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Rubber Band Ligation

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Oct 31, 2022.

Rubber band ligation (RBL) is an outpatient procedure to remove internal hemorrhoids.


Call 911 for any of the following:

  • You suddenly feel lightheaded and short of breath.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You bleed from your anus, and you cannot get it to stop.
  • You have severe pain in your stomach or anus.
  • You cannot urinate, or you urinate very little.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have nausea or are vomiting.
  • You have a fever.
  • You have pain or trouble urinating or having a bowel movement.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


You may need any of the following:

  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
  • Fiber supplements 1 to 2 times a day may help you have regular, soft bowel movements. You do not need a doctor's order for fiber supplements. They may be taken as a powder, pill, or chewable tablet.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell your provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Warm sitz bath:

Fill a bathtub with 4 to 6 inches of warm water. You may also use a sitz bath pan that fits over a toilet. Sit in the sitz bath for 15 minutes. Do this 2 to 3 times a day, or as directed. The warm water can help decrease pain and swelling. 

Bowel movements:

Try to have a bowel movement within 48 hours. You may have a small amount of bleeding. Do not strain when you have a bowel movement. The following will help you have soft and regular bowel movements:

  • Eat a variety of high fiber foods. High-fiber foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and bran.

  • Drink liquids as directed. You may need to drink more liquids than usual. Water is the best liquid to drink. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you.
  • Exercise regularly. Ask about the best exercise plan for you.

Return to work:

You can usually return to work right away.

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.