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Treating Hemorrhoids: Surgery

Cross section of anus showing sutures. Cross section of anus showing staples.

You may need surgery for hemorrhoids if they cause severe symptoms. Or you may have it if your hemorrhoids come back after you have tried other treatments, such as rubber-band litigation or infrared coagulation. Your healthcare provider can tell you about the procedure that will be used. You’ll also be told how to get ready for the surgery and what to expect after it.

Getting ready for surgery

Your surgery will be done at a hospital or outpatient surgical center. Follow your healthcare provider’s advice on getting ready for surgery.

  • Tell your healthcare provider what medicines you take. This includes blood thinners, aspirin, and ibuprofen. Also tell him or her if you take any herbs or supplements. In some cases, you may need to stop taking them a week before surgery.

  • Stop smoking.

  • Plan for an adult family member or friend to give you a ride home after the procedure.

  • Stop eating and drinking before midnight on the night before your surgery, or as your healthcare provider tells you.

  • Do a bowel preparation, such as an enema, if told to do so.

Risks and possible complications

The risks and complications for this surgery are:

  • Infection

  • Bleeding

  • Trouble urinating

  • Narrowing of the anal canal (very rare)

The day of surgery

Be at the hospital or surgery center on time. You will be asked to sign some forms and change into a gown. You’ll then be given an IV (intravenous line). This gives fluids and medicine. You may also be given a laxative or enema to clean stool from your rectum. Just before surgery, you’ll talk with an anesthesiologist. He or she can tell you about the type of medicine used to prevent pain during surgery. You may have:

  • Local anesthesia that numbs just the surgical area

  • Monitored sedation that makes you relaxed and sleepy

  • Regional anesthesia that numbs certain parts of your body

  • General anesthesia that puts you to sleep during the procedure

During surgery

Your healthcare provider will put a scope into your anus to view the anal canal. He or she will use certain tools to take out the swollen hemorrhoids. Your cut (incision) will be closed with sutures or staples.

Hemorrhoidectomy with sutures

The hemorrhoids are taken out using surgical tools, such as a scalpel or cautery (sealing) device. The cut is then closed with sutures. In some cases, the cut may be left partly open. This lets fluid drain and helps with healing.

Stapled hemorrhoidopexy

This procedure uses a special tool to take a ring of tissue from the anal canal. Removing the tissue cuts off blood flow to the hemorrhoids. They then shrink. The tissue ring is then secured with staples. This helps hold the tissue in place.

After surgery

You’ll be taken to a recovery area to rest for a while. You can often go home the same day. But in some cases, you may need to stay in the hospital overnight. For a short time after surgery, you may have nausea, minor bleeding, and discharge. You’ll also likely have some pain. To help you feel better, your healthcare provider will give you pain medicine. You may also be given medicines to help make bowel movements easier.

When to call your healthcare provider

After surgery, call your healthcare provider right away if you have:

  • Increasing pain

  • Bleeding that does not stop

  • Fever or chills

  • Inability to move your bowels

  • Trouble urinating

Online Medical Reviewer: Jen Lehrer MD
Online Medical Reviewer: L Renee Watson MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Ronald Karlin MD
Date Last Reviewed: 6/1/2019
© 2000-2019 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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