Treating hemorrhoids can involve simple sitz baths at home to laser treatments in hospitals. How simple or complicated the procedure gets depends greatly on the severity of your symptoms and condition.
With hemorrhoidal surgeries, however, you have to handle more requirements and risks. But the benefits of surgery are far greater than temporary relief from ointments and home remedies.
Before diving into hemorrhoidal surgeries, here’s all you need to know from a first-hand perspective.
Hemorrhoid Surgery: An Overview
People endure hemorrhoids in varying degrees depending on their health, age, genes, and lifestyle. I’ve experienced and recovered from the condition both early on in life and in later years too.
Hemorrhoidectomy, as it’s called, is when doctors attempt to remove or damage the affected tissues directly. You’ll go under some anesthetics, and a qualified surgeon uses medical tools to get the job done.
A qualified doctor usually recommends the procedure after diagnosing or examining the severity of your hemorrhoids. So, you don’t simply step into a hospital and demand surgery. It’s a coordinated decision between you and your doctor.
Some hemorrhoidal conditions that may need surgical intervention include:
- Internal hemorrhoids that swell and get strangulated
- Thrombosed external hemorrhoids causing extreme pain
- Hemorrhoids that appear along with other anorectal conditions
- Failure of topical treatments like hemorrhoidal creams and ointments.
From my experience, doctors communicate clearly what the risks are and the potential results. Plus, they’ll explain how long you may take to recover and how to maximize your chances of avoiding risks.
Hemorrhoidectomy: Procedure and Recovery Explained
It’s been some years since I had my hemorrhoidectomy, but the procedure hasn’t changed a lot since. Besides better tools and equipment, the overall process has remained the same.
Here’s what you’ll go through.
- The hemorrhoid doctor will explain the procedure to you, and an anesthetist will put you under. The doctor may recommend only sedation and local anesthesia if they expect it to end quickly.
- They’ll lie you down on the surgery table with your legs raised and supported by stirrups. Relax. You won’t be conscious or feeling anything by this point.
- The surgical team will quickly clean and sterilize the affected area before real surgical actions begin.
- The doctor will use surgical tools to open the affected area and expose the hemorrhoidal tissue. Using trained hands, your surgeon will gently remove these tissues and swells without affecting or damaging any other parts nearby.
- Depending on the type of incisions made, your surgeon may stitch up the wound or leave it to heal naturally. They’ll perform basic sterilization and dressing of the surgery area for hygiene and faster healing.
My hemorrhoidectomy was a one-day affair. So, you may get discharged from the hospital on the same day. Even if an overnight stay is needed, you’re strong enough to head home in most cases.
Expect some moderate pain and discomfort for the next few weeks as your wounds heal. The doctor may prescribe pain medication, lifestyle changes, and follow-up appointments. Follow these medical instructions as best as you can.
Stapled Hemorrhoidopexy: Procedure and Recovery Explained
Next to hemorrhoidectomy, stapled hemorrhoidopexy remains the next most common treatment plan. It’s also called stapled hemorrhoidectomy in some clinics. So, don’t be surprised when you hear the two terms used interchangeably.
Your doctor may advise this route if hemorrhoidectomy does not seem appropriate for your condition.
Here’s what to expect.
- Like other surgical procedures, you start off with a briefing on the procedure before they put you under anesthesia. Some doctors use spinal sedation where you’re conscious but do not feel any sensation in the operated area.
- They’ll prepare the area affected by hemorrhoids by sterilizing your anal and rectal tissues.
- The surgeon will position the anoscope inside the rectum, which lights up the affected area, allowing them to observe, examine, and assess the severity.
- He’ll then use a round stapler to place it around the base of the hemorrhoidal tissue. This will reposition the hemorrhoids so that severely affected tissues get removed while the remaining tissues go back to their natural position.
- If the stapling causes more bleeding, the wound is treated to stop blood flow and covered for additional protection.
- They then move you to a recovery room where you wait till you come back to your normal senses.
Stapled hemorrhoidectomy does not require you to spend more than a day at the hospital. Once the procedure ends, most of your rest and recovery can happen at home.
The recovery is also faster than surgical hemorrhoidectomy, thanks to fewer incisions and stitches. Some discomfort is normal in the following week or so as your wounds heal.
Follow your doctor’s prescriptions for any post-procedural medication, eating habits, and exercises. The hospital may invite you for post-operative appointments where they track and monitor your progress and recovery.
Comparing Hemorrhoid Surgeries: Pros and Cons
Stapling and surgical hemorrhoidectomy may appear similar in many aspects. So, I’ve prepared a table that you can glance through quickly to scan the advantages and disadvantages of both procedures.
|Procedure and recovery are longer
|Procedure and recovery are comparatively shorter
|Slightly more risk of pain during and after surgery
|Relatively less pain compared to full surgery
|Bleeding, relapse, anal stenosis.
|Moderate pain, bleeding, relapse of hemorrhoids
|Proven treatment with long-term results
|Fairly new, with only short-term results so far
Deciding if Hemorrhoid Surgery is Right for You: A Step-by-Step Guide
Still confused about how to pick a procedure? Consider these steps.
- Always start with a qualified doctor who can explain the differences, risks, and implications of each procedure.
- Monitor your symptoms. Many hemorrhoidal conditions go away with the right topical treatment and lifestyle changes.
- Consider the risks. Hemorrhoidectomy may pose slightly more risk for complications but offer more assurance for success too. Stapled hemorrhoidectomy is a tad bit safer but with a higher risk of the condition coming back.
- Compare the recovery rates and post-operative needs of each treatment. Slower and faster recoveries both have benefits and compromises.
Choosing the right hemorrhoidal surgery may prove overwhelming and unsettling. You have to consider your budget, time, recovery rates, and risks associated with each process.
In my experience, partnering with a qualified doctor helps you make better decisions instead of going at it alone. Seek medical help, do your research, and make an informed choice on which procedure will suit you best.
You can read about Non Surgical Procedures Here: Non-Surgical Procedures for Hemorrhoids: A Comprehensive Guide