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Hemorrhoidectomy (external/5 weeks post op) Experience/Rant and Questions

After noticing a very small pea sized bump on a Friday evening, which grew to a thumb sized moderately painful lump by Saturday evening, I immediately went to an urgent care that was open on a Sunday morning. The only reason I didn't go saturday was because I had to go to an out of town wedding. After reading a lot on it, I was hopeful that something could be done if caught fast enough. The doctor that day did nothing but send me to a specialist.

An appointment was made for the following week, at which time the doctor examined me and said I was a "tough man," then recommended surgery. (I should have known it was going to be all downhill from there.) I asked the normal questions about healing time (was told a weeked to a week and a half out of work and about a month to be completely normal again), pain levels, chance of it getting better (since it had been regressing slowly), and was told that the surgery gets a bad rep and it's really not that bad. He continued to say if I was dealing with the pain right now that well that the surgery shouldnt be a problem for me. It was also said that I would recieve a packet in the mail for pre-op prep which I never recieved. After calling twice I was told that I needed to take a fleet enima the night before and the morning of the surgery. I was dissapointed about having surgery but felt a little relieved. The surgery was scheduled for two weeks after the doctors appointment which was the 19th of June, 2017.

Surgery was fine, anesthesiologist was excellent. I did not see the doctor after surgery which I thought was strange, and was discharged with prescriptions and directions for care. The first day I was bleeding as much as you would imagine a surgery wound would bleed. I was given Oxycodone/Acetaminophen in a 5/325mg caplet for pain, Ketotolac 10mg as an anti-inflammatory, told to take Citrucel Tablets once a day, and prescribed a cream of Diclofenac 3%/Lidocaine 1.5%/Metronidazole 10%/Nifedipine 0.5%. The  instructions also stated that if I did not have a bowel movement after 4 days to take Milk of Magnesia twice a day until I do.

After 4 pretty easy days I still hadn't had a bowel movement and wasn't taking pain medication because it really wasnt that bad. I'm not really one to complain about pain. So i began taking Mild of Magnesia and on the fifth day I had a bowel movement. It was aweful, about an hour on the toilet, lost a lot of blood (maybe 1/4 pint), and ripped out one stitch. I had surgery on the 19th of June and that day was Friday the 23rd. I had planned to go back to work on the following Monday earlier that week but after that day I called and confirmed I would not be going back to work the next week. I had been taking two sitz baths a day, I took one after and literally just went to bed. I continued to bleed a moderate amount for the next two days. On that Monday I had another bowel movement that was far worse than the first, I had never been so constipated in my entire life, and lost the rest of my stitches. I had been taking pain meds since the 23rd. I started readin up and contacted the doctor. The doctor said that thw medication was correct and that sometimes people loose stitches early but and open wound there wasn't a major worry as long as kept clean. After another very bad bowel movement i started researching laxatives and found out the citrucel was a bulking agent and discontinued taking it. I switched to a stool softener and things got a little better. 

After two weeks the follow up appointment came, in which the doctor who did my surgery had another doctor do the follow up. After examination, he noticed I had lost all of my stitches and ofcourse still wasnt healed. I also asked because It still looked identical to before the surgery except with an incision next to the hemorrhoid. I was told that the lump was just swelling and that over the next week or two it would naturally go down. He also stated that the open wound wasnt a big deal just more aggravating than a real problem. I also told him that I stopped taking the citrucel and started taking a stool softner. 

I'm now just over 5 weeks after surgery with my supposedly final appointment is in about a week. I still bleed everyday and more after every bowel movement (maybe a teaspoon or two at most) and they are still painful but not that bad. My first three were almost unmanageable. It now seems like I have another thrombosed hemorrhoid, which is crazy because I'm having a much easier time now than right after surgery, I'm so sick of this. I'm going to see if I cant make an appointment this week.

Is a stool bulking agent normally prescribed after a hemorrhoidectomy? That just doesn't seem like a great idea, I firmly believe it didn't do me any favors. Should it take 6-8 weeks to heal? Should I seek a second opinion? 

Anyone having this surgery should prepare a week before by changing their diet, I wouldn't recommend taking citrucel, take a stool softner and begin it before your surgery, just take two weeks off if you can. The surgery doesn't have a bad rep. I was really of the opinion that most people just don't deal well with pain and that it wouldn't be that much of a big deal. I was wrong. After ripping out stitches in such a sensitive place I'd give it an 8, painful enough to have trouble thinking about anything else. Breaking my femur and having it straightened to be put in traction was like a 7. It's one of those things where you're tired of constantly being uncomfortable even when you don't hurt.


