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There is simply no way to judge how much pain to expect, and that is by far the most intimidating aspect of the recovery. As I lay here 10 days after my surgery I am finally able to recount what assisted with life after my hemorrhoidectomy. I can say I have read at least 100 posts on the recovery process and not a single has properly encapsulated my experience – not from a lack of description or depth but due to the simple statement I have begun with – that each experience is different. There are simply too many variables to account for – the location and magnitude of your hemorrhoids, your diet’s consistency, fiber levels, medicines, and bowel movement frequency. The list goes on and on. What works for one will not necessary work for another, and this is a fact that one must accept when constructing a personal recovery plan. By sharing my own experiences I hope to provide a piece of advice that will help you along your recovery. Please read this knowing that what I have done will not suit all, but some – all that is enough to inspire me to write. I hope after your recovery it will prompt you to do the same.

 

I am a healthy 29-year-old male. I had two hemorrhoids the size of one’s thumb removed on Tuesday, October 9th, 2012 by traditional surgery (hemorrhoidectomy). The MOST important part of your recovery however starts long before your surgery. In fact in my opinion the single most important part of your recovery depends on whom you choose to preform your surgery. It’s that simple. Think of it this way – would you want someone who performs surgeries on 10 parts of the body to preform your surgery, or a surgeon that has years of experience in the ONE specific area you’re going to have your surgery? A surgeon that (rightly) has experience in many areas of the body or a surgeon that has experience specifically in the area you are concerned with? A surgeon that has made a cut in that specific area so many times he knows immediately how well you will heal?

 

Bottom line: If you have a chance look for a surgeon that is board certified in Colon and Rectal surgeries. It will perhaps cost more, but there’s no price you wouldn’t pay later to not experience the pain, so take it from me – it’s worth it.

 

I was prescribed and used the following for my recovery:

 

  • Miralax – don’t get a substitute use the real thing.
  • Gatorade G2 – get your fill of electrolytes without the calories
  • Vaseline – Apply on any raw or red area and then put on…
  • Cotton Balls – Roll them between your hands and use to soak any leaking
  • Netflix – Just $9.99 for a month, use it and love it to pass the time.
  • Hydrocodone – Acetaminophen
  • Oxycodone - Acetaminophen
  • Docusate Sodium 100mg – Stool Softener – take with pain pills
  • Over the counter sleeping aids

 

 

I took the oxy every 4-6 hours as was instructed and the result was impaction – I did not have a bowel movement until the early AM of day 6 when I gave myself an enema. It was quite painful as the BM was not normal but brief and explosive – so although you may be taking whatever painkillers you must balance them out with laxatives and fiber…..

 

Most of your recovery will depend on the balancing act between your medication and your diet. As you find out all too soon, the pain from a BM will be what you should reserve the strongest painkillers for – the time in-between, when there is a pulsating pain that will dull into a weaker constant pain, will be for the less strong painkillers you should have been prescribed. After your first couple of BMs you will typically see a bit of redness and soreness around the anus – it is simply from all the activity down there and can be relieved by applying Vaseline to the area.

Get yourself a sitz bath. There will be times when you will want to use a bathtub just to soak, but a sitz bath will save you time after BM by reducing soreness due to over-wiping. Sadly cleanliness is just something you will have to get used to dealing with. It is difficult to actually get an infection and much easier to simply agitate the area with over wiping.  Take a sitz bath each morning after waking up. It will clean the area and get your blood flowing in that area. I would recommend loading up TV shows that are typically 30 mins (20 without ads) on your PC or tablet and using them as timers…. Try and take 2-3 sitz baths a day and watch an episode each time.

 

My final piece of advice is in regards to your mindset. Keep your focus – the pain will seem unbearable at times but you must think of the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel.” You are doing this because it has to be done, and in the long run, you know this step was the right one to take. With all the pain and struggles of at least a 2-week recovery I passed less blood than one BM with my hemorrhoids, and that’s how you must look at it – find the positive side and stick with it.  Cry, shout and curse. These actions invoke a chemical reaction in your brain that will reduce the pain as your mind and body will go into “fight or flight” mode.

 

Never be afraid of calling your doctor. If it’s the middle of the night and you have a problem, call. If you have questions, write them down as you’ll likely take a few pain pills and forget. When you wake up, call. Most doctors have assistants that deal with these calls during office hours and if you’re worried like was that you might disturb the peaceful sleep of the doctor, remember that in two weeks you’ll get your bill and wish you’d called every night. Remember – nothing is more important than your health! If this means an extra week off work then take that week off – you’ll regret it if you have complications, trust me.

 

Best wishes to all of you going through the recover process. I will certainly check this forum to see if there are any follow-up questions and will be happy to answer anything. 

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So, I am a 48 y/o female, facing my surgery in January. I am soo uncomfortable, I cannot wait for that 'light at the end of the tunnel'.  I am, however, anticipating a good week to 10 days of severe pain.  correct? Also, I have been reading that changing one's diet a week or two prior to surgery will help.  Any thoughts on that? I guess its a safe assumption that I'll drop these last 5 lbs ;-)

Most important question: how are you feeling now and is it a marked improvement vs pre-surgery?

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First let me wish you a smooth surgery. Secondly, 7-10 days of "severe" pain is about right, although i personally did not experience pain until a bowel movement, there was no day-to-day constant pain. While i would say the 7-10 day period is about right, don't expect to go back to work anywhere near that timeframe. I would say a month is average from start to finish (surgery to recovery).

