Couldn't find what you looking for?

TRY OUR SEARCH!

I am a 27-year old woman, and I had a hemorrhoidectomy in my 28th week of pregnancy. I apologize for the length of this post, but I want to share my story because it's been hard to find other people going through quite the same circumstances. If you're pregnant and undergoing hemorrhoid surgery, you're not alone, but from what I've read your experience may be different from what's typical.

On a positive note: You're probably younger than many people getting the surgery, so count your blessings! At least for me, my recovery has been faster and energy level has been higher than so many people who have suffered for 20 years or more with painful hemorrhoids. Also, getting the surgery at a younger age probably means fewer hemorrhoids to remove. Early surgical intervention equals less to recover from, which should also lead to a quicker, less painful recovery. Best of all, you have an early chance to change your habits and avoid a lifetime of hemorrhoids in the future.

On a more negative note: If you're pregnant, your doctors will be much more conservative with medication. This means fewer and weaker painkillers during and after surgery. Your body is also being taxed by your pregnancy, which might put a drain on your energy when you need it for recovery. In addition, pregnancy makes you much more vulnerable to hemorrhoids--not just from pushing during labor, but also during pregnancy because of high blood volume, the weight of the baby, and relaxed vein walls. Pregnant women's hemorrhoids may also take much longer to heal naturally.

So here is my experience. I had only had a hemorrhoid once before pregnancy, and I quickly changed my tune; I learned never to strain on the toilet, and luckily that was enough to prevent the problem. But then I found myself in my third trimester of pregnancy, and moving to a new apartment. I had always been decent about getting exercise, but in pregnancy my energy and fitness levels dropped sharply. I was frustrated with my new limitations, and I didn't respect them enough. It was hard to process that I genuinely couldn't be lifting boxes or standing for hours at a time. I had wonderful friends and family helping with packing and cleaning, but I felt guilty and was always trying to sneak in more work. The result was that I pushed my body too far. When the first hemorrhoid showed up, I should have paid attention. Instead, I would take a day off to treat the problem and then be right back to work again. 

By two days after our move, I was in agony. I had a large external hemorrhoid that hurt so badly I was limping around the house. I tried ice, sitz baths, witch hazel, and Prep H, all to no avail. I went for a regular OBGYN appointment and my doctor examined the hemorrhoid. She said it was thrombosed (contained a blood clot) and sent me to a general surgeon. It all went very quickly from there. The surgeon went over my options and recommended a hemorrhoidectomy because it was the most permanent solution. At that point, I had determined to be brave about surgery if I had to, so I agreed and signed the consent form. Within 5 minutes he was prepping me for surgery. Here's what he didn't tell me: 1.) Because I'm pregnant, I wouldn't be getting a general or even a spinal anesthetic. 2.) As I'm quickly understanding from these forums, a hemorrhoidectomy isn't some casual thing; it's one of the most painful recoveries of any common surgery. 3.) Afterward, I wouldn't have as many options for pain control because I'd need to consider the baby's safety. 4.) If I was like many patients, I might be in debilitating pain for two weeks.

Most people on the forums had their surgery under a general anesthetic, so they went to sleep and woke up with the surgery over. Not in my case. I got to lie on my side, holding the "area" open while the surgeon injected me multiple times with local anesthetic in a place I don't even like to think about. It hurt unimaginably. By the time he was done numbing the area, I was crying silently and my whole body was shaking uncontrollably. The rest of the surgery--about 15 minutes--was better, if "better" is the right word. I could only feel a kind of pressure and sawing, but no pain. I covered my eyes. Then I could feel a cold, slippery feeling which, I think, was the stitches going in and the wound being irrigated. That was okay. He pressed a gauze pad up there (not inside, just against it). When it was over, I was told I could hop down, get dressed, pick up my painkiller prescription, and get a ride home. I got no surgical aftercare instructions.

My husband picked me up, and I made the mistake of not getting the prescription for Tylenol 3 w/ Codeine filled right off. Because we'd moved, we had an 80-minute ride back home. I was initially numb, so I didn't realize how painful that drive was quickly going to get. I was just really hungry, having fasted beforehand just in case, and made my husband get me a Big Mac. Stupid idea. But by the end, I was straining my leg muscles to keep my weight off the seat, nearly in tears and wincing with every bump in the road. If you're on limited pain management, I strongly recommend you make sure your car ride after surgery is no more than 30 minutes.

