Banding is the use of elastic bands to apply pressure and constrict, or tie off, parts of the body such as esophageal varices which can lead to bleeding.

Esophageal varices are abnormal, enlarged veins in the tube connecting the mouth to the stomach. By placing a band around these problematic veins, it cuts off blood flow and allows the banded tissue to become a small ulceration that heals quickly in the following days or weeks.

What do I need to know for banding of enlarged esophageal veins?

Using an endoscope, your doctor will place an elastic band around the bleeding esophageal vein. Banded varices require monitoring, so you will need to schedule visits to your doctor anywhere from 1 to 4 times per year. After the bleeding is controlled with banding, patients may be given a drug to prevent bleeding from starting again.