As far as your diet, think of it this way - the pain comes from bowel movements, so you really want soft-formed poo.... and the best way to get that (and thus less agitation during a BM) is to stick to the BRAT diet as well as drinks (i had a protein drink most mornings and lots of water/gatorade all throughout the day. As far as when to change your diet, i would suggest you start 2 days before the procedure.

I literally was on the couch stretched out 24/7 and simply because of the pain and lack of appetite lost 10lbs doing nothing at all. You'll easily lose those 5lbs, but keeping them off when you need to eat to regain strength will be the real test.


It is now November 17th, so i'm a month and a week out of surgery. After the 3 week period i was fine and flew home.....from then till today i've just had to deal with the cotton balls as I'm still having occasional leakage (very small amounts) every so often....


any other questions i can answer to help, let me know!!
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Had my op 2 days ago, Has anyone felt very bloated - their stomach inflated and hard and need to go toilet you just pass wind?

 

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if you're passing gas but feeling bloated and have not had a bowel movement you may have an impacted stool. I had this because the medication i was taking made my stool impacted. This can be managed by first an enema to relieve your impacted stool and then regulating your fiber intake. I got a jar of fiber gummies (i took 10mg a day) and it worked perfectly so that i went once a day. Another idea is to drink magnesium calcitrate that comes in a small glass jar that's sold at any drug store. 2 of these and you should go right away....if you don't, then you need to use an enema and if that doesn't work you should contact your doctor (might wanna let him know your progress anyways).

 

Please note that i didn't have a bowel movement until day 6....then i used an enema and everything went smoothly from there.

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thanks for the input markareadon!

yesterday I managed to pass a few little stools with blood and was straining on the last one - very painful (it felt like an elephant trying to walk through a doorway)

Today I passed more stools with no blood but the pain afterward was like I sat on some broken glass. I soaked some toilet paper in cold water and applied and the sat in the bath filled with water. (felt alright in the tub but not when i'm out)

getting leakage ever 1-3 hours (from winding and holding in wind)

I'm on dulcolax dicolfenac and docusate sodium and that's all i should be taking said the doctor. what a ___________!

I will try applying vaseline and eating fibre and fruits.

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No problem.....it will certainly feel like an elephant trying to walk through a doorway for a while, but I can tell you a secret that will take away the pain almost immediately UNTIL the drugs kick in...... IF you can mentally stomach it, which the pain was so bad for me i eventually could.. (or amazon delivers for free) buy these two things. 1) sitz bath .... just use the basin and fill with basically scalding hot water. Then immediately after a BM, wipe and sit in the sitz bath (add epson salts if desired). 

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If you are having gas try to walk a bit a few times a day. Even if only walking in circles or pacing in your bedroom. Then each day walk a but farther. It is not about speed but does help get things moving.  Drink plenty of water throughout the day and evening. Gas-X tablets also helped me.  Hang in there it does get better. I am now 12 weeks post surgery and the results are worth It.

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I am 4 days post-op with rectal spasms. Any thoughts? Doc says continue wirh baths and time will help. When does gas slow down? When will I be able to walk upright?
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 Think it varies. For me it got better at 8 days and then better still at 14 days. watch your diet, drink mwtaer after, getup and walk. Remember your stool softeners and I also used Gas-X. Hang in there....

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Thanks, been doing all the right stuff. Guess time truly is the only cure.
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I am 2 weeks post surgery today.  Thought everything was going great told the Dr. I was ready to go back to work on the 21st and today has been miserable.  Hadn't had a BM since Saturday night.  So I got out the metamucil and the dulcalax today.  Now I have the runs.  The dulcalax makes me sick and the metamucil gives me indigestion but it does get the job done.  Do not let yourself get backed up like I did.  I'm still going to go back to work on Monday.  I'm tired of being at home already and I don't have as much pain as I thought I would.  Just uncomfortable.  As long as I keep myself regular (which I haven't been doing) I am hoping that I will start feeling better.  Cleaned house yesterday and then slept all afternoon.  I guess it is a surgery even though it is in and out you are still be cut and have to heal from that.  I couldn't live with the hemmy and the doc warned me the recovery would be really bad.  He was right.  Can't wait to see how I feel in 3 more weeks.  Hopefully work will take my mind off of my bottom!  Wish me luck!

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Am 6 days post op. Am getting disturbed by the foul smelling discharge I get sometimes. How does one make sure that this is a routine secretion and not signs of an infection.
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Have your doctor check for infection immediately my doctor let this linger for five weeks and I was rushed in for emergency surgery after the most excruciatingly the pain I've ever experienced all to find a tract infection that he thought wasn't there
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Get your doctor - primary, not surgeon -- to order an MRI immediately to check for infection. The spasms I spoke about in a prior posting turned out to be a trapped infection. My surgeon kept telling me it was just the way my body was healing; then he said, he didn't know what was wrong. He hospitalized me but didn't confer with any other doctor, just masked the pain with Dilaudad. Upon discharge, the spasms were once again severe; he ordered an MRI where he identified the infection, ordered heavy duty antibiotics and STILL had to go in again to drain the infection. That second operation was when he made the discovery that the infection was trapped and no antibiotic would have reached it.
Listen to your body and be sure to have an advocate there to ask the questions. This experience takes a toll and we are not always up to the task of asking the right questions or seeking the right care, no matter how much trust, planning, etc we walk into it with. Best of luck to you.
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