Recovery After Hemorrhoid Removal: What to Expect

Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
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Hemorrhoid removal surgery, also called hemorrhoidectomy, is the surgical removal of swollen hemorrhoidal tissues in the rectal area. Hemorrhoid removal surgery can relieve pain and bleeding caused by swollen hemorrhoidal tissues and may prevent future hemorrhoid problems.

Recovery from hemorrhoid surgery is a gradual process. Recovery time varies depending on the procedure, type of anesthesia, your general health, age, and other factors. Knowing what to expect as you recover will help you focus on getting back to your everyday life sooner.

Day of Surgery

You’ll have hemorrhoid removal surgery in a hospital or outpatient surgery setting. You’ll be given anesthesia so that you are asleep during the procedure. You will be in the recovery room when you wake up from surgery. You will stay in the recovery room after surgery until you are alert, breathing effectively, and your vital signs are stable. 

You may have dissolvable stitches inside or outside of your anus. Packing and dressing will cover the wound.

You need to be able to urinate before you can go home. Urinary retention is a common complication of hemorrhoid surgery. Patients typically go home on the same day, but a hospital stay of one day may be necessary in some cases. 

Controlling Pain

Your anal area will be tender after surgery. Your doctor will treat your pain so you are comfortable and can get the rest you need. Keep in mind that it’s easier to prevent pain from getting worse than it is to control pain once it’s bad. Stay on top of the pain by following your doctor’s instructions for pain medicines. 

To help with pain and irritation, your doctor will probably recommend you soak in a sitz bath several times a day. A sitz bath is a shallow, warm water bath. 

If you have discomfort while sitting, try sitting on a soft pillow or donut-shaped pillow to lessen pressure on your wound.

Caring for Your Incision

Keep your anal area clean and dry. After each bowel movement sit in a sitz bath or take a shower to clean and soothe your bottom. Avoid excessive wiping. Instead of using toilet paper, which can be irritating, use baby wipes to clean your bottom. Either way, be gentle!

A bloody or mucous-containing discharge is common for a few days after hemorrhoid removal surgery. You also may leak a small amount of stool. Use soft gauze, or wear an adult diaper, panty liner, or feminine napkin to keep clean.

Activity Restrictions 

You will need to take it easy for a few days after hemorrhoid removal surgery. You will be encouraged to walk soon after surgery and while you recover. Avoid lifting, pulling, and strenuous activity as recommended by your doctor. 

Avoid straining during bowel movements or when urinating. Your doctor will prescribe a stool softener to make it easier for you to have a bowel movement.

Most people are able to return to work and other activities around 7 to 10 days after hemorrhoid removal surgery. Full recovery may take 2 to 4 weeks.

Staying in Touch With Your Doctor

Your doctor will want to see you around 2 to 3 weeks after surgery for follow up. It is important to keep your follow-up appointments. 

Contact your doctor for questions and concerns between appointments. Call your doctor if your pain or bleeding is severe, you have unexpected drainage or pus coming out of your rectum, you have trouble urinating or having a bowel movement, or if you have symptoms of infection, such as fever

Preventing Hemorrhoids

You can help prevent hemorrhoids in the future with lifestyle changes. Start with these tips and ask your doctor for more ideas:

  • Eat a high-fiber diet and take fiber supplements
  • Drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water each day
  • Exercise regularly to maintain regularity 
  • Take stool softeners and laxatives as needed to avoid straining during bowel movements
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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2020 Sep 6
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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

  1. Hemorrhoids: Expanded Version. American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons. http://www.fascrs.org/patients/conditions/hemorrhoids/expanded_version/

  2. Hemorrhoids and what to do about them. Harvard Health Publications. http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Hemorrhoids_and_what_to_do_about_them.htm

  3. Hemorrhoidectomy & Related Procedures. University of California, San Francisco. http://colorectal.surgery.ucsf.edu/conditions--procedures/hemorrhoidectomy.aspx

  4. Hemorrhoid Surgery. Georgia Regents University Augusta. http://www.gru.edu/mcg/surgery/midds/patient_education/hemorrhoid_surgery.php