What Is a Hemorrhoidectomy?

Medically Reviewed

Surgical removal may be advisable if hemorrhoids become painful or result in heavy bleeding.

A hemorrhoidectomy is a procedure to remove hemorrhoids, swollen veins in or around the anus.

Hemorrhoids can cause symptoms such as bleeding, pain, itching, burning, and irritation.

According to the Mayo Clinic, about half of adults will suffer from hemorrhoids by age 50.

Sometimes, hemorrhoids don't cause any problems and don't need to be treated.

But if they become painful or result in heavy bleeding, a hemorrhoidectomy can offer relief.

The Hemorrhoidectomy Procedure

A hemorrhoidectomy is typically done in a doctor's office, clinic, or surgical center.

You may receive local anesthesia (a small area of your body is numbed), a spinal block (the bottom half of your body is numbed), or general anesthesia (you won't be conscious).

There are different ways to perform the procedure, depending on your condition.

In a typical hemorrhoidectomy, a surgeon makes small incisions around the hemorrhoids.

A knife, scissors, or cautery pencil (a high-heat instrument) is then used to remove the hemorrhoids.

Sometimes, it's possible to staple a hemorrhoid or put a rubber band around it to block its blood flow. This causes the hemorrhoid to shrink.

Other techniques involve injecting a chemical solution or using a laser to shrink hemorrhoids.

Talk to your doctor about which procedure is the best option for you.

Before a Hemorrhoidectomy

Tell your doctor about all medicines you take before having hemorrhoid surgery.

You may need to stop taking drugs such as aspirin, Advil (ibuprofen), Aleve (naproxen), oral anticoagulants such as Coumadin (warfarin), Eliquis (apixaban), and Xarelto (rivaroxaban), or Plavix (clopidogrel bisulfate) several days before your procedure.

Also, let your doctor know if you smoke before having a hemorrhoidectomy. Smoking can make it harder for your body to heal.

You may be told not to eat or drink anything for 6 to 12 hours before the procedure. Follow your doctor's instructions.

After a Hemorrhoidectomy

You'll probably be able to go home the same day as your procedure. Be sure to have someone else drive you.

You may experience pain after hemorrhoid surgery. Take the medicines your doctor prescribes to relieve discomfort.

Your doctor may also recommend that you take a sitz bath, which involves sitting in a shallow bath of warm water for 15 to 20 minutes.

This helps keep the area clean and increases blood flow to the region. Ask your doctor how often you should do this.

Complete recovery usually takes about two weeks.

After the procedure, you should try to make diet and lifestyle changes so that your hemorrhoids don't return. These may include:

Risks of Hemorrhoidectomy

Potential risks of a hemorrhoidectomy include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Stool leakage
  • Problems passing urine due to pain

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