How Long Does Hemorrhoidectomy Recovery Last? thread.
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The recovery time differs from person to person. Some recover fast but for some it takes even up to 8 -10 weeks to recover. And there is no certainty that the problem will out come up again. Some people face bleeding weeks after the hemorrhoid surgery.
I have been dealing with prolapsed internal hemmorhoids for about 10 years. They would become prolapsed whenever I had a bowel movement. When fully prolapsed, I had a lime-sized bulge of my internals protruding from my anus. For the most part, I was able to manage them by manually forcing them back up, but over time they became increasingly difficult to manage, and could pop out (and torment me), at any time. Last year, I was fed up with the impact on my quality of life, and decided to deal with them once and for all.
My surgery was on May 1, and was performed by a colo-rectal surgeon. It was day surgery, and I was put under general anaesthesia. Afterwards, the surgeon told me that he removed two internal hemmorrhoids, which he described as about the largest hemmorhoids he ever saw - and he does dozens of these surgeries every month. He told me to prepare for a painful recovery, and sent me home with prescriptions for stool softeners, a 5-day supply of Celebrex (anti-inflammatory), and 40 Percocets for pain. I asked about the potential for constipation, and he told me I could try using Milk of Magnesia. He also forbid me from bathing including no sitz-baths for two weeks as he felt that might risk disolving the stitches. (Showers were O.K.) He also suggested that I take two weeks off work. They recently instituted a short-term sick leave coverage policy at work, so I was happy to oblige on that point.
The first couple of days were not so bad. The pain was well under control, as I was taking a few Percs throughout the day, and I was able to get myself around the house no problem, and could eat, etc. I thought I had it made in the shade. But by day 3, after no BM, I thought I better lay off the Percs, as I knew they were constipating, and I took some Milk of Magnesia to bring it on. Within a few hours I was ready to go. That BM, and the next two I would go on to have over the next three days, was extremely painful as expected, but after reading all the posts from others, I was expecting an experience that would rival medieval torture in the level of pain, and I don't think it was quite that bad. Yes, it was scary, and I was swearing, and sweating, but I sucked it up and got through it. It didn't happen quickly. It took me good two-three hours before I finally fully unloaded. The Milk of Magnesia brought on intense bloating, pressure and urge to go, but for some reason, as soon as I would sit down on the toilet, the urge would disappear. I had to get up, pace, perform knee-bends, and other exercises to work up the urge, repeatedly. When it finally happened, I had to do it in a semi-squatting position as that was the only way that I was able to squeeze it out. Even though I knew it wasn't good for me, I had to strain more intensely than I ever had in my life - so hard that I noticed red spots in my face afterwards from popped blood vessels.
Even more difficult than actually going, was dealing with the pain afterwards - immediately following the movement, you experience intense near-crippling pain. It took a lot of focus for me to get up and to perform the clean-up. There was some blood in the bowl and on the wipes, but not a dangerous amount. I used toilet paper soaked in cold water - it helped to soothe quite a bit. After my big accomplishment, I rewarded myself with two Percocets. From then on, I delayed the taking of Percocets until just after going to the bathroom, to avoid constipating effects, and because that was when the pain is most intense.
The follow-up pain was severe for my first three bowel movements. I could do nothing but lie on the couch, or in bed, writhing in pain, waiting for the Percs to kick in. It took a couple of hours for the pain to subside to tolerable levels, and after several more hours, I was barely bothered at all. If you can time it so that you go to sleep after your BM, that also helps reduce your pain experience.
As mentioned, the first three BMs, which occurred over the first 5 days, were the most severe. After this they improved very quickly, and continued to improve each day. As of now (day 13), they are only slightly painful, and the recovery takes only about 15 minutes. I'm now taking only 1 Percocet after the BM, but even that I could probably do without.
Other than the recovery from the BMs, I haven't been terribly bothered over the last couple of weeks. I've been able to get myself around O.K., look after myself (meals, minor chores, etc.), and have been taking 1/2 hour walks every day since day 4. In the first week, there was some leakage - a combination of anal secretions and blood - that required frequent underwear changes. This week, I'm dealing more with itchiness, but it's not constant, and can be managed. I was originally concerned about whether I'd be able to sit comfortably, but that too is no problem, and I've even been able to drive since a few days after the operation. Overall I'm feeling fine, and have been checking in with work online. I'm officially off until next week, but probably could have managed to go back in this week, only because I have an office job, for which I sit at my desk most of the day.
The surgeon told me he expects a full recovery after 4-5 weeks, and that seems about right based on my condition now. Until then I'll be taking it easy to allow the wound to fully heal.
