Chapter 2: What to Expect With Hemorrhoid Banding
In general, hemorrhoid banding is a quick, safe and simple procedure that rarely causes serious complications. You can expect to recover quickly from hemorrhoid banding and continue with your usual routine. However, your experience will depend on the technique your doctor uses.
If your doctor performs hemorrhoid banding using the CRH O’Regan system, you can return to work immediately after the procedure as long as your job does not involve strenuous activity. The CRH O’Regan System does not require preparation or sedation and takes very little time, so you can easily fit it into your schedule.
In this chapter, we’ll discuss how you what you can to expect during and after any hemorrhoid banding procedure, including side effects and recovery time. If you have questions along the way, please use our directory to find a clinic utilizing The CRH O’Regan system.
Is Hemorrhoid Banding Painful?
During hemorrhoid banding, your doctor will place the band above the dentate line where there are no pain-sensing nerves, so the procedure itself is painless. However, some ligation techniques may cause more pain post-procedure than others.
For example, traditional methods using forceps involves grasping the hemorrhoid with metal. While this may not cause pain during the procedure, patients may experience pain after hemorrhoid banding.
For most patients, the CRH O’Regan method does not cause any pain during the procedure or recovery. Rather than using a metal clamp to grasp the hemorrhoid, the CRH O’Regan ligator uses gentle suction to draw the hemorrhoid into the device before applying the rubber band. According to a study of over 6,500 patients, only 0.5% of the patients treated with the CRH O’Regan System reported bleeding or severe pain after the procedure. With other types of hemorrhoid banding, 4% to 29% of patients reported significant pain post-procedure.
What Are the Side Effects of Hemorrhoid Banding?
After hemorrhoid banding using the CRH O’Regan method, you might experience a dull ache or feeling of fullness in the rectum during the first 24 hours after the procedure. Usually, over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen relieve these symptoms. You may also experience slight bleeding with bowel movements, when the hemorrhoid falls off and a few days after it leaves your body.
Since your doctor will only place one band at a time, other side effects are extremely rare. Less than 1% of patients report significant bleeding, severe pain or urine hesitancy.
How Long Does It Take to Recover From Hemorrhoid Banding?
The hemorrhoid banding recovery time depends on the individual and the technique used. Generally, after the hemorrhoid falls off within a few days, it may take one to two weeks for the live tissue to fully heal. You can help your recovery by avoiding straining.
With CRH O’Regan treatment, in particular, you can expect a fast recovery, and you will not have to follow a strict regime. In other words, you can go back to work or resume normal activities immediately after the procedure. You’ll only want to avoid heavy lifting and vigorous exercise on the same day of treatment.
What Should You Do After Banding a Hemorrhoid?
During your time of healing after hemorrhoid banding, you won’t have to do too much. Hemorrhoid banding aftercare mainly involves avoiding heavy lifting and strenuous activities. It also helps to eat high-fiber foods to prevent constipation and avoid straining during bowel movements.
To help you feel better faster after a hemorrhoid banding procedure, here are some general aftercare tips:
- Do not lift anything that may cause you to strain for two to three weeks.
- Avoid strenuous exercise until your doctor says it’s all right.
- Try to walk every day to increase blood flow and support bowel health.
- Eat high-fiber foods to make bowel movements more comfortable and prevent constipation.
- Avoid straining with bowel movements as you recover.
- Place your feet on a small step stool when you sit on the toilet to make bowel movements easier.
- Take over-the-counter pain medication to relieve a feeling of fullness in the rectal area.
- Talk to your doctor if you have any questions about the medications you take.
- To soothe pain, sit in a shallow bath of warm water for about 20 minutes three times a day and after bowel movements, and pat the area dry.
- Apply a cold pack to the area for 10 or 20 minutes every one to two hours for three days after the procedure.
- To decrease swelling, lie on your stomach with a pillow under your hips.
- Unless told otherwise by your doctor, avoid placing anything in your rectum as you recover.
- Get adequate sleep and rest when you feel tired.
After a CRH O’Regan procedure, you’ll only need to avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting the day of your treatment, and you can go back to your usual activities the next day. If you wish, you can soak in a warm bath with a tablespoon of salt to gently clean the anal opening as you heal.
Regardless of the type of hemorrhoid banding procedure you have, it’s essential to call your doctor if you experience any problems during your recovery. Be sure to keep your follow-up appointments as well, so you can make the most of your treatment.
How Long Does It Take a Banded Hemorrhoid to Fall Off?
A banded hemorrhoid usually falls off in two to four days.
What Does a Hemorrhoid Look Like When It Falls Off?
