Rubber band ligation is a procedure in which the hemorrhoid is tied off at its base with rubber bands, cutting off the blood flow to the hemorrhoid. The hemorrhoid then shrinks and dies and, in about a week, falls off. The method is used in stage II and III of hemorrhoid disease. After the procedure, you may feel pain and have a sensation of fullness in the lower abdomen. Or you may feel as if you need to have a bowel movement. Treatment is limited to 1 to 2 hemorrhoids at a time if done in the out-patient clinic. Additional areas may be treated at 4- to 6-week intervals.

People respond differently to this procedure. Some are able to return to regular activities (but avoid heavy lifting) almost immediately. Others may need 2 to 3 days of bed rest. The sensation of pain is likely in 20% of patients and may last from 1 to 5 days. Bleeding may occur 7 to 10 days after surgery, when the hemorrhoid falls off. Bleeding is usually slight and stops by itself.