I am writing about my recent hemorrhoidectomy experience because just like you, I was searching for somewhere on the internet that had something other than a horror story associated with this surgery. I will not sugar-coat it, it is no walk in the park, but it isn't as bad as some other experiences. Just depends on what you are expecting.
I am a 35 year old male in decent shape. 6'1", 185 lbs. I believe I had hemorrhoids when I was just a kid but I am not 100% certain. In my mid 20's I would bleed when having a bowel movement here and there. Didn't think much of it as it would go away after a day or two. When I was around 31, I noticed the bleeding increased and stayed a lot longer. Anyway, a colonoscopy revealed I had internal hems. No big deal, just lived with it. Until July of this past year. The bleeding got so bad that I ended up in the hospital getting 4 units of blood as my hemoglobin dropped below 6 and my iron was at 7. Yes, 7 (should be 100)! After that reality check I located a good colon-rectal surgeon. He did an exam and found that I had 4 large internals that he wanted to band. No problerm. We did the banding over a few months as you can only do one at a time. He actually ended up doing 5 but was unsuccessful. The bleeding returned within 2 weeks of the last one being banded. That's where the fun began.
I think I strained too much when going and stayed on the toilet too long. That's why I think I had so many. Anyway, the banding didn't work because the band and instrument are only so big and they were only getting some of the hems and not all. So, he said they right way to do this would be to go in and remove all remaining tissue associated with the hems. I was a bit taken back so I don't recall everything he said but basically, surgery was needed.
They drew my blood a week before surgery and it was down to 8.4 (should be around 13) and were thinking of transfusing me again but what a coincidence, my bleeding stopped that week and my levels increased on their own so I was good to go.
Day before surgery, the prep was simply a liquid diet. No enema, no bowel prep, etc. Just no food. Went to the hospital day of and spoke with the surgeon and he explained everything very well. He has 32 years experience. I think having someone that specializes in this area is key. Hey really knew his stuff and the staff at the hospital couldn't say enough good things. So, that was comforting.
He initially said it would take about 30 minutes but he had no other surgeries that day so he took his time and it took just over one hour to remove, what he told my wife, were 4 large and 1 small, developing hems. I woke up, not in pain but a lot of discomfort. They ask you to rate the pain on 1-10 scale so they know what to give you as far as pain meds. I said I was at a 6 which quickly turned to a 9 by the time I got home. I have heard others say they were made to pee before they left but I was not made to do so. Doc said it would take 8-12 hours to pee as this was a pretty dramatic shock to the body. He was right.
The first day (day of surgery) and the second day are absolute pure hell. Every move made, hurt. I showered as soon as I got home and then took my pain meds and tried to go to bed. I could not because I felt as though I had to pee so bad but could not. Later, I was informed that the nerve that controls the bladder is right in the same area so any swelling will cause this feeling. That is the absolute worst part. I eventually peed about 10 hours later while laying in the warm tub. It relaxes the bladder and you just let go. Such a relief.
The bathtub has become my best friend. The first two days I must have taken 20 baths just soaking. It feels great and lowers the pain for sure. Didn't sleep much the first night was th pain was just too much.
Day two came and I took my pain pill as prescribed but they honestly didn't do much. I actually stopped them after day two and went on Extra Strength Tylenol. I didnt want to get constipated during the recovery. I also started Metamucil three times a day on day two. That helps to get the bowel movements going and make them softer.
The first BM came on day 2. Once you feel it coming, you need to get to the bathroom asap because you have less control at first. I sat down and anticipated the worst from what I had read. The actual BM wasn't too bad. About a 5 on the 1-10 scale but the bad part is the burning afterwards. That felt like pooping acid. So bad. But the regimine I developed was having a BM, hop in the shower and use the removable shower-head instead of wiping. Then, I would hop in the but and soak for 30 minutes. I have tried the sitz bath but maybe my toilet is low or something but it was pretty uncomfortable.
I resumed eating normally on day two but much more conscious of my choices so that I didn't eat something that would cause me to have an upset stomach.
Days 3-6 have been better and better each day. I am still not 100% by any means but things are improving. I will not go back to work until at least three more days as there is just too much that has to be done after a BM to do at work. Plus I still have leakage that they say can happen for a while.
The two things that are the worst is the feeling that you have to pee and not being able to. I sometimes have to stand at the toilet for 10 minutes while massaging my bladder to get things going. But, it does get better and go away, I believe, lol. Second, has been the night sweats. I have been waking up every morning completely soaked in sweat. This didn't worry me the first night or two but after night 5, I got concerned. I talked with my Doc/surgeon and he said it wasn't a big deal but I also have a cousin who is a gastro surgeon. I spoke with him and he said the same thing. He said that it's a way for you body to cope with the healing. So, again, we shall see.
I know I sort of went all over the place but I wanted to give you as much info as I could about my situation in hopes that it helps clear up some things for you and your situation.