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Hemorrhoid surgery

Hemorrhoid surgery is the removal of swollen veins around the anus.

See also: Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoid surgery is often done in an outpatient clinic or your doctor's office, with little or no anesthesia .

Hemorrhoids can be surgically removed using a special stapler or sutures (stiches). After the hemorrhoid is removed, you may have stitches that dissolve on their own and gauze packing to reduce bleeding.

Other treatments may include:

  • A shot into the hemorrhoid to reduce swelling (sclerotherapy)
  • A rubber band around the hemorrhoid to cut off its blood supply
  • Shrinking the hemorrhoid with heat, or freeze it with liquid nitrogen
  • Minor surgery to treat the hemorrhoid (hemorrhoidectomy)

Smaller hemorrhoids may not need surgery.

Alternative Names

Hemorrhoidectomy

Why the Procedure Is Performed

Most small hemorrhoids can be managed with lifestyle changes and diet.

Your doctor may recommend hemorrhoid surgery if lifestyle and diet changes and medicines have not worked.

Risks

Risks for any surgery are:

Risks for any anesthesia are:

Risks for hemorrhoid surgery are:

  • Leaking a small amount of stool (long-term problems are rare)
  • Problems passing urine because of the pain

Before the Procedure

Always tell your doctor or nurse:

  • If you could be pregnant
  • What medicines you are taking, even those you bought without a prescription

Several days before surgery, you may be asked to stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), warfarin (Coumadin), and any other drugs that make it hard for your blood to clot.

On the day of the surgery:

  • If you are having general anesthesia, you will usually be asked not to drink or eat anything after midnight the night before the surgery.
  • Take any medicines your doctor told you to take with a small sip of water.

After the Procedure

You may have a lot of pain after surgery as the area tightens and relaxes. You may be given medications to relieve pain.

Gradually return to your normal activities. Avoid lifting, pulling, or strenuous activity until your bottom has healed. This includes straining during bowel movements or urination. To avoid straining, you will need to use stool softeners. Eat more fiber to ease bowel movements. Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day.

Soaking in a warm bath (sitz bath) can help relieve pain. Sit in 3 to 4 inches of warm water a few times a day.

You should have a complete recovery in about 2 weeks.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Most people do very well after hemorrhoid surgery. You will still need to take steps to help prevent the hemorrhoids from coming back. Eating a high-fiber diet, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding constipation may help.

References

Sneider EB, Maykel JA. Diagnosis and management of symptomatic hemorrhoids. Surg Clin North Am. 2010 Feb;90(1):17-32, Table of Contents.

Nelson H, Cima RR. Anus. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 51.

Updated: 1/24/2011

Shabir Bhimji, MD, PhD, Specializing in General Surgery, Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Midland, TX. Review Provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.


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