A hemorrhoidectomy is done to remove hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are swollen veins. They're found in or around the anus and rectum. They cause discomfort, pain, or bleeding.

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Reasons for Procedure

This may be done for hemorrhoids that:

  • Don't get better using other methods
  • Cause excess bleeding
  • Have a blood clot
  • Protrude through the anus

Possible Complications

Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems such as:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Constipation
  • Hemorrhoids may come back
  • Narrowing of the anal canal
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Reaction to anesthesia

Your chances of problems are higher for:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking
  • Chronic disease such as diabetes or obesity
  • Prior anal surgery
  • Bleeding problems

What to Expect

Prior to Procedure

You may have:

  • A physical exam
  • A rectal exam
  • Anoscopy or sigmoidoscopy —a scope is used to see internal structures

Leading up to the procedure:

  • Don't eat or drink anything after midnight.
  • You will need to use a laxative to clean out the lower bowel.
  • Arrange for a ride.
  • Talk to your doctor about the medicines you take. You may be asked to stop taking some medicines up to 1 week in advance.


This may be done with:

Description of the Procedure

A cut will be made around each hemorrhoid. The swollen vein inside will be tied off so it doesn't bleed. The hemorrhoid will then be taken out. The wounds will either be stitched closed or left open to heal.

There are other ways this can be done. Your doctor will talk to you about which one will work best for you.

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?

Anesthesia will keep you pain free. After the procedure, it can be controlled with medicines.

Post-procedure Care

During your stay, the healthcare staff will take steps to lower your chances of infection such as:

  • Washing their hands
  • Wearing gloves or masks
  • Keeping your incisions covered

There are also steps you can take to lower your chances of infection such as:

  • Washing your hands often and reminding visitors and healthcare staff to do the same
  • Reminding your healthcare staff to wear gloves or masks
  • Not allowing others to touch your incisions

To help you feel better faster:

  • Don't strain, bear down, or hold your breath during a bowel movement.
  • Don't sit on the toilet for long periods of time.

Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor if any of these occur:

  • Passing large amounts of blood
  • Fever or chills
  • Pain that you can't control with the medicines you were given
  • Constipation
  • Problems passing urine
  • Unexpected discharge from the anus
  • An aching feeling develops in the area between the rectum and the genitals

If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.


American Gastroenterological Association

American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons


Canadian Association of Gastroenterology

The College of Family Physicians of Canada


Hemorrhoids. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: Updated February 20, 2018. Accessed August 24, 2018.

Hemorrhoids. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: Updated July 2018. Accessed August 24, 2018.

Hemorrhoidectomy. Encyclopedia of Surgery website. Available at: Accessed August 23, 2018.

6/2/2011 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance 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.

Last reviewed May 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcin Chwistek, MD  Last Updated: 8/24/2018