Russell Havranek, MD
Gastroenterologist in San Antonio, TX
WHAT IS HEMORRHOID BANDING?
Hemorrhoid banding is a safe usually painless procedure we have available in San Antonio TX to help treat your hemorrhoids. In the past, hemorrhoids had been treated with either topical medications, which were rarely successful or surgery that was frequently painful. We now have the ability to treat your hemorrhoids with very small rubber bands that are placed during an office visit and help your hemorrhoids shrink down over time.
WHY IS HEMORRHOID BANDING DONE?
Every body has hemorrhoids. It’s only when they become big and dilated and cause symptoms of itching, discomfort or bleeding that we worry about them. If you have hemorrhoids that are relatively asymptomatic they don’t always require banding. Frequently, we can control these with fiber, fluids, diet changes and topical medications.
In those instances where this is not successful or the hemorrhoids are causing more problems, banding is an option. If you have questions about your hemorrhoids or want to know if banding is an option for you, please contact your physician or my office and I will be happy to discuss this with you.
HOW DO I SCHEDULE HEMORRHOID BANDING IN SAN ANTONIO?
There are several ways to accomplish this. You can speak to your primary care physician and have them send us a request form and my office will contact you to make the arrangements. Another option is to call my office directly at 210-615-8308 and we will talk you through the process over the phone and help to make all arrangements.
Another way is by clicking the “request an appointment” link below and filling in the appropriate information. My office will contact you within one business day to make the arrangements. We will also help you deal with and answer all questions regarding your insurance coverage.
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN PREPARATION FOR HEMORRHOID BANDING?
There is no specific preparation required prior to hemorrhoid banding. The procedure is done in my San Antonio, TX gastroenterology office and does NOT require a prep to clean out like there is for a colonoscopy. There are certain medications that increase your risk of bleeding and will need to be held prior to hemorrhoid banding. If you are on any medication like this (including aspirin or NSAIDs) we will discuss what you need to do prior to your procedure.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT THE DAY OF HEMORRHOID BANDING?
Your hemorrhoid banding will be scheduled in my regular office not at the hospital or in an endoscopy center. It will take about as long as a normal office visit. You and I will sit down and talk prior to the hemorrhoid banding and go over all of the questions that you may have. You will then lie on your left side on the exam table and undergo a regular rectal exam to identify and locate the hemorrhoids. We will then proceed with banding.
The procedure is relatively painless and will be done while you are awake. From start to finish it takes about 5 minutes. I use the EZ-Band for hemorrhoid banding. I will pass a small single use disposable instrument about the size of your finger through the anus and to the area above the hemorrhoid where the blood supply comes from.
I will then deploy a small rubber band in this area to cut off the blood supply to that column of hemorrhoids. Most people have 3 columns of hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoid banding is typically done over 3 or 4 sessions with about 10-14 days between sessions to allow for appropriate healing of each column.
Once the rubber band has been placed some patient’s feel a pressure like sensation in the rectum while some patient’s feel nothing at all. Less than 1% of patients should feel pain. The small rubber band will stay in place anywhere from a day to several days and will then fall off and be passed in your stool. The scar left behind from the band will reduce the amount of blood flow to that column of hemorrhoids and allow it to slowly shrink down.
You will leave the visit on your own and do not require a driver. I ask that you avoid any strenuous physical activity for 24 hours, other than that there is no limitations on activity, driving or ability to return to work that same day.
To learn more about how hemorrhoid banding and the EZ-Band Hemorrhoid Removal System can take care of your hemorrhoids permanently, please visit their website at EZband.com.
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS OF HEMORRHOID BANDING?
Hemorrhoid banding is a very safe and relatively painless procedure. As with any procedure, there are always potential risks and complications. The most common one is the risk of bleeding. This is why I ask you avoid all medications that increase your risk of bleeding for about 7 days prior to hemorrhoid banding and then during and after hemorrhoid banding.
If you have any questions about what these medications are or how to deal with them please let me know. There are also medical conditions like pregnancy and cirrhosis that increase your risk of bleeding and are contraindications to hemorrhoid banding.
Another possible risk is pain. Again, if this procedure is done correctly less than 1% of patients experience any pain. The thing that helps reduce the risk of post procedure pain the most is appropriate placement of the band. During the hemorrhoid banding procedure I will be communicating with you as I am placing the band and getting feedback as to what you feel. This is what helps make sure we are at the correct position.
There is also a small risk of perforation anytime something is done inside the colon and occasionally this requires surgery to repair. I will go over all of this with you at the time of the procedure and answer any questions you may have. You safety is my top priority.