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What is Hemorrhoid Ligation?

By R. Anacan
Updated May 16, 2024
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Hemorrhoid ligation is a method of removing hemorrhoids. It is one of the most common methods of surgical hemorrhoid removal used today, since it is a relatively simple procedure that can be performed on an outpatient basis. Once the hemorrhoid ligation is complete, the patient is generally able to go home, as long as there are no complications from the procedure.

Hemorrhoids are enlarged or swollen veins, similar to varicose veins, which are located in the rectum or on the anus. Hemorrhoids are a common medical condition that can produce pain, swelling, itching, discomfort and bleeding in those who have it. There is no one proven method of eliminating hemorrhoids once they have developed. In some instances, hemorrhoids may shrink or disappear entirely over time with little or no action on the part of the person that has them.

Many people find relief from hemorrhoid symptoms through the use of over the counter remedies such as ointments, creams, suppositories, and medicated wipes. Those with hemorrhoids may also find that sitting in enough warm water to cover the anal area, known as a sitz bath, can also alleviate symptoms and provide relief. When these methods do not provide relief from hemorrhoid symptoms, or when the condition has advanced to the point that the hemorrhoids cause severe bleeding or pain, contain a blood clot, or have protruded outside of the body, procedures such as a hemorrhoid ligation may be required.

Hemorrhoid ligation essentially involves the installation of a rubber band at the base of a hemorrhoid. Once the rubber band is installed, it will prevent the flow of blood to the hemorrhoid. Over a period of time, generally one to two weeks, the hemorrhoid will eventually die and fall off. In some ways the process of hemorrhoid ligation is similar to what is done to a baby’s umbilical cord after birth. After birth, the umbilical cord is clamped and then naturally falls off after a period of time.

After the hemorrhoid ligation has been completed, the patient may feel some minor pain and discomfort that can generally be reduced with pain medication. For a few weeks after the procedure, doctors will often recommend that their patients use sitz baths and over the counter remedies. Doctors will also generally advise that their patients increase their consumption of high fiber foods to make bowel movements easier and to reduce the amount of straining or pushing during a bowel movement. To prevent aggravating the rectal or anal area, it is also recommended that those who have had a hemorrhoid ligation performed avoid any type of heavy lifting for a few weeks after the procedure. Heavy lifting places a large amount of pressure on the lower regions of the body and can inhibit effective healing.

Hemorrhoid ligation may not be right for everyone and there are several methods of hemorrhoid removal to choose from. Therefore those considering the procedure should consult with a doctor or health care provider.

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