Haemorrhoid banding is a common treatment for Grade 2 and 3 haemorrhoids.
Grade 1 are small swellings on the inside lining of the back passage. They cannot be seen or felt from outside the anus. Grade 1 haemorrhoids are common. In some people they enlarge further to grade 2 or more.
Grade 2 are larger. They may be partly pushed out (prolapse) from the anus when you go to the toilet, but quickly ‘spring back’ inside again.
Grade 3 hang out (prolapse) from the anus. You may feel one or more as small, soft lumps that hang from the anus. However, you can push them back inside the anus with a finger.
Grade 4 permanently hang down from within the anus, and you cannot push them back inside. They sometimes become quite large.
This procedure is usually done by a surgeon in an outpatient clinic. A haemorrhoid is grasped by the surgeon with forceps or a suction device. A rubber band is then placed at the base of the haemorrhoid. This cuts off the blood supply to the haemorrhoid which then ‘dies’ and drops off after a few days. The tissue at the base of the haemorrhoid heals with some scar tissue.
Banding of internal haemorrhoids is usually painless as the base of the haemorrhoid originates above the anus opening – in the very last part of the gut where the gut lining is not sensitive to pain. Up to three haemorrhoids may be treated at one time using this method. In about 8 in 10 cases, the haemorrhoids are ‘cured’ by this technique. In about 2 in 10 cases, the haemorrhoids recur at at some stage. (However, you can have a further banding treatment if this occurs.) Banding does not work in a small number of cases. Haemorrhoids are less likely to recur after banding if you do not become constipated and do not strain on the toilet