Hemorrhoid Treatments in Your Doctor’s Office

If you have hemorrhoids and at-home treatments to shrink them or ease the pain haven’t worked, your doctor may be able to help.

Several procedures can be done in a doctor’s office, and each has advantages and disadvantages.

Rubber-Band Ligation (Banding)

Your doctor will take a tiny rubber band (only a few millimeters wide) and put it over the base of an internal hemorrhoid to cut off the flow of blood. The hemorrhoid usually shrinks and falls off (along with the band) in about a week.

If you have several hemorrhoids, you may need to have this done every few weeks. This treatment can be painful and cause bleeding. More rarely, it also may cause blood clots or infections.

Hemorrhoids treated this way are less likely to come back than with other treatments.

Sclerotherapy

Your doctor will give you a shot that puts chemicals into the hemorrhoid tissue. These chemicals also cut off blood flow to the hemorrhoids and shrink them. You may need to have this done every few weeks until they go away completely.

You may feel mild pain or pressure after, but infections are rare. With this treatment, the hemorrhoids often come back in a few years.

Infrared Coagulation

With this treatment, your doctor focuses an infrared light on a hemorrhoid, and the heat causes scar tissue to form and blood flow to the hemorrhoid to be cut off.

Generally, coagulation treatments have few side effects and cause very little pain. However, hemorrhoids are more likely to come back with these treatments than with banding.

Electrocoagulation

This is similar to infrared coagulation, except instead of an infrared light, your doctor uses heat from an electric current to create scar tissue and cut off the hemorrhoid’s blood supply.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar, MD on October 14, 2017

Sources

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: “Hemorrhoids: Diagnosis and treatment.”

Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care: “Enlarged hemorrhoids: What procedures can be done?”

UCSF Center for Colorectal Surgery: “Hemorrhoids.”

Albuquerque, A. World Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery, September 2016.

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