Center for Digestive Diseases

UNM Hospitals Center
for Digestive Diseases

1001 Martin Luther King Ave. NE
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106

(505)272-2530 or

UNMH: (505)272-6839
CDD: (505)925-7849

Hemorrhoid Banding

What is hemorrhoid banding?

Hemorrhoid banding is an outpatient procedure to decrease the size of internal hemorrhoids. Your doctor will use a thin flexible tube with a light and camera to examine your rectum for hemorrhoids and place rubber bands on the enlarged hemorrhoidal tissue in order to decrease the size of the hemorrhoids. 

Why is hemorrhoid banding performed?

Depending on their size and location, hemorrhoids can cause rectal bleeding, anal pain or itching.  Placing rubber bands on the internal component of hemorrhoids causes the tissue to decrease in size and thereby decreases associated rectal bleeding and prolapse of internal hemorrhoids.  Occasionally large external hemorrhoids causing anal itching or pain are associated with large internal hemorrhoids.  In this scenario, your doctor may recommend banding the internal hemorrhoids in order to decrease the size of the associated external hemorrhoids.

What preparation is required?

It is safest and easiest to visualize the hemorrhoids if your rectum is empty.  Therefore, your doctor recommends you administer one Fleet®  enema (available over-the-counter) two hours before your procedure.  You will receive sedation during your procedure, therefore, your doctor recommends that you have nothing to eat or drink for 4 hours before your procedure. You will not need to undergo a bowel cleansing preparation for hemorrhoid banding.  If you have any questions about the preparation for hemorrhoid banding, please call our endoscopy center at 505-925-6000.

Procedure Preparation Instructions

Can I take my current medications?

Most medications can be continued as usual, but some medications should be stopped. If you are taking blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin), enoxaparin (lovenox) or clopidogrel (Plavix) please inform your doctor.  If there are any medications that you are not sure about taking, please consult your doctor, or call our endoscopy center at 505-925-6000.

What happens during hemorrhoid banding?

Hemorrhoid banding is an outpatient procedure that is well tolerated and rarely causes much pain. You will receive intravenous sedation to help you relax and make you comfortable during the procedure.  A registered nurse will monitor you for safety during the entire procedure.  You will lie on your side while the doctor slowly advances a thin flexible endoscope into your rectum.  Your doctor will suction the hemorrhoid tissue into a plastic cap and apply a rubber band at the base of the suctioned tissue.  There are no pain nerve endings in the lining of the rectum, and therefore, you should not feel pain during the procedure.  The procedure itself usually takes approximately 10 minutes, although you should plan to be at our endoscopy center for approximately two hours. This will include the registration, preparation, procedure and recovery.

What happens after hemorrhoid banding?

The doctor will explain the results to you.  Due to the use of sedatives during your procedure someone will need to drive you home from the endoscopy center and stay with you. Even if you feel alert, your reflexes and judgment may be impaired. You will not be able to work for the rest of the day. You may have some mild cramping or bloating because of the air introduced into the colon during the examination. This should disappear when you pass gas. In most cases you will be able to eat after the examination, but occasionally the doctor will recommend a limited diet.

What are possible complications of hemorrhoid banding?

Hemorrhoid banding is a safe procedure and complications are rare.  Possible complications include perforation or tear of the colon, bleeding, reactions to the sedatives or complications of heart of lung disease.  If perforation occurs your doctor will recommend hospitalization, antibiotics and possibly surgery.  Bleeding usually stops on its own or can be controlled during the procedure. Rarely it requires follow up treatment. You will be monitored by a registered nurse throughout the procedure for any problems with sedation, breathing or heart problems.  Rarely patients experience anal pain after hemorrhoid banding. This usually results from spasm of the anal sphincter muscles and is usually relieved with an ointment your doctor may recommend.  Contact your doctor if you notice severe abdominal pain, fever and chills, or rectal bleeding of more than one-half cup. Note that bleeding can occur several days after the procedure. This bleeding can usually be controlled with repeat endoscopic examination.

Dedicated Specialist in this procedure:

Dr. Trent Taylor