Hemorrhoids are swollen veins very similar to varicose veins that are located both in the anus and in the lower part of the rectum. Although the origin of the increase in size or swelling are different causes, hemorrhoids are mainly caused by tension or effort when evacuating our intestines, digestive problems such as chronic diarrhea or constipation or by sitting in the bathroom for a long time, among others. Although there are different methods and treatments to combat this condition, if you have hemorrhoids or piles that are too large, your doctor may recommend a procedure known as a hemorrhoidectomy.
Hemorrhoidectomy is a surgical operation used to remove these piles in the event that other treatments and less invasive methods have not worked. However, as with any surgery, hemorrhoidectomy is a procedure that can subsequently have side effects such as pain and require certain postoperative care. Therefore, in the following article we will explain how to relieve pain after a hemorrhoid operation.
Hemorrhoidectomy: what it is and how long the postoperative period of hemorrhoids lasts
Hemorrhoids or piles are swollen veins found in the anus and lower rectum produced mainly by the pressure or effort that some people make when trying to defecate. Depending on the severity of these there are 4 types of piles: grade 1 and 2 are considered mild hemorrhoids since they return spontaneously to the interior of the canal. In the case of grade 3 and 4 they are seen as serious piles since they can only be reintroduced manually (in grade 3) or directly prolapsed and permanently left out.
In these degrees where hemorrhoids cannot be reintroduced due to increased pressure or size, the only solution to end this problem is to perform hemorrhoidectomy, a surgical operation where the surgeon uses various techniques to remove the excess tissue that is causing both bleeding and other symptoms. The duration of this surgical procedure is usually about an hour and the patient can go home the same day of surgery after recovering from anesthesia.
But how long does the postoperative period of hemorrhoid surgery last? Full recovery after performing a hemorrhoidectomy is usually about 10-15 days. However, there is a possibility to resume some of our daily activities after 2-3 days after the operation. Everything will depend on the degree of pain we have after the operation and the necessary care for an adequate recovery.
How to relieve pain after a hemorrhoid operation or hemorrhoidectomy
As we already anticipated in the previous section, it is quite common that after the operation of hemorrhoids we have some discomfort in the affected area such as pain and a little bleeding, especially after the first stools. If this is your case, below we will explain how you can relieve pain after a hemorrhoid operation:
- Analgesic medications: your doctor will probably prescribe these drugs after the operation to relieve the pain. In addition to following the doctor's recommendations, it is also advisable that you take the prescribed painkillers before the discomfort becomes too intense.
- Antibiotics: Some doctors also often prescribe antibiotic treatments after the surgical procedure both to relieve pain and to prevent possible infections.
- Softening the stool: The first bowel movements can cause discomfort and some bleeding. To do this, the doctor can prescribe these drugs enriched with fiber to facilitate bowel movements.
- Ice packs: Another pain-relieving treatment after a hemorrhoid operation is to wrap an ice pack in a clean cloth and apply it to the affected area. However, it is important that you do not use this compress for more than 15 minutes in a row and that you never put the ice directly on the skin. In this other article you can learn more about How to reduce hemorrhoids with ice.
- Sitz bath: this remedy usually relieves a lot of postoperative pain and also helps to relax the muscle tension in the area. To use it you will have to fill a bathtub with warm water until it covers the buttocks and hips and then sit for a few minutes in it.
Postoperative care of a hemorrhoidectomy
In addition to relieving pain after a hemorrhoid operation, it is also important that you keep in mind the following tips about the postoperative care of a hemorrhoidectomy:
- When to shower: It's important that you wait at least a day to shower after surgery.
- Foods rich in fiber: this nutrient is essential to avoid having problems when defecating. Include in your diet foods such as whole grains, fruits, legumes, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
- Avoid the consumption of certain foods and drinks: just as the previous ones are recommended, you will have to stop consuming during that period of time spicy, seasoned or spiced foods, since they can irritate the anal mucosa. The consumption of alcoholic beverages is also prohibited as they will slow down the recovery.
- Drink plenty of water: it is important that you drink at least 2 liters of water a day as it will help you improve your intestinal transit.
- Do not smoke: Tobacco is also an irritating substance that will damage both the gastric mucosa and that of the anus. Therefore, it is recommended that during the postoperative period you forget about this type of products.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing: Too tight clothes can cause dilation of the venous vessels of the anus. It is also recommended that you use fabrics such as cotton as it will help you sweat better and avoid fungal infections due to the accumulation of moisture on the skin.