What Are the Risks of Hemorrhoid Surgery?
Hemorrhoid surgery is very common and is considered safe. However, every surgery has some risks including:
- Reaction to anesthesia
In addition, patients might have some trouble urinating because the pain following surgery makes it difficult to relax and allow urine to flow. Further, the anal sphincter might be damaged during surgery, which can lead to pain and/or fecal incontinence. Fecal incontinence is the inability to control your bowels, which can lead to the involuntary release of feces or gas.
Treating Pain After Hemorrhoid Surgery
Pain is the most common complaint after surgery, especially during bowel movements. Pain medication -- including over-the-counter acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) and/or ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin) -- can help provide pain relief. Do not take any new medication without your doctor's approval. Soaking in a warm bath might also help reduce pain. Taking stool softeners can make it easier to move your bowels, which helps prevent straining and constipation. Straining to have a bowel movement can lead to a recurrence of hemorrhoids.
In most cases, recovery takes about two weeks following hemorrhoidectomy. In some cases, it can take as long as three to six weeks to make a full recovery.
How Effective Is Hemorrhoid Surgery?
Hemorrhoid surgery is effective in most cases. However, it's important to eat a high-fiber diet, maintain good hygiene, and avoid becoming constipated, which can cause new hemorrhoids to form.
When to Call the Doctor About Hemorrhoids
If you have hemorrhoids, call the doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:
- Considerable bleeding
- Inability to urinate
- Inability to have a bowel movement
How Can I Prevent Hemorrhoids From Reoccurring?
The best way to prevent hemorrhoids is to keep stools soft so they are easy to pass and don't require straining. Eating a high-fiber diet and drinking plenty of fluids (six to eight glasses each day) can help you stay regular and keep stools soft, and may reduce constipation and the need to strain on the toilet, lowering the risk of developing new hemorrhoids.
An over-the-counter fiber supplement (such as Citrucel or Metamucil) will add bulk to the stool and can also help prevent hemorrhoids from coming back. When needed, an over-the-counter stool softener can help if you have constipation. Check with your doctor before taking either of these.