Hemorrhoidectomy: Removal of Hemorrhoids, Hemorrhoid surgery
What Is It?
A hemorrhoidectomy is a surgical procedure to remove hemorrhoids from the anus and rectum. Many people will develop hemorrhoids during their lifetime, and most will go away on their own. Often the causes for hemorrhoids include increased abdominal pain and pressure. Sometimes straining too hard can cause these bleeding protrusions to form, while pregnancy or weight gain can also cause them to form. Constipation often is a cause for hemorrhoids among the young and old alike.
Eating more fiber is often recommended to help reduce the risk of hemorrhoids. Some of the important symptoms of hemorrhoids include pain in and around the anus, bright red blood that spills into the tissue or toilet, itching, constipation and a mass that is visible in the anus or around it.
A hemorrhoidectomy is performed under general anesthesia usually, although sometimes doctors use a spinal anesthesia which relieves pain from the waist down. Usually the surgery is performed on an outpatient basis. The surgeon can use a procedure that does not require an incision, where a stapling instrument encircles the tissue and lifts and replaces the hemorrhoid into the anal canal.
This can be done manually as well by stitching the hemorrhoid into place.
Alternatives to Surgery
Most doctors will recommend conservative approaches to healing hemorrhoids before they recommend any surgery. These may include eating more fiber and using stool softeners so you don’t have to strain to use the bathroom. Some other options that may help relieve the discomfort of hemorrhoids and heal them include:
- Regular exercise, which promotes general wellness
- Weight loss
- Avoiding constipation and straining
- Use of OTC (over-the-counter) creams including anti-inflammatory cream to help reduce the pain of hemorrhoids.
- Sitting in a warm bath or soak for 15 minutes at a time once or twice a day.
Before The Operation
Your doctor will review your medical history with you. You may be advised to avoid taking any food from 8 to 12 hours before surgery. Most patients are also cautioned against smoking as these increases the risk for infections during and after surgery. Some patients may need to take a laxative prior to surgery but not always.
After The Operation
The doctor will provide the patients with a local anesthetic that will help alleviate pain for up to 12 hours. Patients can leave the hospital after the anesthesia wears off and after the patient has been able to successfully use the bathroom with assistance. Some patients are not able to use the bathroom to urinate because swelling has occurred in the tissues of the body.
If this happens the patient may require further observation, and in some instances a catheter may need to be inserted. Patients will need someone to drive them home and help the for the first 24 hours or thereabouts.
As with any surgery there is a risk of infection. This risk increases if someone is a smoker. Some patients will experience swelling which may be reduced through the application of ice following surgery. Excessive bleeding may occur although this complication is very rare.
To help prevent infection in at-risk patients including those with compromised immune systems your doctor may recommend prophylactic antibiotics. The surgery cannot guarantee that the symptoms and problem will not recur, so actions must be taken to resolve this problem.
Some other complications may include bleeding from the anus, collection of blood in and around the area of surgery, the possibility that stool might collect in the anal canal and narrowing or the anal canal, which normally would only occur many weeks following surgery.
A hemorrhoidectomy is typically recommended for patients that have large internal hemorrhoids that do not heal on their own, or for large external hemorrhoids that make it difficult to function. This procedure is often recommended only after other methods have failed to help patients recover including over-the-counter remedies for hemorrhoids.
Estimated Costs for Hemorrhoid Surgery
The cost for hemorrhoid surgery may depend on your age, the location of your hemorrhoids and how severe your condition is. Generally your regional status also influences the cost of surgery. It is important you consider the benefits and risks of surgery before flying anywhere to have surgery done. Most patients would consider this type of surgery if they already planned a vacation somewhere and intend to get well while staying at their remote location.
Costs associated with anesthesia and after care may drive up the costs of surgery.