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What is a hemorrhoidectomy?


A hemorrhoidectomy is the removal of hemorrhoidal tissue. Hemorrhoidal tissues contain blood vessels that act as cushions by swelling slightly to protect the anal canal during bowel movements.

Anal pressure can cause these tissues to stay swollen. Straining during bowel movements and pregnancy commonly cause too much pressure in the anal canal. Symptoms of hemorrhoids include rectal pain and bleeding.

Internal hemorrhoids occur inside the anal canal. External hemorrhoids occur around the anal opening. A hemorrhoidectomy treats large hemorrhoids that cause pain or bleeding.

A hemorrhoidectomy has risks and potential complications. You may have less invasive treatment options. Consider getting a second opinion about all your treatment choices before having a hemorrhoidectomy. 

Types of hemorrhoidectomy

The types of hemorrhoidectomy procedures include:

  • Excisional hemorrhoidectomy removes the hemorrhoidal tissue by cutting it. Your surgeon may choose to leave the tissue wound open (open excisional hemorrhoidectomy) or close it with stitches (closed excisional hemorrhoidectomy). Most surgeons prefer the closed technique.

  • Stapled hemorrhoidopexy removes only a portion of the hemorrhoidal tissues. The remaining hemorrhoidal tissues are lifted back up into the anal canal and stapled into place with a special stapling device. This procedure tends to cause less postoperative pain and has a shorter recovery period. It is not effective for large external hemorrhoids, and hemorrhoids tend to recur more often.

Other procedures that may be performed

Your doctor may perform other procedures in addition to a hemorrhoidectomy. This includes a lateral internal sphincterotomy to open or widen the internal sphincter muscle. It is not a common procedure.

Your doctor may perform this procedure if you have high resting internal sphincter pressure. This makes it difficult to push out stool. The goal of this procedure is to reduce pain after surgery during bowel movements.

Medical Reviewers: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Aug 30, 2016

© 2016 Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement.

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Medical References

  1. Hemorrhoidectomy and Related Procedures. UCSF.
  2. Hemorrhoids. BetterMedicine.
  3. Hemorrhoids & Fissure-in-Ano. American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons.
  4. Hemorrhoids: Expanded Version. American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons.
  5. Pile, JC. Evaluating postoperative fever: A focused approach. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. 2006;73 (Suppl 1):S62.

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