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.
Thank you so much .i just read your article and it gives me so much relief .The tipS ,suggestions so great.I had my anal fissure surgery on 27 th November and I Am feeling better now but the BM is still hurting and bleeding in bowel .i don't know if it is common after surgery?So please let me know if you have any idea about it .
I have only recently had 3 haemorrhoids removed and I am on day 8.I have had 3 b/m's extremely painful the first I passed out. I have never ever experienced pain like it!!! I have had 3 children and not experienced this!!There is no strong pain killer I can take as they all constipate you and I have ibs.I have been given no after care advice I was in hospital for 5 days being given morpheine injections as that was all that would work.I need to go to the toilet now and am getting spasms and contractions worse than giving birth and the site looks just the same as he has left tags because he said there is less chance of them coming back but I am like a few and think it has shrunk too small and am panicking like mad.i really need to go but I can't and the starining and pain is unbearable.i am taking prune juice and lactulose and it feels soft to be crude it half comes out with the pain.i have tried to go in the bath with no luck and am not passing urine the same either.Will this ever go??I am despairing now.I know I had to have it done and put it off for two years.The hospital were awful and my consultant was lovely until after the op then all I keep getting told is it's one of the most painful ops you can have.Well that's great but doesn't help!That it's all normal and give it 6 weeks which ihave read people have been greateven before then.It just seems to be getting worse with not being able to go,i went fine a day after and then two then two but now nothing even though I know I am desperate .I am so scared I have no-one to turn to.My poor husband just keeps consoling me and telling me everything will be ok and I had to have it done and by reading all of the ones on the forum they are exactly the same as me which makes me feel so much better.I wish I had a fast forward button!!!Do I take some milk of magnesia,If I had a sepository I would use it but I'm not sure what to do.Normally all I would need is prune juice or lactulose but nothing is working nd I have even taken fibre gel.Can anyone please help me.sorry for being so negative but don't know what to do!
To all I feel your post hemorriodectomy. Dave from the UK. I'm post op 12 weeks. This operation takes up-to 6 months to fully heal. There are some rules I would love share with all who experience this operation. Tips I guess to help. That really has worked.
1/ Ask the hospital for instillagel. Local anesthetic in a syringe. Prior bowel movement. Post movement for two weeks post op.
2/ Have a shallow bath. Add a little salt to the bat water, bathe Straight after BM. As your muscles down there are relaxed. Soak 20 minutes.
3/Use Fibrogel, sachets 2-3 a day. These are a god send. Bran sachet . They help to keep your BM formed but soft. Not runny. Which will cause more prone to infection if your BM are liquid. After week 6-8. Drop down to 1 sachet per day. Drink at least 3 pints of water through the day.
4/ You will experience a yellow discharge. Some poop leakage too. Don't be alarmed. Your muscles have been opened to extreme. Lol. Anyway. When you feel this leakage. You must try to clean up straight away. Little water, soap etc..
5/ So take a dip in a warm/hot bath for 20 mins after BM. Plus have another bath at night before bed. All this helps with healing the area.
6/ I get all the degrading leakage, one thing I forgot to mention. If your a man. Be glad of lady monthly pads. There another god send. Helps to suppress the leakage. Change 2-4 tines a day. Happy days. the pain is hard mentally, physically drains you in and out the tub. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Use the items, make a list. You won't go far wrong.
7/ Don't sit on your butt for any long periods for the first 8 weeks. Try an walk when you can, not to much. Little by little. This operation will take up-to 6 months. Due too the area. It's a roller coaster of 1 step forward. Two steps back. Blood, tears, anxiety, frustration. But listen. Use the things above with a good diet. Bingo you will come through this. It's a long one. Good luck to all. Feeling your pain and discomfort. Dave. England. UK.
Hopefully a positive story. I just had 2 large hemorrhoids removed 5 days ago on March 2nd. I am a 36 (today actually) year old male. I read all the horror stories and fortunately some of the good ones as well. I was terrified. After my surgery, while still sedated, the doc gave me a long acting local block to hopefully kill any pain for up to 24 hrs. It worked for a long time and all I felt was a weird pressure but no pain.this was Friday. Saturday it wore off but I started taking my lortab before in attempts to to stay on top of the pain. I was also told to take ibuprofen and twice a day I took a stool softener. Unless I had to per, I pretty much stayed in bed watching TV until Sunday when I took a very very short walk. The nurse told my wife if I hadn't had a bowel movement by Sunday evening to start taking milk of magnesia 3 times a day along with everything else. It was Monday before we were able to purchase the milk of magnesia and I had one dose that evening and 3 more the next day. Immediately after the 3rd dose came the first bowel movement. It was mostly liquid. Diahrea I would say but more like after a colonoscopy prep. Anyway. It didn't really hurt coming out aside from the normal burn of diahrea amplified because of the surgery site. The bath after helped. The most pain I've experienced so far was the 2 hours after this. I couldn't take a pain pill til about 30 minutes after and it took awhile to set in. If I had just taken a pill an hour or so beforehand it probably wouldn't have been any different than the normal pain I'd been feeling. Let me also say that I'm aware everyone reads pain differently and to those who say it was excruciating I believe you. I'm not trying to belittle you in anyway. For me, it was painfully but aside from 1 or 2 instances it was completely manageable. Nothing that made me "pray for a swift death" or anything. Uncomfortable, yes. Painful, yes. But manageable and nothing as bad as thought it was going to be. Today, day 5, I already feel better. By no means back to normal but the pain is more of an aching, healing cut pain as opposed to the previous freshly cut pain. There where times today I almost walked normal and even slipped past my pain med dose by an hour and a half because it wasn't so bad that it was right there in the front of my thoughts. Anyway. Don't miss a pain med dose. Stay ahead of it. Playing catch up is a risky little game. Bath's and sitz bath's are awesome. Ice packs are awesome. After bathing, I would pat my cheeks dry then position a fan to dry everything else so I wouldn't have to touch or agitate it. This is helpful. If you're in a lot of pain, lay down, but if it's not so bad try to walk as much as you can to get yourself healing and strong. Last thing. I have been eating mainly light foods like cheerios, Apple sauce, fruit cups, popcorn, crackers sometimes with creamy peanut butter, and drinking water (with mio flavoring because I hate water unless I'm very thirsty). It hasn't been nearly as painful as I had it worked up in my head that it was going to be. Hopefully for you guys, with each step you'll say "Wow, that wasn't as bad as I thought it would be". Good luck and God bless you guys.