Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Dec 2, 2022.
What you need to know about a hemorrhoidectomy:
A hemorrhoidectomy is surgery to remove a hemorrhoid.
How to prepare for a hemorrhoidectomy:
Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for surgery. He or she may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery. He or she will tell you what medicines to take or not take on the day of your surgery. You may be given an antibiotic through your IV to help prevent a bacterial infection. Tell a healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic. Arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery.
What will happen during a hemorrhoidectomy:
You may be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. You may instead be given local or spinal anesthesia to numb the surgery area. With local or spinal anesthesia, you may still feel pressure or pushing during surgery, but you should not feel any pain. Your surgeon will make one or more incisions near your hemorrhoid and then remove your hemorrhoid. He or she may close your incisions with stitches or leave them open. He or she may place packing in your rectum to control bleeding. A bandage will be placed over your incisions.
What will happen after a hemorrhoidectomy:
Healthcare providers will monitor you until you are awake. You may be able to go home after surgery or you may need to spend a night in the hospital. You may have pain and bleeding from your incision for a few days. You may have bleeding with bowel movements for several weeks. If you have packing, it may be removed before you go home or in a few days. You may be told to remove it at home instead.
Risks of a hemorrhoidectomy:
Your hemorrhoid may return after surgery. You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. You may have a problem emptying your bladder after surgery. You may need a urinary catheter for a few days to help empty your bladder. Muscles in your rectum and anus may be damaged during surgery. This may make it hard to control your bowel movements. The tools used to remove the hemorrhoid may make a hole in your rectum or bowels. You may need surgery to repair this.
Call 911 for any of the following:
- You have trouble breathing.
Seek care immediately if:
- Blood soaks through your bandage or underwear.
- Your stitches come apart.
- You have severe pain in your rectum or abdomen.
- You cannot urinate, or you urinate very little.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever or chills.
- Your pain does not get better after you take pain medicine.
- You do not have a bowel movement within 48 hours after surgery.
- You have severe pain when you have a bowel movement.
- Your wound is red, swollen, or draining pus.
- You have nausea or are vomiting.
- Your skin is itchy, swollen, or you have a rash.
- You have trouble controlling your bowel movements.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
You may need any of the following:
- Medicine may be given to decrease pain and swelling. The medicine may come as a pad, cream, or ointment.
- Antibiotics help prevent a bacterial infection. They may be given as a pill or an ointment.
- Stool softeners help prevent constipation.
- Laxatives help you have a bowel movement and prevent constipation.
- Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
- NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. 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.
- 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.
Care for your wound as directed:
- Remove your bandage or packing as directed. Carefully wash around the wound with soap and water. It is okay to let soap and water gently run over your incision. Gently pat the area dry. Apply ointment or cream as directed. Put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty.
- Keep your anal area clean. After a bowel movement, wipe with moist towelettes or wet toilet paper. Dry toilet paper can irritate the area. Wear a sanitary pad to absorb bleeding and keep the area clean and dry.
- Apply ice on your anus for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel before you put it on your skin. Ice helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain.
- Take a sitz bath. A sitz bath can help decrease pain and swelling. Do this 3 times a day, and after each bowel movement. Fill a bathtub with 4 to 6 inches of warm water. You may also use a sitz bath pan that fits inside a toilet bowl. Sit in the sitz bath for 15 minutes.
- Sit on a pillow or a donut-shaped cushion. This helps relieve pressure and pain on your incision. Ask your healthcare provider where to buy a donut-shaped cushion. If you have pain when you sit, lie on your side.
- Do not have anal sex. Anal sex can cause your stitches to come apart. Ask your healthcare provider how long you need to follow these instructions.
- Do not lift anything heavier than 5 pounds. This can increase pressure in your rectum or anus and cause your incision to come apart.
You should try to have a bowel movement within 48 hours after surgery. Constipation can cause pain and put pressure on your incision. Do the following to prevent constipation:
- Drink plenty of liquids. Liquids can help prevent constipation and straining. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you.
- Eat a variety of high-fiber foods. This will help make it easier to have a bowel movement. Examples include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Ask your healthcare provider how much fiber you need each day. You may need to take a fiber supplement.
- Exercise as directed. Exercise, such as walking, may make it easier to have a bowel movement. Ask your healthcare provider what exercises are safe for you to do after surgery.
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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