BY DEAN PAPPAS M.D.
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins that occur either internally or externally around or in the anus or rectum. They typically cause intense itching and pain in the area. While most patients can find relief with at-home treatments, some patients require additional treatment. Our doctors can perform a hemorrhoidal ligation at our Long Island, NY office to alleviate their pain.
What Causes Hemorrhoids?
There is no single cause of hemorrhoids. Potential causes may include:
- Excess strain during bowel movements
- Chronic constipation
- Sitting for an extended length of time, particularly on a toilet
- Genetic predisposition
The most common symptoms of hemorrhoids are intense itching and pain around the anus. You may also notice swelling or lumps around the anus that itch or cause discomfort. Other symptoms include:
- Anal seepage
- Bowel movements that are extremely painful
- Blood around the anus after a bowel movement
For patients with internal hemorrhoids who have not found relief through other treatment methods, we may recommend hemorrhoidal ligation. This procedure involves the use of rubber bands to cut off the hemorrhoid’s blood supply. On an outpatient basis, we can typically only treat one to two hemorrhoids at a time with ligation. If you have multiple hemorrhoids, we may treat them all at once after placing you under general anesthesia. If there are additional areas that require treatment, we can do so four to six weeks after the first ligation.
To perform the hemorrhoidal, or band, ligation, we will insert an anoscope into the anus. This anoscope allows us to view the internal area of the anus. Then, another instrument is inserted to hold the hemorrhoid. One or more rubber bands are placed at the base of the hemorrhoid where they will remain for a week or more.
What to Expect after Ligation
The bands will feel tight and uncomfortable, but should not cause pain. If you experience any pain, we can inject medication into the hemorrhoid(s) to numb it. Over the course of the next week or so, the bands around the hemorrhoid cut off its blood supply. This will cause it to shrink and eventually die.
The band(s) and the dead hemorrhoid will fall off and no further action is needed. A scar will eventually form where the hemorrhoid was once located. This will prevent veins from obstructing the anal canal. You may experience bleeding when the hemorrhoid falls off. This is normal and is usually minimal.
If you do not take preventive measures, you can develop hemorrhoids again in the future. You should consult with your doctor to determine exactly how you can prevent hemorrhoids. We may recommend increasing your fluid or fiber intake. Stool softeners can also help improve bowel movements and eliminate strain. Avoiding a sedentary lifestyle that involves a lot of sitting can also help in the prevention of hemorrhoids.
Contact Us Today
If you are suffering from painful hemorrhoids, contact our office today to schedule an appointment and find out if hemorrhoidal ligation can help.