Hemorrhoidectomy

Care After

Hemorrhoidectomy is the removal of enlarged (dilated) veins around the rectum. Until the surgical areas are healed, control of pain and avoiding constipation are the greatest challenges for patients.

For as long as 24 hours after receiving an anesthetic (the medication that made you sleep), and while taking narcotic pain relievers, you may feel dizzy, weak and drowsy. For that reason, the following information applies to the first 24-hour period following surgery, and continues for as long as you are taking narcotic pain medications.

  • Do not drive a car, ride a bicycle, participate in activities in which you could be hurt. Do not take public transportation until you are off narcotic pain medications and until your caregiver says it is okay.

  • Do not drink alcohol, take tranquilizers, or medications not prescribed or allowed by your surgical caregiver.

  • Do not sign important papers or contracts for at least 24 hours or while taking narcotic medications.

  • Have a responsible person with you for 24 hours.

RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS

Some problems that may occur following this procedure include:

  • Infection. A germ starts growing in the tissue surrounding the site operated on. This can usually be treated with antibiotics.

  • Damage to the rectal sphincter could occur. This is the muscle that opens in your anus to allow a bowel movement. This could cause incontinence. This is uncommon.

  • Bleeding following surgery can be a complication of almost any surgery. Your surgeon takes every precaution to keep this from happening.

  • Complications of anesthesia.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Avoid straining when having bowel movements.

  • Avoid heavy lifting (more than 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms)).

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver.

  • Take hot sitz baths for 20 to 30 minutes, 3 to 4 times per day.

  • To keep swelling down, apply an ice pack for twenty minutes three to four times per day between sitz baths. Use a towel between your skin and the ice pack. Do not do this if it causes too much discomfort.

  • Keep anal area clean and dry. Following a bowel movement, you can gently wash the area with tucks (available for purchase at a drugstore) or cotton swabs. Gently pat the area dry. Do not rub the area.

  • Eat a well balanced diet and drink 6 to 8 glasses of water every day to avoid constipation. A bulk laxative may be also be helpful.

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You have increasing pain or tenderness near or in the surgical site.

  • You are unable to eat or drink.

  • You develop nausea or vomiting.

  • You develop uncontrolled bleeding such as soaking two to three pads in one hour.

  • You have constipation, not helped by changing your diet or increasing your fluid intake. Pain medications are a common cause of constipation.

  • You have pain and redness (inflammation) extending outside the area of your surgery.

  • You develop an unexplained oral temperature above 102° F (38.9° C), or any other signs of infection.

  • You have any other questions or concerns following surgery.