The benefits of hemorrhoid banding
Hemorrhoids are an incredibly common health condition. So ubiquitous, in fact, that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that a majority of American adults – some 75 percent – will experience hemorrhoids at least once in their lifetime.
Signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids
As detailed by Healthline, hemorrhoids are caused by veins that expand and swell, leading to an often itchy lump or bump. Hemorrhoids are found in the anus area, lower rectum area or both, and are classified as either internal or external. Hemorrhoids that form outside the anus or protrude from the anus are external hemorrhoids, while internal hemorrhoids will form inside the lower rectum and anus. Patients will likely be able to feel and even see external hemorrhoids, while internal hemorrhoids can only be detected with the assistance of a physician.
Common symptoms of hemorrhoids, Healthline reported, are as follows:
- Pain and discomfort in the anal area.
- Itching that can range from mild to extreme.
- Blood in the bowel or on tissue after a bowel movement.
- Mucus and anal leaking.
- Feeling a lump or bump in the anal area (in cases of external hemorrhoids only.)
While there is no definitive cause of hemorrhoids, the most likely factor is straining, either in childbirth or while passing stools. There is also evidence that hemorrhoid risk increases with age. It's necessary to keep in mind that the above symptoms are sometimes indicative of a more serious condition, and patients should always seek medical attention immediately should they occur.
Given how uncomfortable the above symptoms are, it's unsurprising that many patients seek radical treatment options when over-the-counter options, such as creams, fail to work. Thankfully there is an effective out-patient technique known as banding that can be used to treat persistent hemorrhoids.
"Without blood flow the hemorrhoid begins to reduce in size."
What is hemorrhoid banding?
As outlined by the University of New Mexico, this procedure quite simply involves the use of a rubber band which is placed around the hemorrhoid to cut off blood flow to the impacted area. Without blood flow the hemorrhoid begins to reduce in size before eventually clearing up and healing. Prior to the procedure a physician will use an anoscope, which is a tool with a light, to inspect the area, look for abnormalities and assess the hemorrhoids.
There are a number of benefits to this simple treatment. They are as follows:
- The procedure is more effective for persistent hemorrhoids than over-the-counter remedies. Some estimates suggest that the procedure has a 99 percent success rate at eliminating hemorrhoid symptoms.
- It takes very little time – the University of New Mexico reported that the procedure itself is often over in less than 10 minutes and that patients are rarely at the clinic for longer than two hours or so.
- The procedure is pain free, thanks to sedation, and pain and other complications are rarely experienced in the aftermath of the procedure.
- Patients are often able to return to work the following day, UNM noted.
Given the success rate and ease of this procedure your medical practice should encourage patients to try the procedure before opting for more invasive treatments such as surgery. This kind of approach should only be considered in extreme cases that fail to resolve with other treatments.
The importance of disposable anoscopes
Before a diagnosis of hemorrhoids is made and banding as treatment is decided upon, physicians in your practice will use an anoscope to take a close look at a patient's anal and lower rectum area. The tool provides lights and can reveal any abnormalities, such as hemorrhoids. A number of physicians across the nation use reusable anoscopes, which is not only inefficient, but also poses a health risk to patients.
A safer and more efficient approach is to use single-use anoscopes, such as the range on offer from OBP Medical. The OBP Medical ANOSPEC Single-Use Lighted Anoscope is pre-assembled and provides a safe LED light source, powered by lithium batteries. Without the need for sterilization, using OBP Medical single-use anoscopes can save your physicians considerable time. Single-use devices also reduce the risk of cross-contamination with certain viruses, ensuring that your patients remain as safe as possible.
For more information on the range of single-use devices offered by OBP Medical and to request a free sample for your medical practice, click here.