Hemorrhoid banding, also known as rubber band ligation, is a medical procedure that aims to remove enlarged and bulging hemorrhoids in the rectum as well as the anus. A doctor will tie rubber band at the base of a hemorrhoid which will reduce or totally stop blood circulation to the hemorrhoid. Without blood supply, the banded hemorrhoid will eventually die and fall off after several days. Hemorrhoid banding is one of the best options for hemorrhoid treatment because it is minimally invasive, easy to perform, and has fairly high success rate (it tends to work in about 8 in 10 cases).
Short History of Hemorrhoid Banding
Do you know that as early as 460 BC hemorrhoid banding is already performed to patients who have the problematic and embarrassing disease? Hippocrates, the father of medicine, wrote about using thread to tie off hemorrhoids. It was a simple procedure but amazingly effective. After many centuries, the procedure was introduced by Blaisdell in 1958 and he used rubber band to tie off bulging hemorrhoids. The procedure was later on improved in 1963 by Barron who introduced a device called Barron ligator which made it easier to ligate or tie off hemorrhoids.
Reasons Why Hemorrhoid Banding Is Done
Doctors choose to perform hemorrhoid banding in some patients, but not all of them. One of the common reasons why hemorrhoid banding is performed is when the hemorrhoids are bleeding excessively or are extremely painful. Another reason is when a hemorrhoid has been thrombosed, or blood clot has been formed within it. Doctors also choose hemorrhoid banding to remove hemorrhoids protruding through the anus, also known as prolapsed hemorrhoids.
How Hemorrhoid Banding Is Performed?
Hemorrhoid banding is not that complicated procedure, it can be done either in the operating room or at a doctor’s office. The patient is asked to lie down on the left side, with the knees drawn up and buttocks projecting over the operating table.
The doctor will insert an anoscope, a tube-like instrument with light, to peer into the anus and expose the hemorrhoids. Local anesthesia is applied to numb the area that is being treated so that the patient will not feel pain during the operation. The doctor then employs a special banding tool that helps place small rubber band around the base of the hemorrhoid.
If the procedure is successful, the hemorrhoid will shrink, die, and fall off one to two weeks after the procedure. The wound produced through the falling of the hemorrhoid will heal by itself after 2 weeks. The doctor usually tells the patient to apply cream or ointment in the affected area during the healing period. Some drugs might be prescribed by the doctor to manage pain and other complications. The patient is also advised to avoid lifting or pulling heavy objects, sitting at hard objects, and to take stool softener.
Possible Complications and Side Effects
There could be excessive bleeding in the banded hemorrhoids or allergic reaction caused by the local anesthesia. Urination can be difficult. Pain and swelling at the rectum or anus can occur. Passing stool can be difficult if the scar is not yet totally healed.[ad#afterpost]