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!
Thank you so much for writing your story,i hope you are feeling better soon,you are a brave lady.
I also have been reading this board for 2 years,suffering all the same king of problems.
I have nearly made up my mind to have a Hemorrhoidectomy.
So far i am in 2 minds who i choose to do the surgery.
A Colerectol Surgeon or a General Surgeon.
If i choose the Colerectol Surgeon i will have to go to the cityto have it done.
This is a 4 hour drive, after the surgery i can ask if i can stay a couple of days longer in hospital,i do have Private Hospital Cover.
Then after which, there is this apartment place, a short distance from the hospital,where patients can stay,they do have a bath also.This place is not covered by my medical insurance.
If i choose the General Surgeon this is in my town.
I have a bath also,but its down stairs, the bath is set up high off the floor,i have to climb up 3 steps to get in to it.
My late husband made it for me, before he died 15 months ago.
I am 63 yrs old,and dont know if i will be able to manage this ok by myself.
I also have a Bidet installed in my upstairs bathroom,but some people thought this would be too much pressure on my but,seeing its hanging over the emptey bowl.
My daughter lives in the city where i could have the surgery done, by the Colerectol Surgeon,she lives a 40 minute drive away.
It would not be a good idea to stay at my daughters home,because she has a couple of house cats which travel through the bathroom,to get outside,i have seen the cats in the bath at times,and i dont want to catch a germ.
I could stay at this apartment in the city, until i felt well enough to drive back home,there are motels along the way back home,if i feel tired.
Best wishes from M.
Those do sound like difficult circumstances. I was on my own for the most part post-surgery, but did not have problems since I was not in much pain and am in good physical condition (good muscle mass, strength, etc). If you are not in great shape, I would definitely recommend having it done somewhere that you could have assistance if needed. I think my going to a Colorectal surgeon may have improved my chances of having the surgery done properly with minimal problems afterwards, but maybe your general surgeon has done many of these and is very good as well.
A very warm tub after a BM helps a great deal for comfort, but I would not worry about cats in the tub giving you an infection. Your feces contain a great deal of bacteria and you won't even be prescribed an antibiotic after the surgery. Add about a cup of epsom salts to the water and that should help as well.
It is a very difficult decision to make regarding whether to have the surgery. I guess it all depends on how miserable you currently are. I was miserable and did not want to spend the rest of my life in that condition. I also felt planning the surgery and having myself prepared ahead of time was a much better idea than dealing with a thrombosed emergency surgery in the future (potentially).
Best of luck M, I hope everything works out for the best,
Hi K thank you so much for replying.
Your letter was most helpful,and spot on.
I dont feel i could go it alone.
I had a colonstopy done 2 weeks ago by my general surgeon,he injected 2 hems and that has made things so much better.
I am seeing him on friday for a follow up talk.
Hope you are going well,best wishes M.
Just had my stapling procedure 6-22-10, so I'm early in this process. I can relate to most of what you say, already. I don't know why hospitals/doctors do not vary the norm of sending folks home with vicodin, since this just binds you up worse than natural. The ani-inflammatories are what we need for this recovery! I'm doing well on mix of ibuprofen and an Excedrin, but can't stray out of the 4-5 hour window before pain and that "discomfort" you describe. For me, these days and those ahead would be SOOOO much worse if I did not have a hot tub on my side porch. It has been a life saver, already! My daughter-in-law had her first child today, and my line has become that if people really knew what labor and hemorrhoidectomies were all about, they'd never have have/do either. Today I passed the most stool yet, and am feeling significantly better, so here's hoping I can beat what seems to be the 2+ week norm back to anything close to normalcy.
I am doing a one year update on my surgery: I had about 4 tags removed in December by the same surgeon. He used a local while I was awake. The local felt like a hornet stinging/burning my anus - very painful, but only lasted a few seconds (about 5 injections though). I was deathly afraid I would feel him cutting, so nearly had a panic attack, but it went ok. There was minimal discomfort for a day or two. The results are excellent - I finally have a fairly normal anal region.
My BM's increased in size and are now about normal diameters. After having ribbons and "cat turds" for the first few weeks, I was afraid the hole healed too small. I am very careful about keeping up on fiber and never straining anymore. I am extremely happy I had this done and that my case was not horrible. I am so sorry for those of you experiencing problems and recovery issues. I hope you all get well very soon.
I had a few tags removed in December....I was awake and the surgeon used a local. It felt like hornets stinging/buirning my anus and hurt quite bad for a few seconds. I was more paranoid that I would feel him cutting and somehwat was freaking out. It went fine and little discomfort for a couple days. The end result is great....I finally have a normal area down there.
My stools became more normal a month after the initial surgery and are about normal size now. No discomfort when doing a BM, and no more sensation that some is left behind. I am super cautious about eating properly with enough fiber and never straining on the toilet. Also, no sitting on the pot for more than a few minutes. Overall, I am super happy I had this done and realize I am very lucky it went so well. I hope all of you experience relief very soon and that none of us ever has to deal with this again!
I read your story and am in the same situation as you were. I have the time, insurance and am relatively young (40) but thinking every day that goes by, I am making this harder on myself with the inevitable need to have surgery. Though banding has reduced pain etc., (3 bands over the last 2 months) I want things to look normal back there (looks horrible) and hygeine is an issue for me also. Thanks for sharing!
This is a 2 year post-op update....I have a totally unrealted health problem and am on the healthboards, but figured i'd update on this issue while here.
Things seem normal. I have no hemorrhoid problems any longer (but have no idea what may be lurking internally of course). I have continued to try to maintain softer stools and never to strain during a BM. I do not sit on the pot more than a few minutes either. The region back there looks pretty close to "normal". Again, I am incredibly grateful my ordeal went as smoothly as it did, and as always I wish those of you suffering from ANY health problem a quick recovery!