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My Experience - 7 Weeks After Nhs Halo And Haemorrhoidectomy

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

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209 Replies

  • shaz3458 shaz3458

    Hi.. I had my op yesterday and up until this evening the pain has been bearable. I have been given metronidazole and lactulose and told to take paracetamol and ibuprofen. I also have some diazepam if I need it.

    I keep feeling like I need to do a poo every time I go for a wee. A little while ago I started to go and the pain

    Was like nothing on earth, it made me want to be sick. I passed quite a lot of blood and just didn't know what

    To do with myself and I didn't even go!!

    I have been eating all the right foods and every hour or so having a little walk round but the pain is getting

    Worse all the time. I know it's early days but I can't stand the thought of going thro this for the next however

    Many weeks like other people on here.

    Already I am beginning to wonder whether I've done the right thing by having the op.

    The letter from Mr relieved of Surrey is the inky positive letter that I've read so far..

    Any advice will be welcome.. I'm feeling desperate at the moment.

    From Shaz

    • eren93736 eren93736 shaz3458

      Hi Shaz,

      Sorry to hear about your bad experience. I'm a 53yr woman whom suffered from piles for years, but because I was too embarassed to be examined, just put up with all the bleeding. I had no pain with it, but all the same, it was just a nuisance. On a few occassions, it got to a point where the bleeding had clots with it! So I thought its time to have it sorted once and for all. After being examined by my GP, I was refered to a north london hospital for the 'rubber-band' treatment (which didn't work). The problem was back again within 9 months. So I went back to my GP, who then refered me to a very good hospital in Euston - London. I was seen quite quickly, and it was agreed I would have the Halo op, as well as the stitching up of the loose skin, which the piles had caused. I had my Pre Assessment a couple of weeks ago and all was fine. Yesterday I actually had my Halo operation and it all went very well! The nurses and care was good. You get to talk to all the staff that will be dealing with you pre-op and post-op, they explain what is about to happen to you, you can ask them anything you are concerned about etc. The only person you do not actually meet is the Consultant (which is understandable). Before I left the hospital, I was given Paracetomol, Maximus Strength Ibuprofen and Codeine Phosphate as painkillers, and Liquid Movicol for softening the stools. I was told I wouldn't need to take any medication until the next day, but I took the Ibuprofen last night before going to bed - just in case. I also had some Movicol.

      This morning I woke up with a bit of discomfort (nothing too drastic). I took the paracetomol and Ibuprofen only ( I didnt have the Codeine because apparently it sometimes causes constipation). I have had my first bm with no pain!! As long as you relax and dont force it, you are more likely not to hurt. I didnt have any bleeding neither - which quite surprised me! Afterwards I got into a warm salty sit bath, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I have eaten and drank normally normally since last night. I will continue with the meds I have been taking for now. But all-in-all my experience has been ok!

      The reason I wanted to write about my experience is that some of the experiences on this forum sound so frightening, that it puts people off of having the treatment done. I myself, having read some of them, got so frightened that I delayed my treatment and was considering cancelling it completely! Its only that I started bleeding heavily again that I actually felt I HAD to do it, so I went and had it done. I know that not all people have the same pain threshold but surely, if you explain this to the nurses they will supply efficient medication to help you. I just don't want people to suffer needlessly, when they dont need to, thats all.

      I hope my experience helps others decide to have it done. It's not always

      So bad. I'm with Mr Surrey on this one.

      Kind regards

    • mia54105 mia54105 eren93736

      I know u posted over a year ago but I'm keen to know with the operation when did the bleeding totally stop after bowel movement.

      I'm two months past HALO and still bleeding after BM I've a colonoscopy to rule anything nasty out.

      Best ,

    • kay93486 kay93486 mia54105

      Hi Mia,

      My husband had Halo surgery 10 days back to treat grade 3 haemarroids. He has been in terrible pain since then which he is managing with paracetamol. He was constipated but it's getting better now with high fibre foods.

      It has now started bleeding and there is fresh blood on and off. How long does the bleeding last as we are really worried and the follow up with the surgeon is after 3 months.

