For some people, a healthy diet and lifestyle and over-the-counter medicines aren’t enough to treat hemorrhoids.
There are also procedures that shrink or remove them, such as using a laser, that can be done in your doctor’s office. Although these may hurt less and have fewer complications, surgery might be a better long-term choice, especially if your hemorrhoids are large and very painful or bleeding.
Hemorrhoid surgery is safe and effective most of the time. But you’ll still need to eat a high-fiber diet, avoid constipation, and take care of your bottom to help prevent new hemorrhoid flare-ups.
Talk to your doctor to figure out what’s right for you.
Surgery to remove hemorrhoids is called hemorrhoidectomy. The doctor makes small cuts around the anus to slice them away.
You may get local anesthesia (the area being operated on is numb, and you’re awake though relaxed) or general anesthesia (you’re put to sleep). Hemorrhoidectomy is often an outpatient procedure, and you can usually go home the same day.
Because it’s highly sensitive near the cuts and you might need stitches, the area can be tender and painful afterward.
Recovery most often takes about 2 weeks, but it can take as long as 3 to 6 weeks to feel like you’re back to normal.
Procedure for Prolapse and Hemorrhoids (PPH)
PPH is also called a stapled hemorrhoidectomy. The doctor will use a stapler-like device to reposition the hemorrhoids and cut off their blood supply. Without blood, they’ll eventually shrivel and die.
It can treat hemorrhoids that have and have not prolapsed, or slipped down out of the anus.
This procedure moves the hemorrhoid to where there are fewer nerve endings, so it hurts less than a traditional hemorrhoidectomy. You’ll also recover faster and have less bleeding and itching. And there are generally fewer complications.
Hemorrhoidal Artery Ligation and Recto Anal Repair (HAL-RAR)
Hemorrhoidal Artery Ligation and Recto Anal Repair (HAL-RAR) is a new procedure in which a miniature Doppler sensor is inserted in the anus to detect the arteries supplying blood to hemorrhoids.
The surgeon can pinpoint the arteries supplying the hemorrhoids and can tie them off to cut the blood supply. The hemorrhoids are reduced almost immediately and within weeks, are no longer noticeable. The procedure is effective and virtually painless.
After Hemorrhoid Surgery
Pain is the most common complaint, especially when you’re pooping. You can take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen, if your doctor says it’s OK. Soaking in a warm bath may help, too.
Stool softeners can make it easier to poop.
It’s very common and is considered safe. However, any surgery has some risks including:
- Reaction to anesthesia
You might have some trouble peeing afterward because of swelling or muscle spasms.
If your anal sphincter gets damaged during surgery, you could have accidental bowel or gas leaks, a condition called fecal incontinence.
Call your doctor right away if you:
- Are bleeding a lot
- Can’t pee or poop
- Have a fever