Rubber Band Ligation of Haemorrhoids
Rubber band ligation (often called ‘banding of haemorrhoids’) is a non-surgical procedure for the treatment of small, internal haemorrhoids. Small rubber bands are placed tightly over the haemorrhoids, which shrivel away over a few days. It may be combined with injection of sclerosing substance into the haemorrhoid.
HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR THE PROCEDURE?
There is no special preparation for this treatment. You can eat and drink normally before it.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE PROCEDURE?
Banding of haemorrhoids is usually carried out in the Endoscopy suite. No anaesthetic is needed and sedation is not generally given. Sedation is not generally helpful in relieving pain during this procedure, but ask your surgeon before the procedure if you feel you would benefit from sedation to relax you.
You will be given a hospital gown to wear. You will be asked to lie on your side and the surgeon will use a proctoscope to locate the haemorrhoids. He or she will then use an applicator to place two to three bands over the haemorrhoid. It usually takes 5-10 minutes.
Most people feel the need to open their bowels immediately after the procedure. This is a normal reaction to the swelling caused by the bands. It is important to keep stools soft for a few days after the procedure, and laxatives can be very helpful.
The procedure can be quite uncomfortable at the time, and you may experience discomfort or a dull ache for a few hours afterwards. Usually paracetamol is sufficient to control any pain.
It is advisable to have someone drive you home afterwards. You will be able to resume normal activities as soon as you feel well enough, usually the next day, but avoid strenuous activity for 48 hours.
If you have sedation, you must not drive, operate machinery or sign important documents for 24 hours after the procedure. It is advisable to arrange to have someone stay with you overnight.
HOW EFFECTIVE IS THIS PROCEDURE?
80% of patients treated in this way will have a marked improvement in symptoms. Some will require repeat treatment in future, but this can be reduced if factors that aggravate haemorrhoids (eg constipation) are avoided.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS?
There is a risk of bleeding for up to two weeks after the procedure. Very rarely this can be significant bleeding which may be related to infection. Haemorrhoid banding is avoided in patients who have blood-thinning medications or a history of radiotherapy treatment for pelvic cancers.
Please be advised that the information on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment