by Daus Mahnke, MD
A hemorrhoidectomy is an operation to remove hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are swollen (dilated) veins located in or around the anus and rectum. Hemorrhoids can cause discomfort, pain, or bleeding.
Reasons for Procedure
Hemorrhoidectomy is used to treat painful, swollen hemorrhoids. The procedure is most often done for the following reasons:
Possible Complications TOP
Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have a hemorrhoidectomy, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
What to Expect TOP
Prior to Procedure
Your doctor may do the following:
Leading up to the procedure:
Your surgery will be done using either:
Discuss these options with your doctor before the day of your surgery.
Description of the Procedure
An anoscope will be inserted into your anus. The doctor will be able to see the hemorrhoids through the scope.
An incision will be made around each hemorrhoid. The swollen vein inside the hemorrhoid will be tied off so that it does not bleed. The hemorrhoid will then be removed. The wounds will either be stitched closed or left open to heal.
There are other variations of this procedure. Ask your doctor to describe which procedure will be used.
Immediately After Procedure
You will be monitored in a recovery area for a few hours.
How Long Will It Take?
About 1-2 hours
How Much Will It Hurt?
You should not feel pain during the procedure. After the procedure, you might have pain in the area. Your doctor will give you pain medicine if you need it.
Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water. Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions, which may include:
Complete recovery will take 2-3 weeks. If your hemorrhoids come back, let your doctor know.
Call Your Doctor TOP
After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.
American Gastroenterological Association
American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS)
The Canadian Association of Gastroenterology
The College of Family Physicians of Canada
Khatri VP, Asensio JA. Operative Surgery Manual. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders; 2003.
Townsend CM. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 17th ed. St. Louis, MO: WB Saunders; 2004.
Yamada T. Textbook of Gastroenterology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins; 2003.
6/2/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/ : Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.
Last reviewed November 2012 by Marcin Chwistek, MD
Last Updated: 11/26/2012