I am a 49-year old male and had stage 3 piles for about 5 years. They never really caused me any pain or suffering per se but were an inconvenience. I had been to my GP ages ago to make sure it wasn't anything serious. Towards the end of 2009 I decided to see what options I might have for sorting them out as I figured I wouldn't want them to get worse and despite being fit and healthy and eating well, they had not gone away of my own accord.
I went to my GP and she did a digital exam and said they were very small - didn't seem like it to me - she said she could refer me if I wanted but I declined. A few weeks later I figured I was copping out and returned to get a referral. I went to see a consultant locally who got me to come back for banding. This was very easy and though it was a bit uncomfortable I was optimistic that it would sort it all out. It didn't - even though it seemed like it would work it in fact made no difference whatsoever. I returned to him and he said he would try the schlerotherapy and another banding as they were quite big and the portable banding machine wasn't up to it. Again nothing really changed.
I read all these forums and was in two minds like so many others whether to pursue it any more. After all I was not in pain per se and clearly some people have really awful experiences, sometimes made worse by the tteatment - I knew I certainly didn't want anything slicing off! I read up what I could about HALO but it seemed to be mainly sales pitch. I decided to see the consultant again and ask him about it. He said he didn't know anything about it but his next step would be banding under GA and he was confident that would do it.
For one reason or another I wasn't convinced and so I called the HALO people and found out where there was locally that did it. They also told me how much it would cost privately (?3k+) but that with a referral I could probably get it on the NHS. A few weeks later I had a session with a consultant who explained the whole thing - also diagnosing a polyp as well as piles - which would never have responded to banding so I was glad to have taken the 2nd opinion. Anyway he put me on the waiting list for a polyp exision and possible HALO.
Time came around in about 6 weeks and I went into hospital for the first time in my life to have day surgery. I was apprehensive but quite positive. The whole experience was very reassuring - the staff were great and I felt very cared for and the surgeon was friendly and explained things. I signed on the dotted line, had my pre-med and felt the curtains close
Woke up feeling fine about 30 mins later. The surgeon explained to my surprise and a bit of shock that they had had to cut a large pile off so I might have a longer recovery time than expected (he had said at least 2 weeks for HALO and up to 10 for pilectomy). That concerned me a bit, espceially when the nurse brought my meds to take home - 3 types of opioid painkiller, 2 types of laxative and some antibiotics. I got the impression they were trying to tell me something. I stayed about 2 hours to satisfy them I'd had a wee, eaten and drunk some fluids etc and got my wife to pick me up.
Felt pretty OK generally even with after effects of the GA - ate and drank lightly and feared the first pooh which came 2 days after the op. Uncomfortable certainly but not especially painful. The absolute best thing after each BM was a nice warm shower spray for a few minutes which really soothed the bruised feeling. This got better over the next 7 to 10 days. I work from home so was fortunate that I didn't need to take time off per se after the first day getting my head clearer but I wouldn't have wanted to have to commute or be away from home.
There were some bad bits but not what I would have expected. The worst bit by far, and it was _horrible_ was the antibiotic (metronidazole)- I had to take it for 5 days and didn't realise what a nasty drug it is (check it out on ****)- around day 3 I was finding alternate nights of complete insomnia, nausea, sweating and a really depressing state of mind feeling like I would never get better. I googled all the meds and realised it was the AB and that these were fairly common side-effects. If I had had a longer run of them I would have asked to change but I figured I would see them out. It was awful and I did have another day off cos I just felt so damn bad from them. My advice here - don't just take what is given to you and not check it out - be aware of what has been prescribed (in fairness they did say thatsome of the meds could give nausea, constipation etc but I didn't expect this one to be so heavy).
The other downside was the laxative - I should have had clearer instructions. You definitely want to make sure you have soft stools etc and are acutely aware that what you eat has to come out the other end - soups, bran flakes, porridge etc are great for this. However if you just take teh laxatives as prescribed - and you are not already constipated (I am always regular)- then they will just play havoc and have you very windy (which also seems to come from the GA gases) and farting all the time with a sore anus is quite painful/uncomfortable in itself (esp if you're not too sure what might be coming down the pipes!) It kept me awake a bit.
What I should have thought with the meds from teh starts is - take them /if/ needed (except see below)
So I had been prescribed metronidazole as mentioned - I took that for the 5 days. I had 3 painkillers - Tramadol which I didn't bother taking, Codrydamol, I took a couple but then didn't bother (and my wife used them all up on migraines!) and Diclofenac - this last one I should have taken all the time but didn't. It is an anti-inflammatory and because I didn't bother with it I think I put myself back a couple days with a very sore and inflamed bottom - so this one I would say take as a matter of course (and I didn't have any side effects). For laxatives I had lactulose syrup and ispagel husks - both are palatable enough but as above I realised after a coupe of days that I probably didn't need them.
All told I was not incapacitated at all. It took a good week to not be too worried about the next BM. After that it just was a process of it getting better every day. The main thing was that the prolapsing piles/polyp were gone and that was a great relief. Had a check up last week and I would say I now feel 100% down there and no concerns at all.
I am very pleased I went ahead with it - I had overcome embarrassment about it ages ago and plain speaking is all that is needed - my reticence had been around being \"operated\" on but that all went very smoothly. I know there are some horror stories on here where people say that the op is worse than the piles but I am sure that complications are in the minority and I would not hesitate in recommending anyone suffering and holding back, check out a good consultant and have it all sorted out. I was glad I had it sorted out when I was fit and in good shape - I think that plays a big part in making the op run smoothly and the caring for oneself that much easier. If was old, infirm or very overweight I think it would be harder. Weight wise I had lost nearly 3 stone over the last 18 months and again I think that helped keep recuperation short.
If, and I hope they don't, recur then I would happily go down the same route again. I hope this story helps others.
Mr Relieved of Surrey
[color=red:ad977d8329][size=9:ad977d8329][b:ad977d8329][i:ad977d8329](Sorry but Patient Admin have removed a Doctor, Consultant and or Hospital name from this posting, as it is the policy of Patient UK not to publish these on this forum.) [/i:ad977d8329][/b:ad977d8329][/size:ad977d8329][/color:ad977d8329]
[color=green:ad977d8329][size=9:ad977d8329][b:ad977d8329][i:ad977d8329](Sorry but Patient Admin have removed either a telephone number, an email address, a postal address and or web address, from this posting, as it is the policy of Patient UK not to publish these on this forum.
If you wish to communicate directly with people, you should register, for free, with the forum (click Register in the menu list below the green banner above). You and other registered members will then be able to communicate with each other via Private Messaging (PM) or e-mail.) [/i:ad977d8329][/b:ad977d8329][/size:ad977d8329][/color:ad977d8329]