| Reasons for Procedure
| Possible Complications
| What to Expect
| Call Your Doctor
A hemorrhoidectomy is an operation to remove hemorrhoids.
are swollen veins located in or around the anus and rectum. Hemorrhoids can cause discomfort, pain, or bleeding.
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Reasons for Procedure
Hemorrhoidectomy is used to treat painful, swollen hemorrhoids. The procedure is most often done for the following reasons:
- Hemorrhoid symptoms do not get better with other therapies
- Severely bleeding hemorrhoids
- Hemorrhoid containing a blood clot
- Hemorrhoids that protrude through the anus
Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
- Recurrence of hemorrhoids
- Narrowing of the anal canal
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Adverse reaction to local anesthetic
Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
- Bleeding disorder
- Advanced age
- Prior anal surgery
What to Expect
Your doctor may do the following:
- Physical exam
- Rectal exam
- Anoscopy—the visual examination of the inside of the anus using an anoscope to help keep the sphincter open
- Sigmoidoscopy—the use of a specialized endoscope to examine the inside of the anus, rectum, and lower intestine
Leading up to the procedure:
- Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
- Your doctor will order a laxative for you. It will cleanse your colon and rectum.
- Arrange for someone to take you home after the surgery.
Talk to your doctor about your medications, even non-prescription medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to one week before the procedure, like:
or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen
- Blood thinners
Your surgery will be done using either:
Discuss these options with your doctor before the day of your surgery.
An anoscope will be inserted into your anus. The doctor will be able to see the hemorrhoids through the scope.
An incision will be made around each hemorrhoid. The swollen vein inside the hemorrhoid will be tied off so that it does not bleed. The hemorrhoid will then be removed. The wounds will either be stitched closed or left open to heal.
There are other variations of this procedure. Ask your doctor to describe which procedure will be used.
You will be monitored in a recovery area for a few hours.
You should not feel pain during the procedure. After the procedure, you might have pain in the area. Ask your doctor about medication to help with the pain.
Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
Be sure to follow your doctor's
instructions, which may include:
- If your doctor says it is okay, take sitz baths as recommended. Sitz baths will help relieve discomfort and clean the area. For a sitz bath, sit in warm water for 10-15 minutes. Pat the area dry. Do not wipe or rub vigorously. You may be advised to take a sitz bath every four hours and after every bowel movement. Devices are available to place on top of the toilet to make this process easier.
- Move your bowels as soon as you feel the urge.
- Do not strain, bear down, or hold your breath during a bowel movement.
- Do not sit on the toilet for long periods of time.
and straining during bowel movements, use a stool softener, exercise, drink plenty of fluids, and eat plenty of high-fiber foods (fruits, vegetables, beans, and
- Apply creams or ointments as directed by your doctor.
- Avoid heavy lifting for two or three weeks.
- Take pain medication as needed.
Complete recovery will take 2-3 weeks. If your hemorrhoids come back, let your doctor know.
Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor if any of the following occurs:
- Passing large amounts of blood
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Pain that you cannot control with the medications you have been given
- Constipation or trouble urinating
- An aching feeling develops in the area between the rectum and the genitals
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
Hemorrhoids. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
http://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated March 21, 2013. Accessed May 23, 2013.
Living with hemorrhoids. American Gastroenterological Association website. Available at:
http://www.gastro.org/patient-center/digestive-conditions/hemorrhoids. Published April 25, 2010. Accessed May 23, 2013.
6/2/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance
http://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.
Last reviewed May 2013 by Marcin Chwistek, MD; Brian Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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