Haemorrhoids are inflamed vascular structures which can be found either inside the anus (internal haemorrhoids) or under the skin around the anus (external haemorrhoids). Although they are part of the normal lining of the anal canal, and occur in everybody, haemorrhoids can become a problem when they start to cause symptoms in patients. The symptoms can include protruding lumps (from prolapsed haemorrhoids), anal itching, discomfort or pain and anal bleeding. When haemorrhoids begin causing these symptoms they require treatment, typically banding (band ligation) for mild-to-moderate haemorrhoids.
Haemorrhoid banding involves placing a rubber band around the neck of the haemorrhoid, via a small instrument called a proctoscope. The rubber band restricts blood supply to the haemorrhoid, causing it to wither and die within a few days. Because the lower part of the bowel does not contain the sensitive nervous structure found on the skin, haemorrhoid banding is a less painful treatment option than surgery. Banding can be performed in conjunction with colonoscopies or sigmoidoscopies.
For legal reasons you must not drive a vehicle or operate machinery until the day after your procedure, but preferably not for 24 hours following your sedation anaesthetic. Driving under the influence of sedation carries the same implications as with alcohol. You must have a responsible adult to collect you from day surgery, drive you home and care for you for at least 12 hours post procedure.
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