Haemorrhoids, also known as piles, are soft fleshy lumps just inside the anus. Haemorrhoidectomy is the procedure to remove haemorrhoids.
Haemorrhoids bleed easily, usually causing fresh bright-red bleeding when a motion is passed. They do not usually cause pain but can cause itching. When large, they can pass through the anus (prolapsed pile), feeling like a lump when you clean yourself.
Haemorrhoids develop gradually, often over a long period of time. They are associated with constipation, often run in families and can be made worse by pregnancy.
Haemorrhoids can often be successfully treated by simple measures such as eating more fibre and drinking more fluid. If these simple measures are unsuccessful, the haemorrhoids can usually be treated successfully in a clinic. Local treatments include ‘banding’ or ‘injecting’ the haemorrhoids.
What happens during a haemorrhoidectomy?
A haemorrhoidectomy is usually performed under a general anaesthetic and takes about twenty minutes. Your surgeon will remove your haemorrhoids by either cutting them away or using a staple gun to attach them to the last section of your large intestine. Stapling means the blood supply to the haemorrhoids is reduced and as a result they will shrink.
Going home after a haemorrhoidectomy
Depending on what procedure your surgeon uses you may be able to go home after one to three days. The length of stay after haemorrhoid stapling can be shorter. Be sure and discuss your discharge plan with your surgeon.
You should drink plenty of fluid and increase the amount of fibre in your diet.
Wounds can take several weeks to heal. There are no open wounds with stapling.
Most people make a good recovery and return to normal activities following a haemorrhoidectomy. As with any surgery there can be complications:
- Infection of the surgical site
- Blood clots
Specific complications of a haemorrhoidectomy:
- Incomplete haemorrhoidectomy
- Difficulty passing urine
- Anal stenosis
- Developing skin tags
- Developing an anal fissure
- Faecal incontinence.
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