When we got home, the next 30 minutes waiting for my husband to fill the prescription was like a fever dream. The pain got so bad that I could no longer even tell where it was coming from. It felt like it was down my thighs and generally diffused through my pubic region. When it finally arrived, the Tylenol w/ Codeine helped a lot. At first, I was totally ignorant as to aftercare. The surgeon had set up a 2-week follow-up, and just told me to lie on my side until the pain subsided. He said it might be somewhat worse than the pain of hemorrhoids. If you've read the forums, you know that was a *bit* of an understatement. I was able to piece stuff together from WebMD and reputable hospital websites, and realized I needed to be on a high-fiber diet to ease the pain of bowel movements. The forums were even more helpful because they provided actual, pragmatic solutions for easing pain and using the bathroom. I found that urinating was a bit difficult, but if I focused on relaxing and drank tons of water, I could go. My surgeon had me on Miralax to counteract the constipating properties of Codeine, so I was taking that. I had a healthy appetite and slept well.

Two days after surgery, I was feeling like I was recovering pretty nicely. And then I had to deal with the first bowel movement. I apologize for yucky details, but such is the nature of what we're dealing with here. My first attempt was in the morning. I was feeling blocked-up and needing to go. But the pain was extreme, like trying to pass a razor blade. I tried the relaxation and breathing techniques that had always gotten me through pain before. Nope. However much I tried, my body seemed to involuntarily shut the process down. I finally gave up, wiped off blood, and laid down trembling and bewildered. I was in searing pain, and my OBGYN cleared a prescription for Vicodin. In the early afternoon, before getting hold of the Vicodin, I felt like I needed to go and I tried again. I was in the bathroom for a long time, but still determined to go because I was worried about what might happen if I didn't. I used relaxing breath techniques, which helped a lot. Leaning forward and even briefly standing up helped get things going. But once I had partially passed a stool, I couldn't get it out or back in. This was the most painful part, and it felt like it lasted at least a full minute. Finally, I decided I'd have to push and breathe through the pain. I eventually passed what turned out to be a really large stool. I felt insanely relieved, but the blood and pain were freaking me out. Once I took the first Vicodin, I felt much better, but I'd been warned that it was highly constipating.

I'm now three days out of surgery, and cautiously optimistic. The surgical site is still bleeding lightly, particularly after I use the bathroom. Light walking around helps get my bowels moving, and actually improves the pain as long as I know my limits. The painkillers are doing their job, and I'm considering switching onto Tylenol during most of the day when the pain isn't bad. To balance the constipating Vicodin, I'm still taking Miralax, eating high-fiber foods (prunes and bran, ick), and drinking water like some kind of water addict. I haven't had my second bowel movement, but my goal is for it to be softer and easier than the first. The Vicodin is heavenly for the pain, and gives me a general feeling of well-being. I'm naturally wary of anything that feels quite so good, and I'm kind of glad the prescription is only for 10 pills.

Baby has seemed totally unaffected throughout. His movements continue to be vigorous. In fact, when the pain was bad he decided to start kicking me hard in the ribs; I started swearing and then laughing because I don't believe I'm swearing at my unborn baby, and then swearing because the laughing hurt so bad. I do sense that, now at 29 weeks pregnant, the weight of my belly is putting a strain on the surgery site. The frequent third-trimester urination is a pain, too, but at least it keeps me on my feet. Overall, it seems like my recovery will continue to go okay, as long as I keep moving my bowels regularly, which is the biggest thing I'm worried about. I hope this story helps other pregnant women who have had or are considering a hemorrhoidectomy. I'd be interested to hear similar experiences and advice.

Loading...

Dear ??

I am a 42 year old woman and a mother of two. I have not had the same experience as you but still I wanted to reply, if only to hear how you got on, and how things are now.  I am absolutely horrified at what you had to go through!  I couldn't imagine having surgery like that without being under a G.A.  Unbelievably brave!

How are things now? I do hope you healed quickly and that your pregnancy continued without any difficulties.

