Rubber Band Ligation

Rubber band ligation also known as (“banding”) is a procedure where elastic bands are used to tie off enlarged internal haemorrhoids of minor to moderate severity. It is done as a day-stay procedure and does not need an anaesthetic because it is only done for haemorrhoids located higher than the dentate line (above which nerves cannot transmit pain signals) inside the anal canal. It can be performed in the consulting room and no bowel preparation is needed. Rubber band ligation is considered to be the most effective non-surgical treatment for internal haemorrhoids in the long term.

Rubber Band Ligation

You will have the opportunity to discuss fully all the risks and benefits of this procedure with me before signing your consent form.

First, a narrow telescopic tube called a proctoscope is gently inserted into the anus. Another instrument is then passed through the proctoscope and places a small rubber band only a few millimetres wide around the base of the haemorrhoid. This band cuts off the blood supply to the haemorrhoid, which then shrinks and dies over 3–5 days. The dead tissue and rubber band fall off and leave the body unnoticed when you go to the toilet. Occasionally, this is accompanied by bleeding through the anus. If you are worried please ring my practice or go to an accident and emergency department.

You may feel some pain or discomfort for a day or so after the procedure. Normal painkillers are usually effective, but you can be prescribed something stronger if needed. Most people can return to their normal activities the next day.

Rubber band ligation generally has to be repeated several times over a period of weeks in order to treat all of the enlarged haemorrhoids. The procedure is effective in 8 out of 10 people treated; for the minority of patients in whom the procedure is not effective, we generally proceed to a surgical treatment. It should be understood that if you are prone to haemorrhoids, they tend to recur after several years.


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