I'm not sure what factors contributed to what I think was a relatively moderate recovery. I think having a skilled specialist surgeon helped (about whom I had read a lot of good reviews). I'm physically fit, and have no other health problems. I've been very attentive to my diet leading up to the surgery and for the last couple of weeks - to ensure very high fiber content from fruits, vegetable, legumes, and whole grains.
A couple of other notes - I used Milk of Magnesia only for the first couple of BMs, but after that I didn't need it, as I was going daily. I have been taking a tablespoon of Mineral Oil each night and I think that has helped keep the flow going. Earlier I was supplementing with Benefiber, but I stopped that - didn't think it necessary. My Celebrex prescription ran its course, and I continue to take the prescribed stool softener twice daily.
All in all, it's a no-brainer to have finally got this taken care of. There's no question that the few hours of pain experienced were worth the outcome of being hems-free!
Finally, I'd like to thank all those who posted their experiences. Although many of them scared the bejesus out of me, I think they prepared me to expect the worse, and what I got was much better than expected. But most of all, I got a good laugh out of so many of them, and with this experience you absolutely have to maintain your sense of humour.
Best of luck to all.
I feel like I have recovered completely. I have no more pain, no more itching, I no longer take stool softeners and my bowel movements have also returned to normal (generally, no more than once a day).
I also am back to my regular work-out schedule of three times a week (I no longer need to work out every day to deal with the pain).
The only thing I still have is swelling in the area, that looks suspiciously like my hemorrhoids before the surgery.
My doctor says that the swelling may last for up to 2 months, and that at this point he cannot say if it is indeed hemorrhoids again.
I have to say, though, that the swelling has decreased significantly, and still seems to decrease almost on a daily basis. I am hoping this trend will continue until it is all gone, as I would hate the thought of having gone through all this and still be left with some hemorrhoids, even if they are smaller than what I started with. It has been too much of an ordeal just for a reduction in their size.
I am wondering if anyone else had swelling that looked like hemorrhoids, and whether it went down completely in the end?
All in all, I think it was completely worth it in the end. 3 internals and a few external gone. Although I still have painless small ones (possibly skin tags?) on the outside that my doctor says will shrink over time as long as I do my sitzbaths.
Oh, and DO NOT strain when doing BMs thats like a sure way to get them back. I worked on some breathing techniques that helped, exhaling as you push lightly.
Good luck all.
I had huge swelling about five days after my surgery, that looked like one big hemorrhoid.
After a few days, though, the swelling decreased and it became clear that I was dealing with two lumps, not one.
The two lumps resembled my pre-surgery hemorrhoids (I had two external ones), only bigger.
I voiced my concern to my doctor, who assured me they would decrease significantly. However, it was entirely possible they were hemorrhoids again, since I had had trouble going to the bathroom the first days after my procedure and had been straining. But it was too early to tell, he said he wouldn't be able to say if they were hemorrhoids, or just ordinary swelling, until about 2 months post-op.
Anyway, that was a little over one week after my surgery. I have, since, actually been happily surprised that they did indeed shrink (since I had barely any pain and discomfort anymore at that point, I thought I was practically recovered and therefore they would not shrink much).
Even after two weeks, when I felt like I was completely recovered, they continued to shrink.
I am happy to report now, at the three weeks mark, that one of them has dissolved almost completely, it is now hardly noticeable. The other one is less than half the size of one of my original hemorrhoids.
So the doctor had been right. I am not completely done yet, since they are still somewhat noticable, but I have good hope now they might actually disappear completely. I still have five weeks until the 2-months mark, and if they continue shrinking like they have done, they will have disappeared well before that.
All I can say to anyone wondering about this surgery is:
IF YOU HAVE THE CHOICE, DO NOT DO IT!!!
I was skeptical of all the bad experience posts, assuming mostly only those with trouble would post.
This was (and is) the worst experience of my life. I had cervical spinal fusion surgery last fall, and it was NOTHING compared to the pain and agony I have been through with this.
First day post op was spent on the floor of the bathroom, sweating, shaking, crying and vomiting, until my husband was able to pick up a stronger narcotic (Percocet to replace Vicodin) I was suicidal, but not able to move enough to swallow all the pills to do it.
The Percocet eased it a tiny bit, but I continued vomiting until the 3rd day, when I was able to convince the dr to prescribe something.
4th day post op found me in the ER, desperate for relief, they were unable to help, despite IV narcotics and oral and rectal enemas.
6th day post op found me in the drs office having a Ischioanal Abscess drained under local anesthetic. They are apparently fairly rare (he had never seen one before) but when they do happen, are frequently caused by the trauma of this surgery
9th day post op I finally had my first bowel movement (had 7 different enemas administered before that day, none worked, except to add toxins to my already stressed system). It was so painful, I vomited and nearly passed out.