    • Little Miss RC Little Miss RC kay93486

      Hi Kay,

      ​I had HALO op in May 2015. My surgeon told me that some people pass a lot of blood between 10 and 14 days after HALO, he said he didn't know why this happens and it doesn't happen to everyone (fortunately it didn't happen to me), but to be aware this can happen. I experienced a lot of pain after the op and was off work for 4 weeks. I would say if the bleeding is severe or doesn't settle after a few days, your husband should contact his doctor or surgeon. It does get better eventually.

    • Mrs Hope Mrs Hope kay93486

      Hi Kay

      I had HALO procedure about 7 weeks ago to treat grade 4 haemarroids and now I would say I have fully recovered. But in the first couple weeks I was in lots of pain and taken back to the hospital by the ambulance a week after due to severe post-op bleeding. 

      I had the review with my surgeon 2 weeks ago and he explained the  reason about the bleeding was mainly due to the extent of artileries stiches (did 9 stiches). In my case, bleeding stopped about 3 weeks after op. I went back to work part time 2 weeks after op for one week and full time afterwards. 

      One thing I like to stress like others has already mentioned - avoid constipation at any cost. Movical or Laxido works well for me.

      Despite the amount of pain, it is worth to do this procedure. I have got my life back and can do all the activities which was prevented by this awful condition. So don't be afraid and all will be better!

  • grace1982 grace1982

    Hi Shaz, I hope you are feeling better now? I had my hemmorridectomy on 17th September and I am just starting to feel better nearly 4 weeks post op, I know its classed as "minor" surgery, I tell you the recovery feels anything but minor. I was discharged with metronidazole and oramorph for pain relief, the first night after the op I was in agony and the first bowel movement felt like I was being split in two! After a week I became severely constipated and even urinating was nee on impossible,my tummy was so sore and I looked 6 months pregnant, I was not sleeping and in constant agony, after 6 days I saw my G.P who was wonderful and prescribed movicol, enemas and suppositories which have really helped thank god! I have dramatically changed my diet, cut down on tea and coffee, having at least 2 pints of pure orange juice and water, increased fruit and veg and reduced dairy and white flour products, this has really really helped. I also have a small bath with salt in after every bowel movement,this bath has deffo become my best friend since the op! If I knew what I know now I dont think I would of had the op, although I may feel differently in another 8/10 weeks as I have been told this is the complete recovery period, I have been left with a small amount of leakage from my bottom but my G.P has reassured me that this is a very common side effect from this surgery and is only temporary. I would be interested in anyone else's story in having this surgery.

  • shaz3458 shaz3458

    Hi grace,

    I had to have another op yesterday as the pain was increasing instead of decreasing. The result was I had

    A blockage, impacted faeces, 3 areas were bleeding, a fissure and muscle spasm.

    I hope now that they have all been corrected and I have been cleared out that I will start to recover. My

    Surgeon said that my poo must be soft but not runny, I must have a BM daily and not get constipated! That's

    All easier said than done when my bowels seem to have a mind of their own. I have a laxido sachet every

    Night but he said that as soon as my poo is soft enough I must regulate that to maybe half a sachet. One day it might be soft the next day hard so I will just have to see how it goes.

    Right from the start I've been eating loads of fruit, drinking lots of water and green tea. I don't drink tea or

    Coffee. I bought some bran from a health food shop and sprinkled it on my cereal but I'm sure that made

    Things worse. I have had a wheat test and I'm not intolerant but the bran definitely caused me more problems. I know you have to add fibre gradually as that can cause you to get impacted, maybe that's what happened

    To me, I don't know.

    I just hope this second op sorts me out because I'm really tired of it all, I want to get back to work and to a

    Normal life. I've been off work 7 and a half weeks already and nowhere near ready to go back as I feel I'm starting all over again.

    I too wish I'd never had this op done , I'd rather of put up with the heammoroids !!

    Mind you, my surgeon did tell me that other than all the things that had gone wrong the rest of it was healing well !!! I thought that was funny as there can't be much more left.

    Anyway.. Keep in touch and let me know how your doing.