Since the hemorrhoid will shrink and dry up, you likely won’t notice it when it leaves your body, usually during a bowel movement. You may see the rubber band in the toilet, although it’s only a few millimeters wide. Typically, patients do not notice anything when the hemorrhoid falls off other than minor bleeding with their bowel movement.
Can You Drive After Hemorrhoid Banding?
Yes, you can drive after hemorrhoid banding treatment. As mentioned, the procedure does not require sedation, so there’s no need to ask someone to drive you home from the doctor’s office.
Can You Eat After Hemorrhoid Banding?
Yes, you can eat after hemorrhoid banding. Unlike hemorrhoid surgery, which requires patients to eat low-residue foods until they heal, you can eat your usual diet immediately after the procedure. However, doctors recommend including high-fiber foods in your diet to make stool softer and prevent constipation. Since high-fiber foods make it easier to pass stool, you’ll reduce the chance you’ll strain during bowel movements, which can help keep hemorrhoids from coming back.
It’s recommended to consume 14 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories. Examples of high-fiber foods include:
- Fruits: Pears, apples, raspberries and prunes
- Vegetables: Green peas, collards, potatoes with the skin and winter squash
- Beans: Navy, pinto and kidney beans
- Grains: Bran or shredded wheat cereal, whole-wheat pasta or bran muffins
It also helps to limit foods with little or no fiber, such as cheese, ice cream, meat and processed foods. Also, make sure to drink plenty of liquids unless your doctor directs you to do otherwise. Drinking adequate fluids helps fiber work properly in your body.
If you struggle to get adequate fiber through the food you eat, you can use fiber supplements to increase your intake. You can also add two tablespoons of oat or wheat bran to your breakfast every morning.
Can You Sit After Hemorrhoid Banding?
Yes, you can sit after hemorrhoid banding. However, it’s recommended that you try not to stay seated for more than two to three hours at a time during the first couple of days after the procedure.
Can You Take a Bath After Hemorrhoid Banding?
You can safely take a bath or shower immediately after hemorrhoid banding. As mentioned above, doctors recommended soaking in a warm bath to keep the area clean as you recover.
Can Hemorrhoids Come Back After Banding?
Hemorrhoids can come back after banding, but they are less likely to recur with banding than other treatments. With the CRH O’Regan System, fewer than 5% of patients have a recurrence within two years. Hemorrhoid banding is considered the most effective non-surgical treatment for internal hemorrhoids and long-term results.
No matter the type of hemorrhoid treatment you receive, you can take steps to prevent future hemorrhoids by increasing your fiber intake and avoiding excessive straining.
Can a Hemorrhoid Fall Off By Itself?
A hemorrhoid will not fall off by itself. While the symptoms of small hemorrhoids may temporarily subside without treatment, the hemorrhoids can come back. Usually, if a hemorrhoid has progressed to cause noticeable symptoms, it won’t fall off or go away on its own. If you have hemorrhoid symptoms, it’s best to talk to your doctor and determine the right treatment for your condition.
How Can I Prevent Hemorrhoids?
Although rubber band ligation helps keep hemorrhoids from coming back, there are lifestyle changes you can make to prevent hemorrhoids. Here are tips to help prevent a recurrence of hemorrhoids:
- Eat high-fiber foods: Increase your fiber intake by eating healthy, fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and whole grains. Fiber makes it easier for your body to pass stool and keeps you from having to strain during bowel movements. If you’re not able to get adequate fiber from food, consider taking a fiber supplement.
- Drink more water: Women should have about 11.5 cups of fluids each day, and men should have about 15.5 cups, according to the Mayo Clinic. It’s essential to stay hydrated to decrease your risk of constipation, which is a common cause of hemorrhoids. Drinking plenty of water will also help keep your stools soft as you increase your fiber intake.
- Exercise: Aim to get 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise every day. Exercise can prevent hemorrhoids because it keeps waste moving through your body. When you’re sedentary, your bowels slow down, and you’re more likely to experience constipation.
- Don’t sit on the toilet too long: While it may be tempting to spend more than a few minutes in the bathroom with a book or smartphone, it’s important not to stay seated for too long. Sitting on the toilet increases pressure in the rectal region, which can lead to hemorrhoids — especially if you strain. Aim to be out of the bathroom in two minutes or less. If you need more time, leave the bathroom and return to try again later.
- Go when you get the urge: Go to the bathroom as soon as you get the urge to make a bowel movement. If you wait too long, the stool could become dry, hard and more difficult to pass, leading to constipation and straining.
If you have more questions about hemorrhoid prevention, please contact your doctor or visit our blog.