10th day post op found me in the hospital having a 2nd Ischioanal Abscess opened and drained under general anesthesia, the first one was re-opened and re-drained as well.
I am now 13 days post op, and can barely stay in one position for more than 10 min. Sitting, standing, laying, all must be changed constantly. I have had little to no real sleep in almost 2 weeks. It has taken me 20 min to write this, as I have to keep standing up.
Thank god for my husband, who ended up taking over a week off of work to help me through this, and to do the frequent dressing changes on the opened abscesses.
DO NOT, repeat DO NOT have this surgery unless your literal life depends on it, and think that through carefully.
I wish I had taken others experiences seriously.
Further, as a nice side-effect (don't we deserve some after all that pain?), I also weigh 5 pounds less now than I did before the surgery. At some point it was actually 8 lbs, but 3 of them came back pretty quick. The rest seems to be permanent, since it has stayed that way for several weeks now.
I was walking around the city after being discharged quite happily, and eventually went home that evening. I was urinating without a problem with no bleeding or discharge from my rear.
4 days later I had my first bowel movement and wow was it painful, my entire body was sweating, the pain was intense, my ass seemed like it was on fire. I couldn't stand up without the intense pain shooting around my body. When I eventually managed to get up I found that I had managed to excrete what could only be described as a grape covered in blood. It was that small. The wipes were then covered in blood also. The pain lasted for about 4 hours afterwards, and the painkillers given to me didn't seem to do anything.
Next day pretty much the same thing happened in the morning, but that evening, my body managed to push everything out.
Now 7 days after the op I had a bowel movement and it's the same agony for a single poo the size of a grape, even though I want to do more, nothing seems to want to come out.
Does anyone else seem to have this problem? It can take me 4 or 5 attempts to actually have a proper BM. I'm on Fibregel and Senokot, with Paracetamol for the pain.
I went under general anesthesia and the surgery lasted about 1/2 hour. I have a very high pain tolerance and most things don't phase me a bit.
However, I have to say that the first night & day was EXTREMELY PAINFUL. I'm not talking just sorta hurts.. but almost the "please kill me now" type of pain. It hurt so bad that when I tried to remove the bandages to go to the bathroom the first time, I literally passed out.
I also felt like I constantly needed to have a BM and urinate, but couldn't.
The surgeon prescribed me Norco for pain relief. To be honest, this was like shooting an elephant with a spit wad which is to say that it was completely & totally ineffective. I called for some heavy duty stuff. They wouldn't prescribe anything stronger, but did end up prescribing some flexeril for the muscle spasms and some lidocane ointment. This did the trick and made things begin to relax & feel a bit better.
I think I pretty much lived in the tub for the first two days. The sitz baths are the only think that really managed the pain. Also, don't be afraid to BM while in the sitz bath. Sitz baths are truly your one and only friend following the 'ectomy... Now I'm sitting in the hot tub in the morning and evening which is also very soothing...
Its now Friday and I'm typing this at work. Yeah... back at the office. Its painful, but I'm battling through it and its manageable except when I have to go to the bathroom which is like every hour which is agony. I bought some prep H medicated wipes and clean up afterward and then I lube up with the lidocane & steroid ointments.
I can't tell you how much the lidocane ointment helps.
I'm pretty pissed off at the surgeon & my primary care physician. because they neglected to inform me of the pain I'd be in and did a piss poor job on the initial pain management. When i have my follow up, I'm going to give them a piece of my mind.
I won't say it wasn't horrible because it was. After surgery I woke up in pain and getting home was awful. I was laid out in the back seat of a truck keeping off my rear as much as possible. I wasn't able to do anything. Baths did help. The first night I took two Vicodin and ended up falling asleep in the bath (so be careful people!).The first BM was hell - I was so scared and I probably made it worse by holding back. It took a week for me to feel good enough to go to work. Going to the bathroom was painful still though (but not near the first few times). One day I went to use the toilet and I heard a stream but I wasn't actively going. I looked down and I was streaming blood. I wasn't straining at all so I didn't know what caused it. I went back to the doctor who ended up performing banding on a few. He said with the main one removed, some of the smaller ones may grow due to the additional blood supply. That was a horrble day. It barely hurt, but I wasn't ready for it....
All in all, I am so glad that I had the surgery! It was horrible having to deal with the hourly discomfort. I do have another smaller one I am going to get treatment for (hopefully only needs banding) soon and I am looking forward to not looking back. The pain and discomfort will be there, but it is gratifying in the end!