Rubber Band Ligation for Hemorrhoids: Before Your Procedure

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What is rubber band ligation?

Internal and external hemorrhoids

Rubber band ligation treats hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the rectal area. This treatment is for only internal hemorrhoids.

To do the procedure, your doctor puts a special viewing tool into your anus. This tool is called an anoscope. The doctor then uses other tools to grab the hemorrhoid and put a rubber band around it. The band stops the blood flow. This causes the hemorrhoids to shrink and fall off in 7 to 10 days.

In most cases, this procedure is done in the doctor's office. Your doctor can treat one or two hemorrhoids at a time. More hemorrhoids can be treated if you are asleep during the procedure.

The procedure takes about 30 minutes. You can go home when it's done. Some people are able to return to regular activities right away. Others may need to take a few days off from work.

Make sure not to lift anything heavy until you heal. It's also important not to strain when you have a bowel movement.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

What happens before the procedure?

Procedures can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your procedure.

Preparing for the procedure

  • Understand exactly what procedure is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
  • Tell your doctors ALL the medicines and natural health products you take. Some of these can increase the risk of bleeding or interact with anesthesia.
  • If you take blood thinners, such as warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel (Plavix), or aspirin, be sure to talk to your doctor. He or she will tell you if you should stop taking these medicines before your procedure. Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do.
  • Your doctor will tell you which medicines to take or stop before your procedure. You may need to stop taking certain medicines a week or more before the procedure. So talk to your doctor as soon as you can.
  • If you have an advance care plan, let your doctor know. Bring a copy to the hospital. If you don't have one, you may want to prepare one. It lets your doctor and loved ones know your health care wishes. Doctors advise that everyone prepare these papers before any type of surgery or procedure.
  • You may need to empty your colon with an enema or laxative. Your doctor will tell you how to do this.

What happens on the day of the procedure?

  • Follow the instructions exactly about when to stop eating and drinking. If you don't, your procedure may be cancelled. If your doctor told you to take your medicines on the day of the procedure, take them with only a sip of water.
  • Take a bath or shower before you come in for your procedure. Do not apply lotions, perfumes, deodorants, or nail polish.
  • Take off all jewellery and piercings. And take out contact lenses, if you wear them.

At the doctor's office

  • Bring a picture ID.
  • You will be kept comfortable and safe by your anesthesia provider.
  • The procedure will take about 30 minutes.
  • You will be able to go home right after the procedure.

Going home

  • Be sure you have someone to drive you home. Anesthesia and pain medicine make it unsafe for you to drive.
  • You will be given more specific instructions about recovering from your procedure. They will cover things like diet, wound care, follow-up care, driving, and getting back to your normal routine.

When should you call your doctor?

  • You have questions or concerns.
  • You don't understand how to prepare for your procedure.
  • You become ill before the procedure (such as fever, flu, or a cold).
  • You need to reschedule or have changed your mind about having the procedure.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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Current as of: August 9, 2016