Hemorrhoid Removal: FAQs




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Hemorrhoid removal. You're considering surgery because you're getting nowhere with other treatments and your hemorrhoids are getting worse. This article answers some of the most frequently asked questions about hemorrhoid removal.

When should I see the doctor?
What is a hemorrhoidectomy?
How do I find the right doctor?
What happens before, during, and after hemorrhoid removal surgery?
How long does it take to recover?
How successful is the surgery?
What will it cost?
When will it end?


When Should I See the Doctor?

See the doctor if:

Your doctor will perform a rectal examination to determine the cause of your bleeding and pain. This is critical, because the doctor does not want to assume you have hemorrhoids without ruling out more serious causes. Your doctor has several methods of diagnosing your condition:

Each method lets the doctor see a little farther into your digestive tract. Usually, your doctor's examination will consist of a visual inspection and the digital exam. If something raises a red flag at this time, the doctor may proceed with some of the other tests.

If the doctor sees and feels bleeding or thrombosed external hemorrhoids, or sees large internal hemorrhoids through an anoscope or proctoscope, then surgery for hemorrhoid removal may be recommended.

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What Is a Hemorrhoidectomy?

A conventional hemorrhoidectomy is the surgical removal of your hemorrhoid, the blood vessels feeding it, and any blood clots found within. The surgery has a 95% success rate but causes serious complications for many patients. Complications include:

A more recent form of hemorrhoidectomy surgery is a modified version, the stapled hemorrhoidectomy. This procedure doesn't actually remove the hemorrhoid. Rather, it cuts off the flow of blood to it. Alternately known as the procedure for prolapse and hemorrhoids, or PPH, stapled hemorrhoidectomies are generally recommended for people with Grade III or Grade IV hemorrhoids. These hemorrhoids have dropped below the anus, and are, therefore, prolapsed.

Learn more about the stapled hemorrhoidectomy surgery.


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How Do I Find the Right Doctor?

If you're going to undergo a hemorrhoidectomy, it's best to let a specialist perform the surgery. Colorectal surgeons specialize in treating diseases of the anus, rectum, and colon. These surgeons are also known as colon and rectal surgeons or proctologists. Ask your family doctor for a referral, or visit the American Society for Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS) website to find a board-certified specialist near you.


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What Happens Before, During, and After Hemorrhoid Removal Surgery?

Before the Surgery

The operation is usually performed at an outpatient center. Before the surgery, you will need to

Your doctor's staff will provide all the instructions you need to prepare for the morning of the surgery. They will tell you which of your regular medications you can take prior to the surgery and prescribe a highly restricted diet for you to eat the day before the surgery. Ususally, this will consist of clear liquids and perhaps some Jell-O.

During the Surgery

Prior to the surgery, you will be placed under anesthesia to numb the area where the incision will be made and to make you more comfortable. You may or may not be awake during the procedure.

If you have a conventional hemorrhoidectomy, the doctor will

The doctor may suture the area or leave it open. Different doctors have differing views about which is best for healing.

With the stapled hemorrhoidectomy procedure, no incision is involved. Rather, the doctor lifts the hemorrhoidal tissue back into place and then staples it to secure it.

After the Surgery

The anesthetic can last up to 12 hours. The surgical staff will keep you in the outpatient center until the anesthesia wears off. When you awaken, you will be asked to urinate. This provides the nurses an important clue about whether you are experiencing any problematic swelling or spasms in your pelvic muscles.

Once you return home, expect some pain. Your doctor will probably prescribe pain medication and perhaps antibiotics. Avoid any aspirin products for at least two weeks after your surgery. Aspirin can lead to bleeding.

You may experience bleeding with your first few bowel movements. This is not a cause for worry. Concentrate on keeping stools soft to avoid pain. It's OK to take stool softeners. Drink lots of fluids. For the first couple of days, you may want to restrict your diet to broths and other clear liquids to avoid triggering bowel movements.

Sitz baths, ice packs, cushions, petroleum jelly, and creams can all make your life easier by keeping your bottom comfortable.


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How Long Does It Take to Recover?

After hemorrhoid removal through a hemorrhoidectomy, expect to be off work at least two weeks. If you have complications, you may need as much as six weeks to recover.

Your doctor will schedule a return office visit about two to three weeks after your surgery to monitor your progress. At that time, he or she may discuss scheduling a colonoscopy in the near future to check your entire colon for any potential problems.


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How Successful Is the Surgery?

The success rate for hemorrhoid removal through hemorrhoidectomy surgery is about 95%, but this is contingent on the patient making dietary and lifestyle changes. Without these changes, hemorrhoids may recur.

Hemorrhoidectomies have the most success in preventing the return of hemorrhoids, but patients who have them also experience the most significant complications.

Read more about hemorrhoidectory surgery for hemorrhoid removal.


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What Will It Cost?

Costs vary widely from state to state. The best thing to do is consult with your insurance company about your out-of-pocket cost. Most plans cover hemorrhoidectomies. If you are not insured, expect a hemorrhoidectomy to range from $9000 to $12,000.


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When Will it End?

Your hemorrhoids will end when you make the dietary and lifestyle changes needed to prevent their return. For most people, the key to preventing hemorrhoids is preventing hard stools. Hard stools lead to straining on the toilet; straining leads to hemorrhoids. Hard stools rupture hemorrhoids, leading to bleeding hemorrhoids. From there, it's a hop, skip, and a jump to the surgeon's table. The choice is yours.

Read about a solution that promises hemorrhoid removal without surgery.


Carex Sitz Bath, 6/Pack

Carex Sitz Bath, 6/Pack

The Carex Sitz Bath is ideal for use in the treatment of hemorrhoids and other conditions in the anal and genital areas, and especially after an episiotomy. It has wide contoured edes for comfort and comes with a covenient on/off flow control clip. Designed to fit standard toilets. Product Size: 60" (152.4 cm) no-kink tubing. Capacity: Bag = 2 U.S. qts (1.9 L), Basin = 2.1 U.S. qts (2 L).



When should I see the doctor?
What is a hemorrhoidectomy?
How do I find the right doctor?
What happens before, during, and after hemorrhoid removal surgery?
How long does it take to recover?
How successful is the surgery?
What will it cost?
When will it end?


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