You are here

Rubber Band Ligation


Rubber band ligation is standard treatment for moderately-sized haemorrhoids. It is not a surgical procedure as such and is generally carried out in Dr White's rooms. General anaesthesia is not required. In some cases, rubber band ligation may be carried out at the same time as a colonoscopy.

How should I prepare for the procedure?

The day before admission we will contact you to confirm admission time and to give you instructions regarding any fasting requirements for the procedure. You should bring any x-rays in with you (and ensure you take them with you when you are discharged). Also bring any current medication in with you to the hospital.

For day procedures you should not drive yourself home when you are discharged – please ensure you have made other transport arrangements.

If you smoke, you should reduce smoking before your procedure. Our strong recommendation is that you give up entirely at least 6 weeks before the procedure, or at least one week beforehand. Smoking greatly increases the possibility of chest infection and hampers natural wound healing.

In the case of major surgery, please inform Dr White's team if you take:

  • Warfarin.
  • Aspirin.
  • Plavix.
  • Anti-inflammatory medication.

We will need to discuss these medications with you prior to your surgery.

Dr White will provide you with a full set of pre-operative instructions for your specific procedure well ahead of the day of surgery.

What is involved in the procedure?

Small rubber bands are wrapped around the haemorrhoids, effectively cutting off their blood supply. Since the blood supply is cut off, the haemorrhoids naturally shrink and then come away within 5-7 days. Local anaesthetic is applied during the ligation procedure. The procedure takes around 30 minutes.

Recovery Guidelines

Most patients undergoing this procedure require no specific recovery period and can take up normal activities the next day. A small number of patients (around 1 in 6) may require additional banding ligation treatment.

Pain Management

There may be some pain once the effects of the local anaesthetic have worn off around two hours after the procedure.

If this is the case we recommend the following combination of Panadol and Ibuprofen for the initial 48-hour period after surgery:

  • Two (2) Panadol tablets every four (4) hours.
  • 400 milligrams Ibuprofen every eight (8) hours.

If pain continues beyond this period, or if it becomes severe, you should contact your doctor.

Bowel Movements

It is normal for bowel movements to be a little uncomfortable for 1-2 weeks, and for there to be small quantities of blood in the toilet bowl or on toilet paper fter the first few bowel movements. Constipation can make this worse, so a stool softener is recommended (such as Normafibe – one teaspoon twice a day) during the first 7-10 days.

Surgical Risks

Rubber band ligation generally has a successful outcome for the vast majority of patients. However, in rare cases, the following complications may develop:

  • Bleeding.
  • Pain.
  • Sepsis of the pelvis.
  • Other infection.
  • Thrombosed haemorrhoids (presence of a blood clot can make these quite painful).
  • Ulcer that will not heal.

When to contact Dr White

Most surgical procedures are uneventful, with minimal complications. However, you need to be aware of the following symptoms as they may indicate a developing serious complication...

  • Fever.
  • Excess bleeding.
  • Difficulty urinating.
  • Severe or increasing pain.

If you experience any of these symptoms or have any concerns after your surgery, please contact the rooms on 07 5598 0955 for advice.

A post operative appointment will be made for you before you are discharged from hospital. If you are discharged on a weekend, after normal surgery hours or it is not clear what follow up appointments are required, then contact the rooms the next working day to make an appointment.