I had my op on Monday.  I spend a great deal of time in my bed, or the bath, or sitting on the loo with my feet on a footstool to help things move more easily.  I am obsessed about what I eat, and as a lifelong IBS sufferer, have had to give myself a stern talking to about some mistakes I have made with my diet and stress management.  Prior to this op, I would forget to drink, I would miss meals, I would eat the wrong foods (McDonalds is a big favourite but I shall have to wave a sad good-bye!) and generally treat my insides badly.  I have a lactose allergy, I am very sensitive to laxatives and find painkillers like codeine very constipating so was quite amazed (but not surprised) when my NHS Hospital gave me Lactulose solution and codeine.  I was on the loo just 16 hours following my surgery with the runs, not the best start!

My youngest son is staying with his father whilst I recover.  I spend two hours in the bathroom every day, and have little energy until the evening. I can't imagine driving right now.

I am swollen and bleed every time I go. All in all, a pretty horrific experience. Labour isn't easy, but at least it's over in a few hours!

Take care,

Mandy x 

Reply

Loading...

Thank you for posting this!! I am 28 weeks pregnant with my third child and am one week post-op from a hemorrhoidectomy. I just turned 30. I am a lot like you in that my activity level has diminished since the pregnancy but I still want to do so much. I used to walk about 6 miles a week and had to reduce it to about 3 because I have bad varicose veins in my legs that are surprisingly painful. My surgeon was very surprised upon seeing my legs and asked if my OB had warned me that really, hemorrhoids are varicose veins. No, but she basically refused to help me or refer me anywhere, told me to find a surgeon because I had 3 (!!!) thrombose hemorrhoids which I also found out is really all of them (!!!) I had already limped and waddled around the house for two days before she agreed to see me, then had to wait another day for the surgeon to get me in. I am now counting myself EXTREMELY lucky because he told me to schedule surgery the next day. I was able to have a nurse from the OB floor monitor the baby and possible contractions, an epidural, and vicodin when it was over. When the numbness wore off, I was still in recovery. I am so sorry you had to drive home right after!! My nurse explained I had to irrigate before I could go. I ended up requesting a bedside commode because at 5'0", I couldn't comfortably get on the toilet! It took forever. My husband was away on business and my mom came to help take care of our family. She was in the room with me and I made her talk about her drive to the hospital, where she parked, etc, just so I could stop concentrating so hard on urinating. They hadn't started my discharge ppw yet so back into the bed I went. Twenty minutes later I was shaking in pain. You aren't kidding when you say you can't completely locate the pain! Between the surgical site, my legs, and the fact that it was 9pm and I had been fasting for 23 hours, I was full of disdain for that day. I needed it to be over. In one week I have peed standing up more than I'd care to admit because it is easier, pooped in our bathtub because I just couldn't control my faculties, and bathed/showered more than I care to admit. My mom is amazing. I told my husband if he ever needs this done, I feel for him. I thought I was tough. The day after my one-week post-op visit, I had a compaction. I called his office and there were no doctors in at all. They told me to go to the hospital. I laid in the OB wing's triage and waited. One of the OBs from the office came in and explained that I needed an enema. Ever had one? It's pretty awful. Relieving when said and done but awful. My husband was back in town for this and said he would have done the same thing. May you never stop pooping. Also, I found out I shouldn't be eating oatmeal, Cheerios, apples, salads.. Stuff I'd been eating thinking I was doing really well. So now I'm eating prunes, walnuts, and strawberries. I go back to work in 8 days and frankly I'm terrified because of the need to go, the itching, and the fact that there is still a ton of bruising and soreness. I'll be praying for you!
Reply

Loading...

This scares me so much! I had a hemorrhoidectomy before I was pregnant and it was awful! I don't wish that recovery on anyone! I too am currently 28 weeks and I have a thrombosed hemorrhoid and see my doctor Tuesday. I am so so scared to go through it all again. I can so relate on all of your story!
Reply

Loading...

Wow thank you for this post. I too am 28 weeks and I thought I was reading my story. This was so helpful and made me feel not alone. I appreciate you sharing your experience. My experience was exactly the same, except I havent had a BM since before surgery, eventhough Ive tried. I had surgery 3 days ago and only taking Tylenol. Also using stool softener, Miralax, using ice packs, baths, etc. I also have 2 kids at home making this even more difficult. Thank you again, made me feel not alone.
Reply

Loading...

