It involves placing a very tight elastic band around the base of your haemorrhoids to cut off their blood supply. The haemorrhoids should then fall off and pass out of your body when you go to the toilet.
Haemorrhoids, also known as piles, are soft fleshy lumps just inside the anus (back passage). When large, haemorrhoids can pass through the anus (prolapsed pile), feeling like a lump when you clean yourself.
Haemorrhoids bleed easily, usually causing fresh bright-red blood when a motion is passed. They can also be painful and itchy.
Haemorrhoids develop gradually, often over a long period of time. They are associated with constipation, often run in families, and can be made worse by pregnancy.
Is haemorrhoid banding right for me?
Haemorrhoids can often be treated by simple measures such as eating more fibre and drinking more fluid. If these simple measures do not work, your consultant may recommend banding the haemorrhoids.
Your consultant may recommend haemorrhoid banding if:
- lifestyle changes haven't helped
- less invasive methods haven't worked
- your haemorrhoids are severe and causing you a lot of pain
What happens during haemorrhoid banding?
Your consultant will examine carefully your back passage and lower bowel using a small telescope. They will pass a device through the telescope and use it to place a silicone band onto the lining of your anal canal. Your consultant will ask you if you have any sensation of pain.
The band should block the blood supply to the haemorrhoid, causing it to shrink back up your anal canal. The banded haemorrhoid should come off by itself after 7 to 14 days. Most people do not notice this.
You will not need an anaesthetic as there are no nerves that sense pain at the top of your anal canal.
Recovery from haemorrhoid banding
After the procedure, you should be able to go home.
A little bleeding, discomfort and feeling faint are common and usually settle quickly. Do not drive if you feel faint or light-headed. You should be able to return to work the next day unless you are told otherwise.
Haemorrhoids can come back (risk: 5 in 10). You can reduce this risk by not straining while opening your bowels, drinking plenty of fluid and increasing the amount of fibre in your diet to avoid constipation.
Complications of stapled haemorrhoidopexy
As with any procedure, there's a small chance of complications, such as:
- Discomfort and blood in the urine when passing urine (for men)
- Feeling faint or light-headed
If your symptoms continue, particularly bleeding, let your doctor know.
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