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Swelling of the veins in the anal canal leads to formation of hemorrhoids. When the swollen veins are present inside the anal canal, they are termed as internal hemorrhoids. However, when these veins swell near the opening of the anal canal, they are termed as external hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids may be a result of several conditions. Some of these include:

  • Excessive straining while passing stools in conditions like diarrhea and constipation. This increases the pressure in the veins of the anal canal leading to hemorrhoids.
  • Pregnancy may lead to hemorrhoids, especially during the second half. This is because of excessive pressure on the vessels of the pelvic region during this time. Pushing out the baby during labor may further increase the pressure leading to worsening of the hemorrhoids.
  • Obesity may also lead to the development of hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids are generally treated by removing them surgically, a procedure that is known as hemorrhoidectomy.

During this procedure, incisions are made in the anal tissue surrounding the hemorrhoid. The swollen vein, present inside the hemorrhoid is ligated and the hemorrhoid is then excised. After the removal of the hemorrhoid, the surgeon may either suture the wound or leave it open to facilitate drainage. The wound is covered with medicated gauze. The procedure is performed under mild anesthesia and the patient is usually sent home the same day after the effect of anesthesia has worn off and the patient has passed urine.

Surgeons say that the normal recovery time following removal of hemorrhoids is 2 to 3 weeks. However, it may take longer than that. Complete healing may take 6 to 8 weeks.

The effect of local anesthetic given during surgery wears off in 6 to 12 hours. It is only then that the patient starts experiencing pain at the site of surgery. Pain killers are usually prescribed and are supposed to be taken every four to six hours. Expect the pain to last for around two to three weeks following hemorrhoid surgery.

The pain gets especially worse during a bowel movement and immediately after it. Sitting in a Sitz bath after passing the stools may provide relief from the pain by relaxing the muscles of the pelvic floor.

You may also expect some bleeding from the operation site for up to eight weeks after the surgery. The bleeding generally occurs while straining during passing stools or when you wipe the area after a bowel movement. The bleeding is normally small and you do not require a dressing.

You may notice mucus drainage between the bowel movements. Mucus is normally produced in the rectum and may leak along the scar tissue. This may occur for several weeks following the surgery until the scar has completely healed.

There may be bumps around the anus for several months. These are actually the scar tissue and shrink as the wound flattens out. However, in some people these bumps may remain permanently at the ends of the scars.

A surgery for removal of hemorrhoids is only successful if the patient makes certain changes in his lifestyle. He has to improve his bowel habits in order to avoid straining due to constipation. For this, he may have to increase the fiber content in his diet. Patients undergoing hemorrhoidectomy may develop hemorrhoids again if they fail to avoid constipation.

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