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Dr QM Leong

Ligation Of Hemorrhoids: 7 Things To Understand

Ligation of hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids is a common disease characterised by swollen blood vessels in the anus or lower rectum. Hemorrhoids can occur from straining during bowel movements or sitting for long periods on the toilet. All these can lead to increased pressure in the lower rectum, causing perianal swelling.

Different treatment options are available for hemorrhoids, such as over-the-counter creams and suppositories or tablets.

Another method is rubber band ligation of hemorrhoids. This option is available only for those suffering from internal hemorrhoids, and not external hemorrhoids.

Rubber band ligation of hemorrhoids involves tying off the hemorrhoid at its base using a rubber band. This effectively restricts the blood flow to the hemorrhoid and causes it to fall off after 7 to 10 days.

As mentioned, rubber band ligation is only for the treatment of internal hemorrhoids, wherein the swollen blood vessels develop inside the rectum.

Symptoms don’t usually manifest for internal hemorrhoids, but painless bleeding during bowel movements is the most common symptom. Trace amounts of blood may appear on the toilet or tissue.

In such cases, the doctor may require hemorrhoid banding, especially when the patient reports other symptoms like prolapse.

2. Rubber Band Ligation Procedure For Hemorrhoids

rubber band ligation procedure for hemorrhoids

To perform rubber band ligation, your doctor will insert an anoscope into your anal canal, allowing them to examine the hemorrhoid.

The doctor inserts a special instrument similar to a syringe but without the needle. It’s a safe and single-use device which sucksthe hemorrhoid tissue into the ligator.

The hemorrhoid is clasped with a small device to keep it in place. It will then wrap a rubber band around the hemorrhoid’s base, cutting off the blood flow and falling after several days.

Most rubber band ligation procedures occur in the endoscopy centre for about 5 minutes.. Patients may go home after the procedure and may continue with day-to-day activities. 

3. Preparation For Hemorrhoid Banding

Before the hemorrhoid ligation, your doctor will provide pre- and post-procedure care instructions and teach you what to do.

Make sure you go over and follow them thoroughly on your own. This ensures a smooth-sailing procedure with minimal-to-no complications.

Consult with your doctor for any additional questions or concerns about the procedure. They’ll clarify everything with you beforehand for your peace of mind.

Due to the simplicity of hemorrhoid banding, you don’t need to undertake special preparations. You don’t have to fast or refrain from a high fibre diet to clear your bowels.

However, if you’re taking blood thinners, your doctor may advise you to stop taking them at least 7 days before the ligation or depending on the medication. This is to prevent excessive bleeding during the procedure.

Make sure to arrive on time for your scheduled appointment. You may have a friend or family member accompany you for added convenience.

4. What To Expect After Rubber Band Ligation?

What To Expect After Rubber Band Ligation

Once the procedure is over, you may feel slight discomfort and fullness in your lower belly.

Some patients also report feeling like they need to take a bowel movement. All of these discomforts should go away several days post-operation. The doctor may prescribe pain medicine for added relief.

In the meantime, your doctor will ask you to refrain from doing any heavy lifting and sexual intercourse after the surgery. This is so you can make a full recovery and prevent other complications from arising.

5. Why Rubber Band Ligation Is Done

Rubber band ligation is a standard treatment for internal hemorrhoids. Patients who show symptoms even after several treatments may need to undergo surgery.

Rubber band ligation can’t be performed if not enough tissue is present for the ligator to pull.

Similarly, rubber band ligation may not be appropriate for third or fourth-degree hemorrhoids, wherein the hemorrhoid protrudes from the anus.

6. Effectiveness Of Rubber Band Ligation For Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoid banding is a simple and safe procedure for treating first, second, and third degree hemorrhoids.

Further, the success rate for rubber band ligation ranges from 60% to 80%. Many patients who have undergone this procedure reported significant improvement in their overall quality of life.

7. Possible Complications After Rubber Band Ligation For Hemorrhoids

Possible Complications After Rubber Band Ligation For Hemorrhoids

Here are some common post-treatment complications after rubber band ligation:

  • Bleeding – There may be minor spotting when the hemorrhoid shrinks, which is normal and not a cause for concern. However, if you experience periodic bleeding, consult with your doctor for treatment.
  • Urinary retention – You may have difficulty urinating after rubber band ligation. These complications usually begin within 24 hours after the procedure. Call your doctor, take some pain killers and be sure to monitor and make regular follow-ups regarding your condition.
  • Infection in the anal region – Ligation of hemorrhoids rarely cause infection. Once again, call your doctor before trying out any at-home remedies.

Conclusion About Ligation Of Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoid banding is a virtually pain-free surgery that removes internal hemorrhoids. The procedure takes 5 minutes to perform, allowing patients to go home on the same day.

For more information on hemorrhoid banding or hemorrhoids surgery in Singapore, contact Dr QM Leong and set an appointment today.

He is a colorectal surgeon in Singapore specialising in treating hemorrhoids, gallbladder, peptic ulcer, gastritis, hernia, anal fistulas, abscesses, diverticulitis, and other changes in bowel habits.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ligation of Hemorrhoids

Is Hemorrhoid Ligation Painful?

No, banding is relatively painless. But often patients experience some discomfort and feel they need to pass motion after banding. This sensation should improve after 24 hours.

The recovery time for hemorrhoid banding will depend on the patient and the number of hemorrhoids for ligation. But it takes one to two weeks on average before the tissue fully heals. You may speed up the recovery process by refraining from strenuous activities like

  • Weight lifting
  • Aerobic exercises
  • Jogging
  • Biking

After the procedure, you may feel the urge to take a bowel movement. However, you’re strongly advised not to empty your bowels to prevent loosening the band off the hemorrhoid.

Hemorrhoid ligation is the most effective treatment for internal hemorrhoids. When done by an experienced colorectal surgeon, you can expect a low recurrence rate of 25%.

No. Haemorrhoid ligation is normally done immediately after a colonoscopy and hence you will still be asleep while the ligation is being done.