxative to help prevent bloating and constipation; stool softeners may also help.
Frequently Asked Questions about Hemorrhoid Banding
Do I need hemorrhoid banding?
You may benefit from hemorrhoid banding if you have large hemorrhoids that are not responding to non-surgical treatment. Doctors always recommend patients try lifestyle and diet changes first, of course, but banding is an effective solution when conservative approaches fail.
What should I try before hemorrhoid banding?
Before considering hemorrhoid banding, try these home remedies:
- Topical treatments - suppositories or over-the-counter creams containing hydrocortisone may help shrink hemorrhoids
- A high-fiber diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains helps soften stools, which makes the stool easier to pass and helps prevent straining that can worsen hemorrhoid symptoms
- A warm bath or sitz bath – simply soaking your anal area in plain warm water for about 10 to 15 minutes, two to three times per day, can help
- Oral pain relievers, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin can provide temporary pain relief
Is hemorrhoid banding painful?
There are no nerve endings at the base of the hemorrhoid, which means hemorrhoid banding is virtually painless.
What should I eat following hemorrhoid banding?
Your doctor might recommend a clear liquid diet for a day following the procedure. Clear liquids include broth, juice, and clear soda.
In the days that follow, add in foods that are high in fiber, such as beans, broccoli, berries, and whole grains. Avoid foods known to cause constipation, such as processed foods, red meat, and dairy.
How long does it take to recover from hemorrhoid banding?
Recovery time from hemorrhoid banding depends largely on the individual patient and the technique used. Hemorrhoids will fall off a few days after the procedure, but it will take one to two full weeks for the treated tissue to heal.
Can I return to work or other normal activities after hemorrhoid banding?
As long as your job or other activities do not involve heavy lifting, you may be able to return to your normal routine after the procedure. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen, should be enough to manage discomfort. Consult with your doctor for more information on when you can resume your normal activities.