A hemorrhoidectomy is done to remove hemorrhoids. These are swollen veins found in or around the anus and rectum.
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Reasons for Procedure
This may be done for hemorrhoids that:
- Do not get better using other methods
- Cause excess bleeding
- Have a blood clot
- Stick out through the anus
Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:
- Excess bleeding
- Problems from anesthesia, such as wheezing or sore throat
- Blood clots
- Problems passing stool
- Hemorrhoids that come back
- Narrowing of the anal canal
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
Things that may raise the risk of problems are:
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
The surgical team may meet with you to talk about:
- Anesthesia options
- Any allergies you may have
- Current medicines, herbs, and supplements that you take and whether you need to stop taking them before surgery
- Fasting before surgery, such as avoiding food or drink after midnight the night before
- Clearing the intestines with a laxative the night before
- Whether you need a ride to and from surgery
The doctor may give:
Description of the Procedure
A cut will be made around each hemorrhoid. The swollen vein inside will be tied off so it does not bleed. The hemorrhoid will then be taken out. The wounds will either be stitched closed or left open to heal.
There is more than one method to remove hemorrhoids. The method used will depend on the one that will work best for you.
How Long Will It Take?
About 1 to 2 hours
Will It Hurt?
Pain and swelling are common. Medicine and home care can help.
At the Hospital
The staff may give you pain medicine after the procedure.
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to lower your risk 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 risk of infection, such as:
- Washing your hands often and reminding visitors and staff to do the same
- Reminding staff to wear gloves or masks
- Not letting others touch your incisions
It will take 6 to 8 weeks to recover. Physical activity may need to be limited during recovery. Dietary changes will also need to be made. You may need to ask for help with daily activities and delay return to work for a about a week.
Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor if you are not getting better or you have:
- Signs of infection, such as fever or chills
- Pain that you cannot control with medicine
- Problems passing stool or urine
- Unexpected discharge from the anus
- Passed large amounts of blood
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
American Gastroenterological Association
American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons
Canadian Association of Gastroenterology
College of Family Physicians of Canada
Davis BR, Lee-Kong SA, et al. The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Hemorrhoids. Dis Colon Rectum. 2018 Mar;61(3):284-292.
Hemorrhoids. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/hemorrhoids. Accessed December 4, 2020.
Hemorrhoids. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gastrointestinal-disorders/anorectal-disorders/hemorrhoids. Accessed December 4, 2020.
Last reviewed September 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcin Chwistek, MD Last Updated: 4/20/2021