HEMORRHOID SURGERY - RECOVERY

Do you have Hemorrhoids and are contemplating or have had a Hemorrhoidectomy? If you are thinking of surgery, or want to ask questions on anything to do with Hemorrhoids, or want to share with others who have been through this, this is the place!

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HEMORRHOID SURGERY - RECOVERY

Postby Savaici » 03 Mar 2014, 13:17

HEMORRHOID SURGERY RECOVERY

Following Hemorrhoid surgery, patients can experience a wide range of symptoms including but not limited to: pain, bleeding, swelling, constipation, nausea, diarrhea, difficulty with urination, burning and itching. Each patient is individual to the post operative process. A few factors may influence what type of symptoms a patient experiences: the number of hemorrhoid bundles removed (severity of the surgery), the condition of the hemorrhoids pre-operatively, and patient response. [Call your doctor if pain is severe.]

What if I am experiencing:

Pain

Do not be alarmed. 7-10 days of post operative pain is normal. The pain should slowly decrease over a period of time. A pain medication is prescribed and should be taken as directed. However, be aware that excessive pain medication use can lead to constipation and hard bowel movements. It is important to drink at least 8-10 glasses of non-carbonated clear liquids daily to help prevent these side effects. When possible, it is recommended that patients use Tylenol as an alternative to the prescribed pain medication. Accordingly, warm water baths also reduce the pain associated with natural post operative swelling. Warm water baths should contain plain clear water only. Do not add Epson salt, soap, etc.

Hard bowel movements also lead to post operative pain and can be avoided by following the post operative instructions. These include the use of a fiber product, increase in liquid intake, and the use of mineral oil. You should avoid rectal suppositories, enemas, or any other medication taken per rectum unless directed by a physician. Having a warm water bath ready after a bowel movement will also help to reduce pain and swelling.

Swelling

Swelling is a normal side effect and individual to the patient. There is no definite time frame for residual swelling. It is generally caused by the body’s reaction to the sutures. Commonly, a prescription is given to help reduce immediate inflammation. It is common for patients to misinterpret swelling as hemorrhoids. These are actually skin tags which will decrease in size over time. It is important to take warm water baths at least 3-4 times daily. Warm water baths should contain plain clear water only. Do not add Epson salt, soap, etc. [Use a Sitz Bath.]

Constipation

It is common to experience some constipation after surgery. The use of anesthetics during surgery and prescribed pain medication after surgery may lead to increased constipation and production of hard bowel movements. Often patients will state that they are “constipated” because they have not had a bowel movement within 1-2 days following surgery. Some patients experience their first bowel movement up to 3-4 days following surgery. Constipation is most often noted by symptoms of bloating, the sensation of feeling full, or straining with hard bowel movements. Usually, constipation can be relieved within 24 hours with the use of a fiber product, mineral oil, and increase in liquid intake as directed in the post operative instructions.[ If after following these instructions over a 24 hour period, and you still are experiencing constipation, call your doctor.]

Difficulty with Urination

A small percentage of patients have difficulty with urination following surgery. This is due to post operative swelling preventing the flow of urine through the Urethra. Soaking in a warm water bath to help reduce the swelling may help a patient to urinate. It is ok to urinate in the tub if this helps. If the patient is able to urinate with the help of a bath, he/she should repeat this process as often as needed. If within 24 hours, baths are still needed to urinate, contact your doctor.  

Diarrhea

Due to a patient’s individual response to fiber and mineral oil, some patients may experience diarrhea following surgery. Diarrhea may lead to swelling, pain at the surgery site, and the sensation of burning and pain of the skin surrounding the site. Please call the office for instructions to modify the post operative course of treatment.

Nausea

Nausea most often occurs as a side effect of the anesthetic drugs used during surgery; as well as the use of prescribed pain medications following surgery. Patients are instructed not to take pain medications on an empty stomach. After arriving home from the procedure, she/he should attempt to consume soft and/or liquid foods; starting with clear liquids such as 7-up, Sprite, or clear juice and then advancing to a regular diet. Antacids (Tums, Maalox, Pepto-Bismol) or carbonated beverages help to alleviate nausea. If vomiting occurs and is persistent, please call your doctor.

Bleeding

Minimal bleeding is a common side effect following surgery. It may occur until the wound is completely healed. Placing clean dry gauze over your wound between the buttocks will help absorb the blood and protect your clothes. [If it gets bad, call your doctor.]

Burning, Itching

A few days into the recovery period, patients might describe burning or a “knife-like” pain. Most often it is a condition of the skin of the area surrounding your surgical site. It is similar to “Diaper Rash.” As your wound heals, it expels the dead tissue from the surgery. This drainage from the wound soaks the skin and keeps it moist. The area then becomes red and inflamed. You then start to feel a burning or “knife-like” pain. To help heal and prevent this from occurring, start by cleaning the area using a soft spray or soaked wash cloth (no rubbing) of warm water. Do not use soap, creams, or any other products on this area unless directed by your physician. Place 1-2 pieces of gauze between the buttocks over the wound to catch any drainage and protect the skin. The gauze should be changed out at least 3-4 times a day. As the area is allowed to “dry-out,” the symptoms will decrease and the area will heal. The key is keeping the area clean, dry, and chemical-free (soaps, creams, etc). You should see improvement within 24-48 hours. If no improvement is seen or symptoms increase, please contact the office.

(With thanks to Atlanta Colon and Rectal Surgery for this information.)
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