    From Shaz

  • grace1982 grace1982

    Hi Shaz,

    I'm so sorry you have had to have more horrific surgery due to impaction,tears and muscle spasms, how devastating for you after already going through the hell of a hemmoroidectomy. I'm keeping everything crossed for you that now you will begin recovering and get your life back! I totally get that as I have chronic pain and have been on morphine for over four years so my constipation is mainly due to the morphine as it dehydrates the bowel so I cant win most of the time! My GP also said the stool should be soft and be easy to pass without straining and I have thankfully found that 45ml of lactlose in 3x15ml separate doses throughout the day 1x laxido sachet mid afternoon and 2x senna 7.5mg tablets at night are a good combination to have a daily soft BM. As well as a fibre and fluid rich diet. Avoid the bran for a couple of weeks and replace it with another high fibre food and see if this helps your bowels. Are you on painkillers post op? As they are well know for causing constipation, you cannot win as you cant be in pain but you need daily soft BM! I have never heard of the gel mentioned in the above posts, its sounds great but for you and I its too late for it. I have found a local anesthetic cream helpful to put on prior to a BM which my GP gave me, if your interested I can post the name of it for you? I am continuing to recover slowly thank God, my bottom is still sore and the leakage continues but I will mention it to my surgeon at my post op appointment so hoping he can tell me the score!

    Hope your feeling a bit better today? Let me know how your doing.

    Grace :-)

    • marina60017 marina60017 june91785

      Hi june. I feel your pain i really do.

      Mines been 16days today which is christmas day and im in so much pain after having a bm this afternoon (im pleased i managed this far for my children)

      The pain and spasms i still have are out of this world seriously want the ground to swallow me up 😣

      How are you now ? Would like to know so i know this isnt going to last months on end.

    • june91785 june91785 marina60017

      Hi Marina and Happy 🎄 Christmas, so sorry you are in so much pain.i will help all I can, on Dec 29 th it will be 5 weeks for me . I can tell you what I actually had done and you can then compare what you had and I will explain how I am right now. I had 4 grade 4 haemorrhoids done. 3 by haemorroidectomy and one by the HALI method. I almost passed out with the pain the following morning even with morphine. I regretted having it done. Then by the. 2nd. Week I was off all pain killers and to pass a BM got easier and easier everyday. By week 3 I was 95 per cent 0k but still a bit sore especially after a BM. Today I am 100 💯 percent back to normal, but still have what looks like a very very tiny lump protruding, I think it will just disappear but will check this out when I see my surgeon on Dec. 28th. Keep the warm baths, also the pain killers until you can cope without them. Eat good that goes through the system easily, avoid 🌶 spicy continue with the stool softeners I am taking 1/4 packet only per day right now. Ask me anything I will answer all I can. I think I have just about got over this horrid op now. Best of luck let me know how you progress. June

  • lara35299 lara35299

    Hi Grace,

    I would be very interested in the name of the local anesthetic cream your go prescribed. How many days are you post op now? I am day 6 and still in lots of pain.

    Shaz has really been through the mill poor thing.

    Lara xx

  • Real pain Real pain

    Hi all

    I had the op on Tuesday morning through Bupa and am in quite a bit more pain today , Friday than I have been so far this week. I had thought it would get better each day not worse

    In fairness I wouldn't say I'm in agony compared to some of the experiences I have read about here and elsewhere on the net. I only had the one removed although it was quite big. Perhaps this is why.

    Is this a false sense if security though ? Will it start to improve or get worse by the day

    Can't believe I dread needing to go to the toilet so much

    I also had a vasectomy just 1 week ago. Thought it was a good idea to get both done together so one period of sick leave in work. Not so sure it was a good idea now smile

  • shaz3458 shaz3458

    Hi mr vasectomy!!

    You are very brave having both ops done!!

    Unfortunately it does seem to get worse before it starts getting better. I've read loads and loads of blogs on

    Several different websites and everybody's story is more or less the same. I found reading them all did help

    Because I wasn't sure at first if all the different things that I was experiencing were normal, so it helped put

    my mind at rest.

    If you've read my blog you will know that I've had a particularly rough time, I had to have a second op. I'm

    now on day 4 and as with the first op each day is getting worse. I've now been off sick from work for 8 weeks

    And there is still no light at the end of the tunnel.

    All I can say to you is just take one day at a time, don't overdo things, take regular pain killers and laxatives and don't ever strain.

    As you had yours done through bupa you may get a better aftercare, don't be afraid to use it !!

    I hope it all goes well for you..

    Take care




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