Varicose veins that develop in or around the anus or rectum are called hemorrhoids. Painful, itchy, and sometimes bleeding, hemorrhoids require attention from a GI doctor. There are treatments available to help bring relief from this common condition. Rubber band ligation can relieve the symptoms of hemorrhoids.
Here are the details you should know :
How Do Hemorrhoids Form?
Very similar to varicose veins in the lower extremities, hemorrhoids are puffy, tender blood vessels located in the anus and rectum. Some hemorrhoids bulge and prolapse from the anus, causing substantial discomfort and itchiness. Gastroenterologists in California and across the country classify hemorrhoids as internal, or hidden inside the rectum, or external, located around the mucous membranes of the anus.
Both kinds of hemorrhoids form due to muscular weakness in the lower GI tract and to repeated pressure on the veins in the anus and rectum. This pressure comes from:
- Low-fiber diet
- Too little exercise and too much sitting or standing in one place
- Poor hydration
- Lifting and carrying heavy items
- Straining while attempting bowel movements
- Avoiding bowel movements instead of going to the bathroom right away
Can Conservative Interventions Treat Hemorrhoids?
While many hemorrhoids respond well to at-home strategies, such as warm sitz baths, witch hazel pads, and Preparation H, others continue to swell, itch, and bleed, particularly the internal ones. These hemorrhoids need examination and treatment at a GI clinic.
How Can Hemorrhoid Rubber Band Ligation Help?
When you visit a gastroenterologist about hemorrhoids, they will collect your medical history, perform a physical examination, as well as a digital rectal examination (DRE). Inspection with a lighted anoscope is common, as well.
To halt symptoms and remove tissue associated with internal and external hemorrhoids, the GI doctor may advise an in-office rubber band ligation. This is a minimally-invasive treatment which requires no appreciable downtime. The doctor will use a special instrument to place a tight ligature, or rubber band, at the base of a swollen hemorrhoid. The procedure can be done in about 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the number and location of hemorrhoids.
This tight ligature cuts off the circulation to the hemorrhoidal tissue. Consequently, the hemorrhoid gradually shrinks and falls off. Usually, patients return to their routines immediately, but should limit lifting heavy objects and strenuous workouts, as their doctor recommends.
Can I Avoid Hemorrhoids?
Good bowel hygiene helps avoid hemorrhoid formation. In other words, do not postpone bowel movements, drink plenty of water, and consume a high-fiber diet (about 15 grams a day).
Also, the gastroenterologists at inSite Digestive Health Care advise:
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
- Moderate exercise for 150 minutes per week
- Getting up from a seated position every 20 minutes to walk and stretch
Research shows that rubber band ligation performed by an experienced GI doctor is highly successful. At least 8 out of 10 patients experience significant symptom relief.
Comprehensive Gastroenterology in California
At inSite Digestive Health Care, our extensive team of board-certified gastroenterology physicians deliver assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of a wide array of GI disorders, including rubber band ligation for hemorrhoids. Avoid continued discomfort and possible complications from hemorrhoids by contacting the inSite Digestive Health Care location near you for a consultation. Or, use our online appointment request form.