Dr. Nowain’s patients frequently ask a number of questions concerning hemorrhoids and rubber band ligation. As a result, this FAQ page was created to better inform patients and potential patients. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Nowain at (310) 657-4444.
Q: What Is hemorrhoid band ligation?
Hemorrhoid banding is a fast and painless procedure to remove a patient’s internal hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anus that can occur for a number of reasons, including excessive pushing during bowl movements and sitting for long periods of time. Among the many advantages that hemorrhoid ligation has over similar procedures is the fact that it has a very high success rate and gets to the root of the hemorrhoid, decreasing the chance of a repeat occurrence. Additionally, hemorrhoid banding has a much lower risk of complication, infection, and bleeding than many competing procedures.
Q: Is there any pain associated with hemorrhoid band ligation?
A: No, the hemorrhoid banding procedure does not hurt because it is only done on internal hemorrhoids. Internal hemorrhoids are above the dentate line. Anything above this area lacks nerve endings and should not cause any pain. It is possible to experience a dull sense of pressure, fullness, or an urge to periodically use the restroom. However, these cases are outliers with most procedures resulting in little to no discomfort. Less than one percent of patients will experience pain as a side effect of hemorrhoid band ligation and most cases can be managed and dealt with in a timely manner to relieve this symptom.
Q: What are the causes of hemorrhoids?
A: There are a number of causes of hemorrhoids. The most commons causes are:
- Constipation/straining during bowel movements
- Being overweight
- Pregnancy and labor
- Prolonged sitting
Q: Do hemorrhoids go away?
A: Yes, hemorrhoids go away when they have been properly treated. They can occasionally go away spontaneously without treatment, but this is less common. There are a variety of procedures that address the different types of hemorrhoids.
Q: Is hemorrhoid banding a common procedure?
A: Hemorrhoid banding is a commonly used procedure to treat internal hemorrhoids. It’s important to note that there are a variety of banding procedures used to treat hemorrhoids. Some have great degrees of risk, pain, and complication. Dr. Nowain uses the CRH banding procedure which offers the benefit of painless and effective treatment of internal hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoid banding as a procedure only refers to placing a rubber band around the base of a hemorrhoid to inhibit the flow of blood.
Q: In the event that I have multiple internal hemorrhoids, can all of them be treated at once?
A: It depends. Internal hemorrhoids occur in 3 different columns or areas. The safest and most effective way to treat hemorrhoids with rubber band ligation is to address one column at a time in two-week intervals. This ensures a safe procedure while minimizing any irritation and risk. Every case of hemorrhoids is different and unique to the individual. On average, patients require three banding sessions in order to cure their hemorrhoids. Some patients may require less than three sessions, while others will require more (i.e., a column may need to be banded multiple times). After your initial consultation, Dr. Nowain will determine the best treatment schedule to cure your hemorrhoids.
Q: Is hemorrhoid banding possible for pregnant women?
A: Unfortunately, it is not because internal hemorrhoid banding cannot be performed during a pregnancy due to the risk of inducing labor or miscarriage. If you have any intention on getting pregnant, it’s important to immediately treat your hemorrhoids beforehand. It’s possible for hemorrhoids to both increase in size and frequency if left untreated. Pregnancy by itself can cause hemorrhoids and can make existing ones more severe. The longer you wait to treat your hemorrhoids, the less options you have to treat them.
Q: Will I have to take time off of work after my procedure?
A: It depends on the type of work you do. Luckily, hemorrhoid banding has very little downtime after the procedure. That said, it’s highly recommended that you take it easy. If your job is labor intensive, it’s recommended to take at least a day off to ensure a full recovery. The most effective way to recover fully is to discuss your options with Dr. Nowain because everyone heals differently.
Q: Is it possible for my hemorrhoids to reoccur once they are cured?
A: While it is possible for hemorrhoids to reoccur, hemorrhoid ligation is effective in completely removing 95% of all internal hemorrhoids. There are a number of things patients should do and should avoid in order to ensure it does not reoccur. Recovering patients should have regular bowel movements, eat high fiber diets/take fiber supplements, and stay hydrated. Recovering patients should not strain during a bowel movement, sit for extended periods of time, and avoid constipation/diarrhea.
Q: How long has hemorrhoid banding been approved?
A: Dr. Nowain uses the CRH O’Reagan hemorrhoid banding system that’s been FDA approved since 1997.
Q: If I have blood in my stools, is that from internal hemorrhoids?
A: Hemorrhoids are so common (~50% of the US adult population will deal with them at some point in time) that it is possible to have hemorrhoids plus another underlying cause of blood in stools. It is dangerous to assume that the blood is coming from hemorrhoids alone without verifying that other sources of blood loss are not in co-existence. Other sources of blood in the stools include colon polyps, colon inflammation, ulcers, and colon or rectal cancers. Oftentimes Dr. Nowain will perform a colonoscopy to evaluate for the possibility of these other source of blood in the stools. Each patient’s case is different and it is important to have this alarming symptom evaluated by an experienced professional.
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