What to expect after rubber band ligation?
Rubber band ligation is a second-line treatment for mild and moderate piles with a success rate of around 70-85%. It is carried out over two or three outpatient visits and involves the application of tight rubber bands around the piles. It does not require sedation or anaesthesia.
How does the banding treatment work?
When the piles are large and fleshy, it is possible to pass a tiny rubber band over the pile. This constricts the blood supply and over a few days the pile then shrivels up and eventually falls off like dead skin.
What to expect afterwards?
Immediately after the procedure there may be some mild discomfort in the back passage and you may also experience some lower abdominal discomfort or pain. This usually lasts for less than 24 hours and is easily treatable - if required - by simple analgesics.
Our recommendation is to start with 1000mg of paracetamol 4 times per day. If that is not enough, then please take 200mg of ibuprofen 3 times per day in addition to this. These are over-the-counter medications, you do not need prescriptions to obtain them.
Over the next few days the piles often become irritated and a little swollen. You may feel a lump in the anus and some discomfort, especially when going to the toilet. If this bothers you, you may take the painkillers mentioned above and you can use some (over-the-counter) haemorrhoid cream or suppository.
After the pile shrivels it falls off after a week or so and there is often a small amount of bleeding. Don't worry, this is normal.
Are there any potential complications of the treatment?
Occasionally, the band constricts a part of the lining of the back passage - which is very sensitive. This usually shows as severe pain and irritation of the anus. There is also a rare risk of ulcer or thrombosis formation at the site of the treated haemorrhoid.
When should I be seen again?
There is usually no need to be seen routinely after banding unless a repeated procedure is planned. If you experience severe pain in the back passage or persisting (heavy) bleeding, you may need to be seen for a check-up or removal of the band.
How to prevent the haemorrhoids recurring?
A good bowel habit is the key to preventing haemorrhoids from forming.
The main recommendations are:
Prevent the motions from being too hard. You can help to keep the motions soft by eating a diet high in fibre, drinking plenty of fluid with meals and - if necessary - taking mild laxatives such as Fybogel from the chemist.
Try not to strain when passing motions. Go to the toilet when you feel the urge. Different people have different numbers of bowel movements in a day. Don’t try and strain to have a bowel movement unless you feel the urge to and don’t try too hard to ‘push out every little bit’!
Don’t spend too long on the toilet. When sitting down, the weight of the body pushes down into the pelvis and will cause the lining of the back passage to swell. Aim to spend around 2-3 minutes sitting down when having a bowel movement.
If you are concerned please contact us on the following numbers or send us an email:
☎️ +44 20 3129 5383
📱 +44 7794 615 316