In the great scheme of things, a haemorrhoidectomy is way down the list of serious medical interventions, unless, of course, there are complications.
I’m a fit and healthy 69 year old male who had a haemorrhoidectomy on the 1st March 2017. The operation itself went relatively well and eventually (a month later) healed nicely but the immediate aftermath was a nightmare involving admission to A&E with urine retention and a blocked colon requiring both a catheter and an emergency colon operation. If there was a complication to be had, I got it including a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection), post catheter debris in my bladder and colitis. Nearly five months on I’m still having tests and camera up both ends!
On reflection, the problem appeared to be that the trauma of the operation tipped the balance for other things that were happening with my body rather than anything inherently to do with the operation.
My offering to the community is therefore about being prepared for the aftermath of the operation.
1. Absolutely top of the list – make sure you are not suffering from constipation before the operation. Having a bowel movement after the procedure is not as bad as you might expect UNLESS you’re constipated. You want those movements to glide out, not be forced.
2. Don’t wait to go to the doctor about your haemorrhoids; they will only get worse and involve a bigger operation. Sort them early.
3. Get as fit as you can before the operation. Any operation can be a traumatic experience for your body and the aftermath of a haemorrhoidectomy can be particularly painful, being fit helps.
4. If you don’t have a bidet at home buy a ‘sitz’ bath (no, I didn’t know what one of these was either!). This a ‘portable bidet’ and you can buy them on Amazon for a few pounds/dollars/euros. This allows you to not only wash your backside but provides much needed comfort and relief.
5. You will probably be told that the first week after the operation is very uncomfortable but you’ll start to feel better from the second week. Maybe for the lucky few, but I’d say clear the decks for a good two weeks.
6. Maintain as scrupulous hygiene as you can. The period after the operation can be messy as your backside settles down and learns to work in its new configuration!
7. The aftermath can be very painful. Take the maximum amount of pain killers you can safely take. Remember there are types of pain killers that can be taken with other types of pain killers – ask your doctor for advice.
Finally - The best piece of advice I saw when researching the procedure was the comment that “You will survive!” There were times when I wondered, but here I am pretty well back to normal; You will indeed survive!