When is a Band Ligation Performed?
Hemorrhoids are very common, with about three out of four adults having them on occasion. They usually don’t cause much trouble, but you should see your doctor to make sure they’re not an indication of a more serious condition. The same is true if they don’t clear up or are causing pain.
In some cases, a procedure called a band ligation can be performed to remove hemorrhoids.
In this blog, the gastroenterologists at Gramercy Park Digestive Disease Center (GPDDC) in Manhattan explain when a band ligation may be performed.
What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are made up of clumps of veins in and around your anus and lower rectum. These veins can stretch, swell, and bulge, resulting in symptoms that include bleeding, often when you go to the bathroom. You may also have small bulges around your anus, and they may itch or hurt.
They can be located outside the anus (external hemorrhoids) or inside the rectum (internal hemorrhoids). If an internal hemorrhoid doesn’t receive treatment, it can swell and extend through the anus, in which case it’s caused a prolapsed hemorrhoid.
What is band ligation?
Band ligation is a procedure that can sometimes be performed in your doctor’s office and is most often used to treat internal hemorrhoids. Your doctor will insert a viewing instrument into the anus and use an instrument to grasp the hemorrhoid. A device ties off the base of the hemorrhoid with a rubber band, which cuts off its blood supply. The hemorrhoid will then shrink and die, falling off in about a week to 10 days. When a scar forms, it will help keep nearby veins from bulging into the anal canal.
If you’re being treated in your doctor’s office, 1 to 2 hemorrhoids can be treated at a time. More extensive band ligation procedures can be performed under general anesthesia.
What are the benefits of band ligation?
Band ligation offer patients the following benefits:
- Simple and effective
- Yields good long-term results
- Less pain than a surgical hemorrhoid removal (hemorrhoidectomy)
- Shorter recovery period
What is recovery like?
Some patients can go back to their regular activities almost immediately if they refrain from heavy lifting. Others may need to rest for 2 or 3 days.
You’ll probably have some pain for a day or two but can use acetaminophen to help relieve it. Sitting in a tub with a little warm water in it may also help make you more comfortable.
Your lower abdomen may also feel full after the procedure. You may have some bleeding a week or so after surgery when the hemorrhoid falls off, but it’s usually light and stops on its own.
In addition, your doctor may recommend that you drink more fluids and take a fiber supplement to help reduce the chances that your hemorrhoids will return.
If you have hemorrhoids, make an appointment today with Gramercy Park Digestive Disease Center. We’ll ensure that you receive the most effective treatment possible and will help you learn about steps you can take to reduce your chances of getting hemorrhoids in the future.