Recovering from hemorrhoid surgery can be an unpleasant experience. The recovery period typically lasts between one to six weeks post-surgery, depending on how extensive the procedure was. Different factors can determine the recovery time, including the number of hemorrhoids removed and their size.
Patients in the hemorrhoid surgery recovery stage often feel high discomfort and pain that continues for one to four weeks following the surgery. However, you can take certain steps to alleviate symptoms throughout this process.
Why Is Hemorrhoid Surgery Needed?
This type of treatment is usually recommended when hemorrhoids have become large, either internally or externally. However, it can also be a solution when frequent bleeding is occurring, and the pain is extreme. Most of the time, your doctor will provide other recommendations before opting for surgery. This can include the following:
- Eating a high-fiber diet
- Staying hydrated
- Other lifestyle changes
The Hemorrhoid Surgery Recovery Period
Once the hemorrhoid surgery has taken place, patients tend to notice that their symptoms begin to reduce towards the end of the first week, especially hemorrhoidectomy pain. An indication that the recovery is going well is if bowel movements after surgery are soft.
However, if this isn’t the case and stool is hard or requires the patient to strain when going to the bathroom, you could feel a great amount of pain.
For patients who have undergone hemorrhoid surgery, many will be able to get back to their normal lifestyle after two to three weeks and perform non-strenuous activities one week from the procedure.
Throughout the recovery period, individuals should focus on trying to prevent constipation. Medication that is typically provided during the hemorrhoid healing time can increase the chance of constipation.
Therefore, it may be necessary for constipation medication to be taken alongside pain drugs to prevent this from happening. For patients that usually suffer from being constipated, you may need additional medicine.
Pain after Hemorrhoid Surgery
Pain experienced during the hemorrhoid healing time can vary depending on the type of treatment. The three main types consist of:
- Hemorrhoid Banding
Hemorrhoidectomy pain is common for many patients. It’s considered to be more painful than sclerotherapy which is a less invasive treatment. However, hemorrhoid banding is known for providing the least amount of discomfort after being performed. The severity of the hemorrhoids will ultimately determine the type of procedure that is needed.
Alongside the treatment type, bowel movements after surgery can impact how much pain is felt. If patients are straining when trying to pass hard stools, the amount of pain experienced can significantly increase.
Although the amount of discomfort incurred can fluctuate depending on the treatment, all individuals will typically experience some level of pain during the first week, especially during bowel movements after surgery.
Symptoms That Can Occur during the Hemorrhoid Surgery Recovery Period
Itching – When external hemorrhoids are removed, itching may occur. When this happens, it can indicate that the area is healing normally.
Bleeding – Sometimes, the affected area can bleed. Usually, patients notice this when going to the bathroom or changing underwear. For those that experience a small amount of blood during the recovery phase, it shouldn’t cause any major concern. Although, if a large amount of bleeding occurs, then it’s best to contact your medical provider.
It is also common for bleeding to happen during bowel movements after surgery. This is especially common during the first 48 to 72 hours. Passing unexpected blood clots should always be reported to your doctor.
Infection – Like with many surgical procedures, there is always the chance of infection. Due to the location of this particular type of treatment, there is an increased risk of an infection developing. This is because stool can come into direct contact with the healing area.
Fecal incontinence – Patients may feel incontinence of stool in small amounts alongside hemorrhoidectomy pain. When this occurs, it tends to be short-term and naturally resolves itself during the recovery phase. However, if the problem persists for a few weeks after the treatment, you should consult your doctor.
Easing Symptoms during the Hemorrhoid Healing Time
Your doctor will have different methods at their disposal to help control your hemorrhoidectomy pain, whether it be over-the-counter pharmacy recommendations or prescribed medications. For example, in some cases, your doctor may suggest ibuprofen.
To reduce straining caused by hard stool, they may recommend stool softeners, laxatives, or a combination of both types. These options are beneficial during the first week of the hemorrhoid healing time.
Patients may also be provided with a sitz bath to help manage pain and itching. Similar to a bedpan, it is a special basin that fits on top of a toilet. Throughout the day, individuals can use it to soak the rectal area in a small amount of warm water, reducing symptoms dramatically.
Diet – Doctors will most likely suggest dietary recommendations for alleviating symptoms during the hemorrhoid healing time.
On the first day, after the treatment has taken place, professionals will advise their patients only to consume liquids. Following this, high fiber foods will be recommended, including fresh fruits, whole grains, and vegetables. Diets that are high in fiber help soften stool which will lessen the pain felt. Patients should avoid certain food types to prevent constipation from happening. These foods include dairy, red meats, and processed foods.
Patients must also drink a sufficient amount of water during the recovery phase. On average, doctors advise patients to drink eight or more cups per day. However, the amount necessary may differ, depending on your doctors’ instructions.
Resting – Understanding what activities you can do is crucial to ensure that the recovery phase progresses quickly and without complications. There is the possibility that bending, lifting, squatting, or sitting down will cause pain. Therefore, for the first few days into the hemorrhoid surgery recovery, you should limit strenuous activities as much as possible.
Reduce itching – There are different creams available to reduce itching. If you require one to deal with this symptom, it’s best to consult your doctor to find the most effective solution.
Driving during the Healing Process
After the procedure, patients should ask a friend or family member to drive them home. In the next couple of days after the surgery, when pain and discomfort will most likely be very intense, it is also strongly advised that individuals should not drive. Being on pain medication is also a signal that patients should avoid driving.
Help from Medical Professionals
Situated in the Palm Beach County, Florida area, Advanced Surgical Physicians provides expert hemorrhoid surgery advice for post-operative care. There can be a lot of questions that you may want to ask, and we’re here to help. And in the event of problems occurring after the surgery, we can help identify the issue and provide the most effective treatment. Contact us today to book an appointment.