I am 12-weeks post-laser surgery for my hemorrhoids. They removed one external and two large internals. I went through the typical recovery process with painful BMs, sitz baths, frozen peas, advil, etc….
I'm really depressed and don't feel like I'm getting any better, so my hope is that someone might be able to shed some light on how long it should really take to feel 100% again (or at least 95%). The doctors all have the same canned speech - “you’ll feel back to normal in 4-weeks”.
FIrst of all, previous to laser surgery, I had 5 bandings and 2 electropulse sessions which were both good and bad. At this point, I feel like I've made myself worse by trying to find treatments to make it better.
Where I used to have major flare-ups from time-to-time and always after a BM (I’d BM at night which would result in a thrombose and wake up feeling better in the morning), I now have swelling and rawness every day with very short intervals of feeling like a normal person.
It’s uncomfortable to sit on anything, and with modern restaurant designers only using metal and wooden chairs with no cushions, it’s almost impossible to enjoy going out for a good meal anymore. If I’m feeling good enough to take a walk, I always feel bad within 30 mins of starting.
Here’s the history of my recovery from hemorrhoid laser surgery:
Week 1-2: Painful BMs (everyday), frozen peas, advil, sitz baths, overall bad feeling
Week 3: Less painfull BMs, no more sitz baths, full bowel feeling, advil, sharp bouts of itchiness, swelling, & rawness
Week 4: BMs are normal, full bowel feeling, advil, sharp bouts of itchiness, swelling, & rawness
Week 5-7: advil, itchiness, swelling, rawness. Very depressed and thinking about taking prescription drugs for depression (this makes wife upset). Called the Laser surgery center and they told me I should stop eating or drinking all dairy products to stop the swelling and rawness. This includes milk, cheese, yogurt…. Eggs are ok. They also told me to start taking a probiotic (VSL-3) to help neutralize the content in my gut which can reduce inflammation and irritation as well.
Week 8: itchiness is less now (but comes and goes), swelling, & rawness are the same. Still very depressed. Concerned that the swelling and rawness was not improving. Instead, it was always one step forward, two steps back. Since I had to go out-of-town for the laser surgery and I didn’t want to make the expensive trip out there, I made an appointment with my local colorectal surgeon for his opinion as I was afraid that I might have a hemorrhoid that the laser surgeon might have missed. The doctor said everything looked good, but there was a lot of internal redness which could be causing the swollen/raw feeling. He prescribed non-steriod suppositories for the swelling and a low-cholesterol powder to stop the itching. His theory was that I may have an overabundance of salt in my bile which could be causing the itchiness.
Week 9-10: Done with the suppositories. They made my stomach upset which cause more frequent BMs. Still feeling itchiness, swelling, rawness. Don’t feel like they worked.
Week 11: Still feeling itchiness, swelling, rawness. Still very depressed.
As you can see, after the doctor-prescribed “4-weeks of recovery”, I’ve had a consistent feeling of swelling and rawness for the last 2 months. I made an appointment with another colorectal surgeon to see if they might have a new perspective on why I’m still feeling this way. I’m hoping that they say that I’m still recovering and that something like this takes will take a full year to fully recover. From what I was initially told, I should be gradually feeling better every day/week. Instead, as far as I can tell, I’ve flatlined after 4-weeks. Maybe my expectations were set too high? Perhaps recovery for this type of thing is very slow and steady since it’s in such a sensitive area?
At 45yrs old, I feel my future happiness is very bleak and I know it hurts my wife deeply when she sees how uncomfortable I am and when I tell her how little I care for anything anymore. I need to know if there is any hope of a target wellness date or if I’ve actually hit the end of the road with this thing…which is a really depressing thought.
Thank you to anyone who can share their experience and and full recovery.