9 Replies

  • julesR julesR I nothing

    So glad you posted this! Its so comforting hearing from people who actually know what this hell feels like considering that most doctors and nurses I talked to make it like "it's just a little snip and done"not the case! I'm only 8 day post op so I'm a rookie compared to your veteran status however I did rip my stitches as well, On day 2 after my first bm which was 12 hours on and off the pot. F ing nightmare! Since then I've had this huge incision hanging on by one stitch. I keep it pretty clean but I know healing time is going to take awhile because every time I have a bm it seems to go right back to the way it was. I spoke with someone who was 6weeks post on and said that the incision is only 90%healed and the last part keeps RE opening so I know I'm gonna be in this for the long haul. I don't know that restitching it is going to help because what if they rip again plus my doc is not concerned . I've now become someone who watches what they eat because I'm worried how it will come out. I've broke my spine in half and had spinal reconstructive surgery and this pain is superseding that! I'll be praying and pulling for anyone who goes through this and I think your absolutely right about bulking agents. I actually stopped taking my fiber because it was making it worse I just eat a higher fiber diet instead the fiber from benefiber was making my stool entirely too hard so I cut it. Sorry at this point I just want to feel human again and can't wait for this to be over we need to keep our heads up and look to the day this is all over. I'm looking up to you at this point thinking I can't wait till my 5 weeks. I've talked to so many people some who said it took 6 months to a year to heal so I'm keeping healthy and Clean and waiting for my day. Thank you again for sharing your story it's an awkward conversation but it needs to be talked about.

  • patientintone patientintone I nothing

    Sorry to hear your story.

    Some observations based on my own experience back in March (I'm in the UK). I had two large external haemorrhoids removed. The big surprise for me was no stiches but the wounds left open to heal! Evidently this is a common procedure. Although I had other problems this was not one of them and the wounds had healed fully within a month.

    The pain was also grim for two weeks but then slowly improved as things healed. I was popping various pain killers throughout this period.

    I too was proscribed bulking agents to ease bowel movements. It does indeed sound counter intuitive but my understanding is that by absorbing more fluid they make stools softer and easier to pass. I was prescribed Laxido Orange (I’m in the UK). I found even small doses (half a sachet) had an effect but it may be that this just coincided with other things settling down.

    I totally agree that ensuring you are not constipated before the operation is the top tip. Lots of water, fruit etc to make sure everything is soft and moving freely is some of the best advice anyone can have.

    Good luck with your recovery.

    • mary90364 mary90364 patientintone

      Where in the UK was your operation ? I have internal ones and also a bit hanging down. I have been to the hospital and now have to wait 8-12 weeks for the appointment for the operation. The whole thing scare me with what people are saying.

    • I nothing I nothing mary90364

      Supposedly the internal ones are not painful, and you'd of course have a lot of bleeding just as any surgery, but that is hearsay as far as I'm concerned. I've had no personal experience with that.

  • penguin59394 penguin59394 I nothing

    I am almost 8 months past my hemorrhoidectomy. Still have little issue with itch and bleeding now and then, but mostly I am good. Fibre supplement is routinely recommended after this surgery, to make sure your stool is long and easy to exist. I don't think it works that well if you don't have the right diet or enough water intake. I've found veggie is your best friend. Some meat, chicken and fish, does not cause problems either. Avoid grain - they cause binding and round stools.

  • Goldenluck Goldenluck I nothing

    Miralax is the best! Definitely take stool softeners. What about Ibuprofen? Opioids are known for constipation. And without a doubt drink a lot more water. Also, if you take enough Vitamin C, like 10,000 mg, you can back up from there but that usually makes your stools runny, which seems better than hard. If you think you need a 2nd opinion just get one. It's not like you can get in until next week anyways. Make the appt and cancel it if you don't need it.  With all good wishes...

  • I nothing I nothing

    So, It's been almost 4 months now. I'm healed externally but continue to bleed a good amount at every bowel movement. The amount of bleeding did not get better at all when the external wound healed, blood still bright red with clumps of clotting. The doctor tells me it will continue to get better but it hasn't. The pain is almost all the way gone, I don't have issues doing anything but still don't want to work out or do any strenuous activity. Any ideas? 4 months is too long.

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