In a perfect world, no one would need hemorrhoid surgery of any sort, or even need the help of a hemorrhoid clinic. And in a slightly less-perfect world, any hemorrhoids would go away as someone moved to a more fiber-rich diet and drank more water. Unfortunately, we’re not living in a perfect world, and people are still searching the internet for “hemorrhoid doctors near me;” the problem is so painful and annoying that they simply want the closest rectal doctor available!
In our previous blog we discussed the problems that are most likely to occur with traditional hemorrhoid surgery and why you might want to find a better solution to hemorrhoids. The anus is a highly-sensitive area of the body and can’t take a break, even after surgery. Recovery times can range from 2-6 weeks, during which time there can be considerable pain. Worst-case scenario? Something goes wrong and you’ll suffer from rectal incontinence.
Looking for something that doesn’t come with nearly as many problems? Let’s take a look at hemorrhoid banding, performed on an outpatient basis at both our Bartlett, TN and Batesville, MS hemorrhoid clinics.
What Is Hemorrhoid Banding?
Hemorrhoid banding, also known as rubber band ligation (RBL), is a common procedure performed on an outpatient basis in hemorrhoid clinics. It is used for internal hemorrhoids of any grade, though is most often used for grades 1-3 of the disease.
A tiny and very tight rubber band is applied to the base of the hemorrhoid. This cuts off blood supply to the bulk of the hemorrhoid, and if you’re familiar with the idea of a tourniquet, you know that any part of the body deprived of blood will wither, shrink, and die. It takes about five days for this to happen to a hemorrhoid. The discarded hemorrhoid and the rubber band are simply eliminated with a bowel movement, and it’s unlikely that the patient will even notice.
What’s The Rubber Band Ligation Procedure Like?
A patient is helped onto a proctology table. They will either be kneeling or in the fetal position, depending on the preference of the doctor.
A proctoscope is inserted into the anus in order for the rectal doctor, proctologist, or gastroenterologist to view the procedure. The ligator performs two roles: first it grasps the hemorrhoid via gentle suction and then applies the rubber band around the base of it. The procedure only takes a few minutes, or, as one of our patients put it, “It’s so simple. You just get up on the table and in a few seconds it’s all over with.” With that being the case, it’s no wonder that so many people prefer it over anesthetized surgery!
Does Hemorrhoid Banding Hurt?
Perhaps the most appealing aspect of RBL, in addition to being no surgical knives involved, is that it tends to cause significantly less pain than a traditional surgical hemorrhoidectomy. There might be some minor discomfort due to the sensitivity of the area of the body that’s involved, but most patients suffer very little. Patients simply walk out the door with very little discomfort.
Any Side Effects of RBL? What About Recovery Time?
Patients always want to know about the recovery time of the procedure. After all, traditional hemorrhoidectomies can take up to six weeks to heal. Is RBL any different? Yes, very much so.
RBL tends to be complication free, and the side effects are minimal. There might be some rectal bleeding for up to two weeks afterward, especially after bowel movements (though it’s more likely that any blood comes from the untreated hemorrhoids that remain). There might be a feeling of fullness in the rectum for a short amount of time even when there’s nothing there to evacuate.
Typically a doctor will suggest an over-the-counter pain medicine (not ibuprofen) and a stool softener to keep everything flowing so as to not aggravate the banded hemorrhoid. Warm baths are also a great way to keep everything clean and can help keep the bowels moving as well.
Why Not Try Hemorrhoid Banding?
After taking a look at the advantages that come with RBL, it’s no surprise that so many proctologists suggest it for internal hemorrhoids. If you are having trouble with hemorrhoids and are afraid of surgery, we’d love to speak with you and see if you’re a good candidate for hemorrhoid banding. There’s a very good chance you are, and we’d love to help you avoid the problems of other methods.
Talk to us about the best hemorrhoid treatment out there by calling us at 662.578.7650 in the Batesville, Mississippi or 901.362.5252 near Bartlett, TN. We know it’s a touchy subject, and we’d love to give you a private and confidential consultation regarding your hemorrhoids. When you’re typing in “hemorrhoid doctor near me” and contact Midsouth Rectal Clinic, you’ve found the best the south has to offer!