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Itchy, Ouchy Pain in the You Know What

By Sean A. Connelly, D.O.

No one likes to talk about them, but almost everybody gets them from time to time. Hemorrhoids (also called piles) are swollen veins in the lowest part of your rectum and anus and are very common. Sometimes the veins bulge and get irritated, especially when you have a bowel movement. Hemorrhoids often don't have any symptoms but at other times they cause itching, discomfort and bleeding.

Fortunately, many effective options are available to treat hemorrhoids. Many people can get relief from symptoms with home treatments and lifestyle changes, such as eating more fiber and drinking more water. But when hemorrhoids are an ongoing problem, it’s time to seek the advice and treatment of a physician.

One of the simplest treatment methods is with a minimally invasive procedure called rubber band ligation. At Valley Gastroenterology Associates and Four Seasons Endoscopy Center, we use the CRH O’Regan hemorrhoid banding system.

What is CRH O’Regan?

The CRH O’Regan System treats hemorrhoids completely – without surgery or recovery time. The hemorrhoid treatment process is simple, fast and painless. It works by cutting off the blood supply to the hemorrhoid, causing it to shrink after the band falls off in a few days. You may not even notice when this happens.

Does the CRH System hurt?

The short answer is, “no.” Most patients feel no pain from hemorrhoid banding, even during recovery. And those who do typically report their pain as minor, just a slight fullness in the rectum, or a dull ache.

How does the treatment process work?

Your CRH O’Regan hemorrhoid band treatment starts with an examination and consultation with your doctor to confirm your diagnosis and provide more information about expected treatment needs. Sometimes, banding can start immediately, during that same appointment. During each visit, your physician will typically apply a single band to the afflicted area, ensuring it has time to completely heal. Anywhere from one to four treatments may be needed, depending on the number of hemorrhoids.

What happens after the procedure?

Once the band is in place it cuts off the blood supply to the hemorrhoid, causing the banded tissue to fall off, typically within a few days. You probably will not even notice when this happens! The hemorrhoid will shrink, relieving your symptoms. During the first 24 hours you may experience a feeling of fullness or a dull ache in the rectum, but over-the-counter pain medication will provide sufficient relief.

There’s no need to be embarrassed or “just live with it.” Hemorrhoid relief is easy in most cases. We’re happy to talk with you about it!


Dr. Sean Connelly is board-certified in gastroenterology. He practices at Valley Gastroenterology Associates in Beaver County, Pennsylvania.