Hemorrhoid operation recovery,There are several different types of hemorrhoid operation. These include hemorrhoidectomy, anopexy and hemorrhoidal artery ligation operation (HALO). Recovery from surgery depends on the type of operation, your general health, and any complications you experience during the surgery.
To prepare for surgery, eat a high-fibre diet, even if you already have hemorrhoids, and try not to put on weight. If you take medications such as warfarin or aspirin, you will be asked to stop these a few days before surgery.
Types of operation
Rubber band ligation
This is an effective treatment for Grade 1-2 hemorrhoidsand is performed as an outpatient procedure. It has a high success rate with 80% of people receiving the operation reported as being satisfied with the results. However, it is not effective for external hemorrhoids.
Other types of surgery for Grade 1 and 2 hemorrhoids include sclerotherapy into the hemorrhoid, heat therapy or liquid nitrogen to freeze the hemorrhoid.
This involves removal of the hemorrhoids by surgery and is effective for Grade 3-4 hemorrhoids. You will receive general or spinal anaesthesia to stop you from feeling pain during the operation. A new development called the LigaSure system is used by some surgeons to provide a feedback loop to reduce the need for cautery and speed up the recovery after hemorrhoid surgery.
During the surgery, local anaesthetic will be injected, which will last for the first six to 12 hours. The procedure is done at an outpatient clinic and you should be able to go home that day. However, you will not be discharged until the anaesthetic has worn off and you have passed urine.
Following surgery, you are likely to experience pain for a few weeks when opening your bowels and may have some bleeding (this is normal). Your recovery will take around two to three weeks to get back to normal.
In around 5-10% of people, the surgery will not work and you will need further treatment. Other possible complications include infection around the rectal site (in around 3% of people), constipation, formation of a fistula (a connection between the rectum and other structures such as the bladder), anal tears or the inability to empty your bowels (impaction). If impaction occurs, you may need manual evacuation.
This is a fairly new procedure which removes excess tissue from around the hemorrhoids and puts them back into their natural position. It does not require an excision so there is less bleeding. You will still receive a general or spinal anaesthetic but you are likely to experience less pain. Normally you can go home on the same day and will recover more quickly than hemorrhoidectomy.
Stapling has a higher rate of relapse than hemorrhoidectomy. However one study comparing it to HALO (see below) found higher satisfaction rates and a lower relapse rate with stapling.
This involves lifting external hemorrhoids back into the rectum with stitched. It is also called mucopexy and allows swift recovery. The surgery is guided by a Doppler ultrasound machine. It is usually used in combination with hemorrhoidectomy or stapling.
HALO (hemorrhoidal artery ligation operation)
This is a new procedure that involves cutting the arteries that supply the haemorrhoids. It uses an instrument known as a proctoscope (a type of telescope) to visualise the rectum and a Doppler ultrasound probe to locate the arteries. Another name for it is transanal hemorrhoidal dearterialization (THD), while HALO and mucopexy together are known as recto-anal repair (RAR). It is minimally invasive and you can be back to work in as little as two days. You may experience a slight throbbing pain after the surgery for a few weeks but people in general use less pain relief than hemorrhoidectomy or stapling. 1 in 10 people will experience a prolapse following HALO, however most people are very satisfied and in 9 out of 10 people the haemorrhoids cleared up.
How you can help your recovery?
After the operation, stick to a bland diet with foods like banana, applesauce, crackers and dry toast. After the first few days, you can progressively add more fiber. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection. Stool softeners are also recommended to allow smooth bowel movements.
Ask your healthcare team about pain relief after surgery and which tablet you can take. They may advise regular medications for the first while or pills to take when necessary. If you experience a lot of swelling, apply ice packs to the area. You can also try warm Sitz baths to relieve pain and reduce muscle spasms. Avoid strenuous activity until your hemorrhoids have healed.
Your surgeon will call you back for follow-up after a few weeks to find out how things are progressing and whether you have experienced any side effects. To prevent the hemorrhoids from returning, eat a high-fibre diet and drink plenty of water.