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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
You may feel pressure in your rectum for 24 to 48 hours after your surgery. You may have light bleeding from your rectum for a few days. You may have bleeding and discomfort with bowel movements for several weeks.
Call 911 if:
- You have trouble breathing.
Seek care immediately if:
- Blood soaks through your bandage or underwear.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her 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 your anus with soap and water. 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 rectum. 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 bleeding and infection. 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 bleeding.
You should try to have a bowel movement within 48 hours after surgery. Constipation can cause pain and put pressure on the staples. 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 healthcare provider 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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