The use of local anaesthesia in haemorrhoidal banding: a randomized controlled trial

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Rubber band ligation is a common office procedure for the treatment of symptomatic haemorrhoids. It can be associated with pain and vasovagal symptoms. The effect of local anaesthetic use during banding was studied.


A single-blinded randomized controlled trial was carried out in the colorectal outpatient clinic. Patients presenting with symptomatic haemorrhoids suitable for banding were prospectively recruited and randomized to undergo the procedure with local anaesthetic or without (control). Submucosal bupivacaine was injected immediately after banding just proximal to the site. Vasovagal symptoms were assessed at the time of banding and pain scores (visual analogue scale) were recorded at the conclusion of the procedure, after 15 min, and on leaving the clinic.


Seventy-two patients (40 local anaesthetic injection, group 1; 32 no injection, group 2) were recruited. The mean ages were 50 and 54 years respectively, the median duration of symptoms was 12 months in each group and the median number of haemorrhoids banded was three in each group. The mean pain score on leaving the clinic was 2.6 (95% CI 2.1, 3.1) in group 1 and 4.1 (95% CI 3.3, 5.0) (P= 0.04) in group 2. There were no complications related to local anaesthetic use. No significant difference in vasovagal symptoms was found (P= 0.832).


Local anaesthetic injection at the time of banding is simple and safe. It may reduce patient discomfort following banding of haemorrhoids.

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