What You Should do After a Hemorrhoids Surgery

Medically reviewed by: Gary H. Hoffman, MD

Hemorrhoids are a common issue. Most small hemorrhoids go away on their own. But larger hemorrhoids and those that develop complications can persist, causing severe pain and rectal bleeding. In this case, your doctor might advise you on a surgical procedure to treat your hemorrhoids.

In this article, we’ll discuss the types of surgery available for hemorrhoid treatment and how you can speed up your recovery after an operation.

What Are Hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, are swollen veins in the rectum or anus. They can occur inside the anus (internal hemorrhoids) or just outside the opening of the anus (external hemorrhoids).

Hemorrhoids are usually caused by straining during bowel movements, pregnancy, childbirth, and being overweight. Other risk factors include a family history of hemorrhoids, liver disease, spinal cord injury, rectal surgery, and prolonged sitting, especially on the toilet. In general, anything that increases the pressure inside your abdomen can cause hemorrhoids.

What Are The Different Types Of Surgery For Hemorrhoids?

The different types of operations available for hemorrhoids are hemorrhoidectomy, banding, artery ligation, and stapling. 

There are three main types of hemorrhoid operations that require anesthesia. These include:

  • Hemorrhoidectomy: In this procedure, the surgeon removes the hemorrhoidal tissue with traditional surgical tools. It is considered to be the most effective treatment for all types of hemorrhoids. 
  • Stapled hemorrhoidopexy (PPH): During this procedure, the surgeon removes the hemorrhoidal tissue with a special surgical stapler and anchors the now normal rectal tissue back onto the rectal lining This stops them from protruding through the anus and cuts off their blood supply.  This procedure is much less painful compared with a traditional hemorrhoidectomy.
  • Hemorrhoidal artery ligation: A procedure that uses a tool to identify and tie off the arteries that supply blood to the hemorrhoids. This causes them to fall off. Before this procedure, a surgeon identifies the arteries using an ultrasound.

You also have surgical procedures that don’t require anesthesia. One example is banding, where a rubber band is placed around the base of hemorrhoid, cutting off its blood supply. This makes the hemorrhoid shrink and falls off within a week or two.  This procedure is performed in a colorectal surgeon’s office

Another example is infrared coagulation, where a device is used to heat and destroy the hemorrhoidal tissue. This is a simple procedure that can be done in a doctor’s office. Keep in mind that not every hemorrhoid patient gets surgery. Your doctor might advise you to undergo surgical treatment if you have:

  • A prolapsed hemorrhoid: This is when a protruding (external) hemorrhoid becomes stuck outside of  the anus.
  • A thrombosed hemorrhoid: This is when a blood clot forms in one of the veins in the hemorrhoid. It’s often very painful.
  • A hemorrhoid that doesn’t respond to other treatments: If you’ve tried over-the-counter medications, creams, and lifestyle changes but your hemorrhoids are still bothering you, surgery might be an option.

If you’re considering surgery for your hemorrhoids, make sure to talk with your doctor about the best procedure for you. The best operation for you depends on the size and location of your hemorrhoids, as well as your health history.

How Long Does It Take To Recover From Hemorrhoid Surgery?

The amount of time it takes to recover from surgery depends on the procedure you have, how well it goes, and your overall health. Patients who undergo hemorrhoidectomy usually take 2-4 weeks before returning to normal activities. But it may take longer than this depending on your individual situation. If you have a PPH, your recovery may be much shorter.

Make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully after surgery. This will help ensure a smooth recovery. For now, let’s discuss what you should expect after a hemorrhoid surgery and how you can speed up your recovery.

What To Expect After A Hemorrhoid Surgery?

After your surgery, you can expect some pain, bleeding, and swelling. You might also have some discharge from the surgery site. These symptoms should improve over time.

Regarding exercise after a hemorrhoidectomy, you’ll need to take it easy for a few weeks after your surgery. This means no heavy lifting or strenuous activities. You should also avoid pushing or straining during bowel movements. 

Remember to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully after surgery, so you don’t face any complications during the recovery period.

If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to contact your doctor. They will be happy to answer any questions you have.

How Can I Speed Up Recovery After A Hemorrhoid Surgery?

There are a few things you can do to speed up your recovery after surgery. These include:

  • Take pain medication as prescribed. This will help control any pain you experience. Pain medications given after a hemorrhoid surgery include acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and narcotics such as codeine. However, it’s important to be careful about narcotics because they can lead to constipation, which should be avoided after surgery.  Stool softeners are usually prescribed in addition to narcotics.
  • Apply ice packs to the surgical site. This can help reduce swelling and inflammation. To do this, place a thin towel over the ice pack and place it on your surgical site. Do this for 15-20 minutes, 3-4 times a day.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.This helps keep you remain hydrated, which prevents constipation.
  • Eat a healthy diet. This will help your body heal properly. Make sure to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet.
  • Get plenty of rest. This will allow your body to heal properly.
  • Eat soft, bland foods. This will help minimize discomfort and gas buildup.
  • Use a stool softener if needed. This will help make bowel movements less painful. One example of a stool softener is Colace.
  • Warm baths (Sitz baths) after bowel movement are helpful in soothing the discomfort and also help clean the area. The warmth also increases blood flow which can speed up healing.

What Are The Complications Of Hemorrhoid  Surgery?

Although complications are rare, they can occur. Some of the complications after hemorrhoid surgery include:

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Narrowing of the anal opening (stenosis)
  • Recurrence of hemorrhoids
  • Infection (not that common)
  • Incontinence (rare)

If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor right away. In most cases, complications can be treated successfully.

Can Hemorrhoids Come Back After Surgery?

Yes, hemorrhoids can come back after surgery. However, in most cases, recurrence is rare. The chance that your hemorrhoids come back after surgery depends on a number of factors, including the severity of your hemorrhoids, the type of surgery you have, and your individual situation.

Now You Know What You Should Do After A Hemorrhoid Surgery

Remember, the most important thing to do after a hemorrhoid surgery is to follow your doctor’s instructions. Their advice will be tailored and specific to your individual situation, making it an effective means to speed up your recovery.

But in general, taking painkillers, applying ice packs to the surgical site, warm baths after bowel movements, eating a soft diet, using a stool softener, and avoiding heavy physical exertion after a hemorrhoid surgery are all good ways to ensure a speedy recovery.