I've been reading this site for 2 years and finally decided to have the surgery...so here's my story.
I developed a couple pea sized semi-external hemorrhoids 3 years ago (they only came out after a BM, but were right on the edge of the rectum), but have likely had asymptomatic internals for many years. I tried everything to get rid of them - better diet and metamucil, not straining, but nothing helped. They rarely bled and caused no pain, but were difficult to keep clean and their appearance bothered me. I saw a general surgeon after a year of dealing with them and he banded 2 internals that would supposedly pull the external excess tissue back into my colon. It helped a little, but not for more than a few months...things fell back out. The banding caused no more than minor discomfort for a day.
Two months ago I saw a Colo-Rectal Surgeon and he said my condition was very minor, but only surgery to remove the hemorroids would rectify my problem. After reading about thrombosis, realizing they will never go away, and constant difficulty with hygiene and disliking their appearance, I decided to be proactive and have them removed while I'm still young (30's, female) and healthy....not to mention in possession of health insurance.
I had the surgery last month and was scared out of my wits. I asked him to remove everything that looked suspect due to my realizing I would never have the courage to go through the surgery again once I experienced the pain I have read about from others that have undergone this surgery. I was afraid the experience could possibly lead to an overdose of pain pills.
The surgery recovery was the worst surgery recovery I have had, but far from as bad as most other peoples descriptions. I have nothing but empathy for everyone that has had a horrible time with this. I wish you all the very soonest recovery and pain-free existence!
I do not know how many piles were removed, but they were cut out and some sutures used. At least 4 "columns" were bulging and becoming a problem prior to the surgery. I do not know if any internals were removed, but mine were "mixed" hemorroids, with only 2 really protruding (about the size of almonds). The surgery went fine, no nausea or pain upon waking. I went home within an hour and the drive was not bad. I spent the next 2 weeks sitting on one butt cheek rather than directly vertical due to discomfort. I would describe the pain as very unncomfortable while attempting to sit or change body position, no real pain while laying down, very bad pain while having a BM for the first couple weeks....mostly pressure at constriction site and burning during and afterwards for a minute.
I was given hydrocodone and ibuprofin for pain and stuck to the schedule prescribed. I began vomiting the second day from the codone and had to stop taking it about 48 hours post-surgery. I was not experiencing pain, so that was fine. I kept on the Ibuprofin. I spent 2 weeks in bed for the most part. I was able to walk around the house from day one, but was weak and tired alot. Sitting was uncomfortable, so I laid in bed most the time watching tv and reading. Sleeping was not a problem, but turning over and any movement was done slowly due to discomfort.
After a couple days I was able to drive to walgreens and get some things, but had to drive while sitting with my left leg under me to keep my butt elevated.
I stuck to the advice given by Tacoma Guy regarding diet and trying to have BM's in the tub. I did an enema the night before surgery and had a bit of diarrhea the morning of surgery. It made me very bloated with gas and in discomfort, but likely beats having a BM too soon post-op! 48 hours post-op, I still did not have a BM, even though I was doing tons of fiber, collace, and a senokot. I finally got scared into taking milk of magnesium and that really made me bloated with gas. 12 hours later and nothing, so I took another dose. 6 hours later and I had diarrhea. The first week I had stools that were much too soft, regardless of how I tried to make them firmer for fear of stenosis. I tried to have them in the tub, but couldn't really go while horizontal. Jumping in the warm tub after definitely helped with the stinging pain though. There was usually a tiny bit of blood with each BM. My first semi-firm stool was about a week later and it came out in small ribbons about 1" x 0.5" in cross-section...I was freaking out over the thought that the hole healed too small. I never got to talk to my doctor, but his nurse said not to worry (!!!!). Every day I would have 3-5 BM's that were small in size and quantity, often too soft. This went on for another few days. Eventually, I had a "normal" firmness BM and almost passed out from the pain. The pain only lasted about 10 seconds, but it was bad. Future BM's were not as painful, but still about a 5-6 out of 10.
Things that helped were: the very warm tub during or post BM, lidocaine gel before BM, dermoplast spray also good post-BM, 4" square non-stick pads to keep tucked in there to capture drainage, fruit, good food, lots of water, lots of distractions, ibuprofin.
At first, the anus site looked semi-normal with a bit of bulging blobs of tissue here and there. One month later, the swelling has receded a good deal, but there are still some small "flaps" of tissue and one larger blob. They may recede more or be removed in a another couple months. I am trying Mederma to see if it will help things heal better. The hole is much smaller than it used to be, but that may not be such a bad thing. The largest BM so far may have been about 1" in diameter. I just hope the smaller size doesn't increase the liklihood for consipation and a reccurence of hemorrhoids in the future. The doctor looked at me the other day and said it healed well, but I may have tags and to wait a while longer to see.
I worked a couple hours from home starting at 1.5 weeks post-op, did half days the 3rd week and full-time after that. Sitting wasn't so bad, but BM's are better done at home. Cleaning up after a BM is more difficult than pre-op. BM's aren't as fulfilling anymore...they come in smaller quantities and seem to get "stuck". There often seems to be some that does not want to come out, or at least the sensation that there is some still in there. I think it's still improving though.
Overall, I am extremely happy I did the surgery, but I realize I am an extreme rarity regarding the lack of pain I experienced. I truely wish all of you the best and hope a new pain-free surgery is invented soon!
May you all get better very soon,