Not as bad as you may think
I read, with dread, what you are reading but keep reading my story for a glimmer of hope. Frankly, I was terrified to the point of tears. By the time you are considering having a hemorrhoidectomy, you have been through a very bad patch. I am a 43 year old female. I first had hemorrhoids when I was pregnant and no big deal. I started bleeding rather heavily whenever I had a bowel movement about six years ago. For me, it was not constipation, it was quite the opposite. I had a colonoscopy, where the before part is way worse than the actual procedure, and I was told I had ulcerative colitis. As of right now, according to a specialist, he thinks I was incorrectly diagnosed and have some other kind of GI problem, so this may not be as typical for you.
I had another colonoscopy, which was normal. I had both external and internal hemorrhoids removed and from what I understand they took out, “as much as they could”.
Before the surgery, your system needs to be “cleaned out”, basically enema style about three hours before the surgery, similar to before a colonoscopy, but not as bad. They put you under after making sure you know what kind of surgery you are getting (as if you’d forget), it’s just hospital policy. Whoever is taking you for the surgery – you need them and if you’re like me, at the point you’re at, you’ve pretty much lost all sense of shame.
You’re awake before you know it. You will feel pain, they are very aware and are ready to give you whatever you need to make you “comfortable”. You need to be able to urinate before you leave the hospital. I understand this is because they want to make sure there isn’t any excess swelling. You will usually have dissolvable stitches. Right after the surgery and for the next few hours, it will not be that bad because you would have had an anesthetic; it lasts for a good few hours. I was scared to eat and I’m not the earthy-crunchy kind of diet person, but I was able to.
The first few days were the worst pain wise, it’s similar to a jolt going right up the center of your butt at its worst and general pain at its best for a week. There is a little bleeding, but remember I was not one with constipation. Then I was constipated it could have been the fear of going to the bathroom, the pain medication or a combination of both. The first few times you have a bowel movement, you’ll see stars and may bring a tear to your eye. Even after that, I couldn’t believe that with that pain I was hardly seeing any blood. Those sitz baths are A MUST and I would recommend having a plastic doughnut for the bathtub in case you are uncomfortable on the hard surface. I was lucky enough to have gotten a bidet – solely for this purpose from
and I think it was a lifesaver. I know some people don’t or won’t take narcotic pain medication, I’m not that strong.
After about a week and a ½ there was still just the minutest of blood. There would be pain with coughing, raising your voice and laughing (and you will laugh again). As the days went by and I realized that I was getting better for a change instead of getting worse, the feeling grew that I had definitely made the right decision. I went to the doctor three weeks after the surgery and the doctor said I was “healing perfectly”. I still had a couple of stitches and they can take about six weeks to dissolve. There is still a minor irritation.
I am happy that I had the hemorrhoidectomy. I will not lie and say there was no pain, but after years of constant blood and battles of whether I could tolerate leaving the house, not knowing what to eat, not knowing what to try, I finally went ahead and did it. I have not bled in three weeks and that is the longest I can remember for years.