I had been a hemorrhoid sufferer for years. They developed during and after my first pregnancy. The were aggrevated horribly because it took me 2 1/2 hours to push my 8 1/2 pound baby out. I just dealt with the discomfort conservatively for 20 years, and then decided it was time to do something about it.
I went to an internal medicine physician who specialized in GI. I was hoping to have them banded, as I had heard that this was a much less painful way to take care of them. The physician told me they were anal skin tags...or, in a word, hemorrhoids that had been neglected too long. One of them was about an inch and a half long.
In the office, under local anesthesia (lidocaine), I had them removed. The injections of lidocaine were EXCRUCIATING, and I consider myself someone who has a high pain tolerance. (After all, I had dealt with anal discomfort from hemorrhoids for 20 years. I sobbed and sobbed until the local anesthetic started working. He then excised, with a scalpel, the skin tags. I was given a prescription for Tylenol 3 and told to do Sitz baths (sitting in warm water in bathtub.
About 30 minutes later, the local anesthetic wore off and oh my goodness, here came the pain! I went straight home to the tub.
That first night was miserable. I cried a lot of tears and sat in the bathtub most of the night.
I ended up having to take 6 days off from work because of continued pain. Unfortunately, the Tylenol 3 is constipating and that made bowel movements more painful, of course.
It was FIVE weeks before I was pain free. The area where the larger skin tag was taken off was pretty much pain free at about 3 weeks, but the other one was terribly sore and uncomfortable until the 5 week mark.
I am glad I had it done, but it was a long recovery. My advise would be to do it in a hospital under sedation, because, again, the local anesthetic going in an already sore area was HORRIBLE. I would also be more careful about narcotic use, as it is constipating. Use stool softeners as well.
I hope this helps anyone who is considering the procedure.