Dr. Ken D. Nguyen is a gastroenterologist at Pacifica Digestive Health. He is also the President and was one of the co-founders of Pacifica Digestive Health. His clinical interests include screening and management of gastric cancer in Asian patients, viral hepatitis (including hepatitis B and hepatitis C), advanced liver disease and cirrhosis, colon cancer screening, and international medicine.
What is Hemorrhoid Banding?
Hemorrhoid banding, or hemorrhoid band ligation, is a non-surgical treatment for internal hemorrhoids. It is the preferred treatment option for hemorrhoids that have failed to response to conservative treatment since it is effective, safe, painless, and requires almost no time off to recover.
What Are the Benefits of Hemorrhoid Banding Compared to Other Techniques?
The main benefit of hemorrhoid banding compared to other techniques, such as hemorrhoidectomy or surgical removal of hemorrhoids, is that it can be done in the office, usually on the same day as your visit, and only takes a few minutes to complete. It does not require any preparation, does not require any sedation, and often you can return to work the same day or the next day. It is also covered by most insurance plans.
What Types of Hemorrhoids Can Band Ligation Treat?
Hemorrhoid banding is mainly used to treat internal hemorrhoids. Because internal hemorrhoids are located inside your rectums where there are no pain nerve fibers, they can be treated with band ligation without causing any significant pain. External hemorrhoids are located outside the anal canal and therefore they contains pain nerve fibers. Any procedure to treat external hemorrhoid will require some type of sedation/analgesic. However, many times external hemorrhoids are connected to internal hemorrhoids and treatment of internal hemorrhoids with band ligation will shrink the external hemorrhoids as well.
How Does Hemorrhoid Banding Work?
At Pacifica Digestive Health, we offer the CRH O'Regan System hemorrhoid banding kit to treat your hemorrhoid. To begin the procedure, your doctor will exam your rectum with an anoscope to visualize the anus and rectum, looking for hemorrhoids as well as any other abnormalities. Your doctor will then feel the hemorrhoids with his/her finger. Then using the kit, your doctor will suction a column of hemorrhoid and then release a rubber band at the base of the hemorrhoid. The rubber band will cut off the blood supply to the hemorrhoid and it will then fall off after a few days. You may not even notice it falling off.
Usually only one column of hemorrhoid is treated at a time to avoid complications. If you have multiple hemorrhoids, the procedure can be repeated at another visit after allowing an adequate amount of time for healing between treatment sessions.
What to Expect After The Procedure?
You should not feel any pain after the procedure. You may experience a fullness or a dull ache in the rectum. Some people may also experience an urge to defecate. These symptoms usually will go away after 24 hours and improved with over-the-count such ibuprofen or Tylenol.
If you suffer from hemorrhoid and interested in having it treated non-surgically, please call our office at 1-833-GI-HEALTH to schedule an appointment.