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Evolution in treatment: Rubber Band Ligation

What is rubber band ligation?

Rubber band ligation is a procedure in which the hemorrhoid is tied off at its base with rubber bands, cutting off the blood flow to the hemorrhoid. Rubber band ligation is the most widely used treatment for internal hemorrhoids.

Patients experience less discomfort, decreased narcotic requirements and improved outcomes with this procedure over conventional methods. It is also a cost-effective alternative to surgery.

  • To perform the procedure, a doctor inserts a viewing instrument (anoscope) into the anus. The hemorrhoid is gently suctioned into a ligating instrument and a small rubber band is placed at the base of the hemorrhoid. This cuts off the blood supply to the hemorrhoid which then shrivels away, in about a week, and falls off.
  • A scar will form in place of the hemorrhoid, holding nearby veins so they don’t bulge into the anal canal.
  • After the procedure, the patient may suffer some minor discomfort.
  • Rubber band ligation is easily performed in the doctor’s office and does not require anesthesia. Alternatively, the procedure may be performed at the same time as a colonoscopy. This is convenient for the patient and cost effective.

How well it works?

Up to 80% of people who had this procedure said their symptoms improved.

  • Repeat treatment for recurring symptoms is rarely needed.
  • This procedure is most useful for small to medium-sized internal hemorrhoids.
  • The procedure is less likely to be successful for large hemorrhoids.

Transforming Rubber Band Ligation

Gwinnett Medical Center’s own David Armstrong, MD, FRCS, FACS, FASCRS, one of the region’s leaders in hemorrhoid treatment, invented the TriView anoscope, which allows visualization of three internal hemorrhoids at the same time as opposed to just one. This allows patients to have three internal hemorrhoids ligated at the same time, which provides quicker, easier and more accurate banding of the hemorrhoids. Patients have less discomfort, decreased narcotic requirements and improved outcomes with the synchronous ligations compared with conventional methods.

For more information about hemorrhoids and treatment options offered at Gwinnett Medical Center, please contact 678-312-3779.