I had hemorrhoid surgery on June 27, 2013 (I also had a colonoscopy the same day prior to surgery). I had internal and external hemorrhoids excised and cauterized in all quadrants. The externals were itchy and bleeding all the time. I have suffered for 24 years following childbirth as my OB/GYN said I popped much more than just a baby when I gave birth! My recovery has been an experience but not nearly as horrible as some of the stories I read.
Bowel Prep (Day Prior to Surgery): My doctor had me do the Miralax/Gatorade bowel prep since I was also having a colonoscopy prior to my hemorrhoidectomy. The bowel prep was not bad. I did not develop cramps at any time during the prep. The worse part was not eating solid food, but I never got too hungry.
Day 1 Surgery: I had both procedures under MAC anesthesia. I remember the anesthesioligist waking me up and telling me that my colonoscopy went perfect. I was in the middle of a good dream and told him that! He said I could go back to dreaming if I want. They wheeled me into OR for surgery and I was told to lay stomach down. The weird part was during the surgery, I remember waking and feeling the cutting a little bit (not in a traumatic way). Obviously there was a problem with the IV because I noticed it was relocated in the opposite hand when I was in recovery so I assume that is when I started waking up a little bit. Once in recovery, I didn't feel any pain. My hubby was brought in and I was having a long conversation with one of the nurse who was wearing a cool looking Nike Fuel Band. I was discharged not too much longer after I was fully awake. I think the MAC anesthesia made a huge difference in the recovery room. Usually general anesthesia makes me cry and completely out of it.
Day 1 Evening: Once I got home, I still was pain-free. I visited with my kids and had some soup and jello. Later that evening the pain started hitting me pretty hard and I took a Norco. My RX said to take one or two. I took a second Norco about a half an hour later. I didn't like the way the Norco made me feel. I felt horribly hot and sweaty (I'm a 49 year old woman who regularly has hot flashes as it is!!). It didn't do a whole lot to eliminate my pain, but I finally fell asleep. I woke up in the middle of the night and realized enough time had passed for me to take 2 more Norco. I did and the hot flashes continued and I felt woozy when I got up to go to the bathroom. Sitting on the toilet took some creativity because it hurt to squat down, but I figured out how to ease my way onto it.
Day 2: After my experience the night before with the narcotic I decided to switch to 800 Ibuprofen and that made the wooziness feel much better. I was in alot of pain but it was manageable without the narcotic. I slept alot that day. It was very painful to roll over in bed so I just tried to stay put even though I am used to rolling over on my other side at some point. I ate toast for breakfast and soup and jello for lunch. I removed the bandages and took a couple of sitz baths this day which provided alot of relief for the pain. I started using a super long sanitary napkin for the bleeding and discharge (which was constant but not too heavy). For dinner I had a green smoothie which hit the spot. By evening, I was moving around a bit, but very slow. I went to bed and woke up around 12:45 in pain. I remember that we had Advil PM and I took that. It helped me sleep and I was glad that I was still able to manage the pain without the narcotic.
Day 3: UNDER PRESSURE!!! That's the best way to describe this day! I woke up in the morning and ate some toast again. I was moving around the house but spend most of my resting time in my bed. I was in pain but it was still manageable with ibuprofen. I took a shower and washed my hair which made me feel alot better. Most of my pain was from the rawness of the surgical site. My husband bought me a can of Benacaine based on a recommendation I read from another person who had surgery. It burned so I only tried it once. Even with the pain and tenderness, I remember thinking that I felt pretty good considering I just had hemorrhoid surgery and then it happened. The pressure started building and I knew that I had to have my first BM post surgery. I was scared based on all of the horror stories I read, but I knew there was no stopping it. I had been taking the RX stool softeners twice a day so I just prayed that they did their job. I eased myself onto the toilet and waited for it to happen. Just a small little piece of the packing material came out and nothing else. I didn't want to force it so I stopped trying. But the pressure was so bad in my rectum area that it reminded me of childbirth and how I got the hemorrhoids in the first place! I decided to make myself a prune juice based green smoothie. About an hour later, I sat down and tried again and that time I finally went. And you know what???? It wasn't excruciating. It stung a little but it felt more like it was sliding out and I was thankful for the stool softeners. I had read that you have to be very careful with cleanup and this is when my bathtub became my BFF. I took a sitz bath but I was still feeling so much pressure. I went to the bathrooom again and once it started it didn't stop but it wasn't painful to go! If anything the pressure felt worse. At some point I gave up on the sitz baths because it became so much easier to jump into the bathtub. The final tally that day was 1 shower and 6 baths (4 baths in a two hour period).
Day 4: I was still feeling discomfort but it was managed with 800 ibuprofen. I was able to sit gingerly on my sofa and it felt good to be out of bed I still had the sense of pressure and was still going to the bathroom alot. The problem after hemorrhoid surgery is control. Thank goodness for the super long maxi pad because on at least two occasions, I felt the twinge and didn't make it to the bathroom in time. I made up this one-liner that I shared with my friends. "After hemorrhoid surgery, if you feel a twinge, you better move fast to the bathroom, but unfortunately after hemorrhoid surgery the only part of your body moving fast is your bowels!" My bathtub was still my BFF and I felt like I had to be the cleanest gal in the world at that point! I started getting a rash from the sanitary pad and used Desitin to relieve it. I ate a sandwich for dinner and it was good!
Days 5-11 were all about the same. Nothing remarkable happened, but I was up and about more. On Day 7, I drove myself to the store and did a little shopping. I just had to make sure I went to the bathroom before leaving the house. One week post op was the 4th of July and I was able to spend time with our friends and have a comfortable day and evening. I stopped taking daily ibuprofen because most of my discomfort was topical at that point. Around Day 10, I did get another raging rash, but the Desitin helped. At that point I stopped using the sanitary napkin and just started wiping away the discharge with a moist wipe when I felt it seeping. The internal pain had mostly subsided and I can sit on a chair comfortably. I cut down on the stool softeners because my stools were getting too much like diarrhea.
Yesterday was Day 12 and I went to the doctor for my first post-op visit. She was amazed at how well I was doing and said that she sees patients 3-4 weeks post-op who hadn't made the same progress as me. She said my surgical site was very clean (the baths do help!) and I am probably going to return to work earlier than I had planned. I don't anticipate that I will have any problems from this point forward.
So I hope my positive story will help people who need the surgery. Yes, it is painful, but the horror stories make it even more scary if that's all you read. After suffering for 24 years, I would have this surgery again in a heartbeat!
Ok I am following up my post to say that today is Day 13 and it's an itchy day!!! It just keeps itching and itching! I read that's normal with healing. Baths help and using Analpram to hopefully curb the itching. It's still not making me feel horrible....just want to scratch the itch! o.O
Please update us .. how are u now? u feel better? back to normal?
I'm glad to find this positive post. There seems to be a lot of horror stories out there related to hemorrhoidectomy.
I am now three days post op. My situation wasn't as bad to begin with I guess. I had a 2-3 cm external hemorrhoid that the surgeon decided to cut off. It wasn't painful at all. And I needed no painkillers even the first day post-op. It's an open wound so is bleeding a bit. I'm able to walk 2-3 kms without any trouble. Just resting so that the wound heals faster.
Good luck everyone. Take care !