Hi, i am 3 weeks post op and thought I would share my story.
I was 20 weeks pregnant when I had my haemmorrhoidectomy - I had 4 internal and 1 external that had somehow ulcerated and thrombosed. Extremely painful before the op, but that was nothing compared to the pain that came after the operation.
My first BM was the most excruciating pain i have ever been in, including childbirth. And i had my son naturally with no drugs!!
I was in agonising pain for a week afterwards which resulted in me being re-admitted into hospital because I couldnt handle it anymore. I was completely exhausted and spending hours in the bathroom and on the floor in pain, which made taking care of my 2 yo pretty much impossible.
I saw some slight improvement in the second week, but since being in the 3rd week post op, im still finding it difficult. Bowel movements are still really painful, regardless of the fact that im stll taking 2 different kinds of laxatives, plus metamucil plus ive increased the amount of fibre in my diet. I feel like I still spend an insane amount of time in the bathroom, and its like my stools get 'stuck' and just wont come out. Its nearly impossible to have a bowel movement without straining a bit, which makes me terrified that I will end up with more haemmorrhoids.
The thought of having to give birth in the next few months terrifies me, so im hoping that my OB will allow me to have an elective csection. Praying in fact. The thought of any more trauma down there makes me want to cry.
This op definitely had to happen, but it is without a doubt the worst experience of my entire life. I dont mean to scare anyone, but I definitely wasnt told just how painful it would be - probably for that very reason tho.
Id be interested to know how long it took the above posters to fully recover??
Reply

Loading...

I know that pain! You're not alone, and it does get much better. My recovery took about three weeks, but that was exceptionally short. From what I understand, this operation can have an average 8-week recovery time. It depends on how many hemorrhoids you had removed, plus lots of other health factors that may be beyond your control. It sounds like you're doing all the right things.

Have you tried getting a sitz bath? It's inexpensive and most pharmacies sell them. It goes over your toilet and you can fill it with pleasantly warm water. As gross as it sounds, having a bowel movement while on the sitz bath is much easier. The warm water relaxes your anal sphincter and prompts the reflex to "let go." You can then empty the sitz bath into the toilet, and some even come with a bag and tube so you can run warm water over yourself while you go or afterward to clean up gently and thoroughly. Gross, I know, but it saved me after my surgery. Getting a "squatty potty" or (less expensive) just putting your feet on a low stool while you're on the toilet will ease things as well.
Reply

Loading...

I'm 18 weeks pregnant with twins and have an external hemorrhoid that has to have to be surgically removed my question is for you women is it best to get it done now while pregnant or after giving birth?
Reply

Loading...

Thanks so much for your reply, sorry I only just noticed anyone had replied!
I haven't been using a sitz bath but will definitely look into getting one.
I'm nearly 5 weeks post op now and still struggling majorly with bowel movements. Even with a high fibre diet plus laxatives, i struggle for them to pass. Its still quite painful to stand for more than a few minutes at a time, and walking around even at the supermarket I can't do for more than 10 minutes or so.
I had my last check up nearly 2 weeks ago so not sure if this is still normal or not....just praying that there is some light at the end of the tunnel for me because this recovery is definitely getting me down :(
Reply

Loading...

As much as it is a really painful operation, I would honestly rather go through it whilst pregnant rather than having to have it with two newborns. I really feel for you because I know how painful it is, but this recovery plus sleep deprivation plus breastfeeding and all the stresses of having a newborn I just wouldnt be able to handle it.
Wishing you all the best and hoping that your recovery is easier than mine has been
Reply

Loading...

I just had the same thing, but after all the agony of the removal, and my first bowel movement an even bigger hemmoroid popped out above the incision. I'm at my wits end w 5 weeks of pregnancy left.
Reply

Loading...

I am 29 weeks, I just got 2 new hemorrhoids and 1 of them it's internal. I can hardly walk, going to the toilet it's almost impossible, today I had to pee in the shower standing with hot water. It's getting my leg and my vagina, I am going to the doctor tomorrow, but I am afraid of him doing nothing because I am pregnant. I have so much to do, and lying on the bed it's getting me really upset... don't know what to do
Reply

Loading...

I'm 25 weeks and having similar problems. Just curious what your physician recommended. And to any other women who have gone through hemorrhoidectomies while pregnant, how was your labor and delivery after your recovery?
Reply

Loading...

I hemorrhoid since five years ago I am 27 years old and now am about to do op on it but am scared caused I feel am pregnant, do you think is safe for me to have the op now pls I need advice I feel am three weeks pregnant
Reply

Loading...

If you might be pregnant, you'll need to let your doctor know. The surgical anesthesia and the pain medications may be dangerous for your baby.
Reply

Loading...