Tips for Recovering After Hemorrhoid Surgery (2023)

Hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels in the rectum. They may itch, bleed, or cause pain. Severe hemorrhoids sometimes need to be removed by a surgeon.

Recovery from hemorrhoid treatment or surgery typically lasts one to six weeks. The timeline depends on a few things, including:

  • The type of treatment
  • The severity of the hemorrhoids
  • The number removed

Many patients say recovery from this type of surgery is very painful. You can expect at least some pain and discomfort for one to four weeks after the procedure.

This article discusses recovery time after hemorrhoid surgery. It also looks at some potential complications and the steps you can take to speed your recovery and lessen pain.

Types of Hemorrhoid Surgery

Recovery after hemorrhoid surgery depends on the type of procedure. Some of the most common are:

  • Hemorrhoidectomy, a surgery to remove hemorrhoids
  • Sclerotherapy, a less invasive treatment that involves injecting the area around the hemorrhoids with a chemical solution to close off the veins
  • Hemorrhoid banding, which involves cutting off the blood supply to the hemorrhoid with a rubber band

When (and How) Hemorrhoids Are Surgically Removed

Recovery Timeline

Most patients start to feel better at the end of the first week. This is especially true if you can keep your bowel movements soft or slightly loose. Pain will be much worse if your stool is hard or if you have to strain to have a bowel movement.

Try to avoidconstipation while you recover. Remember that prescribed pain medications may cause constipation. If you usually take constipation medication, you may need a different strategy to prevent constipation while you recover.

Most people are able to resume non-strenuous activities a week after treatment. You should be able to resume all normal activities within two to three weeks.

Recap

Most patients start to feel better after a week. You can expect to be able to return to normal activities in about three weeks.

Tips for Recovering After Hemorrhoid Surgery (1)

Pain After Hemorrhoid Treatment

It is common to have pain in the week following treatment. Some procedures are more painful than others. Your pain may be significant or you may simply feel discomfort.

A hemorrhoidectomy usually results in more pain than sclerotherapy. Hemorrhoid banding usually results in much less discomfort.

Your level of pain will also depend on how severe your hemorrhoids were, and whether your stools stay soft while you are recovering. You may also have pain with urination.

Sclerotherapy of a small, single hemorrhoid may result in minor pain. A hemorrhoidectomy of multiple very large hemorrhoids may result in significant pain.

No matter which treatment you have, it is normal to have pain with a bowel movement in the week after surgery. Straining and pushing can make the pain much worse.

Coping With Recovery

There are a few options for pain management. Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter medication, such as Advil (ibuprofen). Prescription pain medication may be helpful for severe pain.

Your doctor may recommend a stool softener, a laxative, or both. A stool softener helps make stools easier to pass. A laxative promotes bowel movements, either by increasing the bulk of stool or stimulating the bowel. These will help prevent straining with bowel movements in the first week after surgery.

A sitz bath may be help relieve pain. This is a shallow, warm-water bath that can be done either in a bathtub or using a basin similar to a bedpan that fits over a toilet. Soaking the rectal area in a sitz bath can provide significant pain relief. This can be done several times per day.

(Video) Hemorrhoidectomy Recovery | Post-Operative Pain Control for Hemorrhoid Surgery

Recap

Pain can be controlled with pain medication, stool softeners, laxatives, and sitz baths.

Diet

Your doctor may recommend a special diet. A diet high in fiber will soften your stool.

It is also important to drink plenty of water while you are recovering. The typical recommendation is at least 8 cups, or 64 ounces per day.

Talk to your doctor if you notice a change in stool appearance.

Return to Activities

Though it's typical to return to normal activities in a couple of weeks, your timeline can vary. Let pain be your guide.

You may feel pain during certain activities, like:

  • Bending
  • Squatting
  • Lifting
  • Moving from a standing position to a seated position

Try to minimize painful activities as much as possible. This is especially important in the first few days after your procedure.

Recap

Drink plenty of water and eat foods high in fiber. Avoid activities that cause pain.

Fecal Incontinence

Fecal incontinence is when stool leaks from the rectum. Some patients may have incontinence of small amounts of stool after a hemorrhoidectomy.

This is usually short-term. In most patients, it resolves during the recovery period.

Talk to your doctor if you have incontinence that does not improve in the weeks following surgery.

Itching

External hemorrhoids often itch. The itching may continue while you are healing. Itching is a normal sign of healing in a surgical incision or areas of scarring.

A sitz bath may help with itching. Your doctor may also prescribe a topical medication. Treatment for itching depends on the severity of your symptoms and the location where the hemorrhoid was removed.

Many topical hemorrhoid creams provide very effective itch relief. Ask your surgeon if it is okay to use these during recovery. The answer often depends on what type of procedure you had.

Bleeding

Some bleeding is not uncommon just after your procedure. You may notice some blood in the toilet or in your undergarments.

A small amount of blood is not unusual. If you see large amounts of blood, tell your doctor.

Bleeding may increase with bowel movements. This is especially true in the first 48 to 72 hours after your procedure.

If you are passing blood clots, tell your surgeon unless you were told to expect this.

Recap

Some patients have short-term fecal incontinence during recovery. You may also have itching and small amounts of bleeding. Call your doctor if the bleeding seems severe.

(Video) Best Recovery Tips after Piles or Hemorrhoid Surgery | Post Hemorrhoidectomy TIPS-Dr. Rajasekhar M R

Infection

Infection is a risk after hemorrhoid treatment. This is because of the location of the treatment.

Stool that contacts the site where the hemorrhoid was removed can contribute to an infection.

Watch for signs of infection. These may include general signs such as a fever, or more specific signs such as the presence of pus. Report these to your doctor so you can get the right treatment.

Long-Term Recovery

Continue to eat foods high in fiber even after you have recovered. Drink plenty of water and avoid straining on the toilet. Avoid constipating foods like cheese.

Exercise can decrease constipation. Even a simple 15-minute walk can help. This is because exercise helps stimulate the bowels. Twisting motions like those done in yoga and toe touches are good exercises to help with bowel movements.

Not all hemorrhoids can be prevented. Still, following these recommendations can greatly reduce the likelihood that your hemorrhoids will recur.

Summary

How long it takes to recover from hemorrhoid surgery depends on a few different factors. If you can keep your bowel movements soft, you should feel better by the end of the first week. Avoiding constipation will help you avoid pain.

Over-the-counter pain medication and a sitz bath can help relieve pain. Your doctor may also prescribe stronger pain medications, stool softeners, or laxatives. A diet high in fiber and plenty of water can help keep your stools soft. You can resume normal activities when your pain subsides.

Some patients may experience fecal incontinence. This usually resolves during the recovery time. Itching and small amounts of bleeding are also common after surgery. Tell your doctor if there is a lot of bleeding or signs of infection.

Keep eating lots of fiber and drinking plenty of water even after you've recovered. Along with exercise, this can help keep your hemorrhoids from recurring.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When should you get hemorrhoid surgery?

    Your doctor may suggest surgery if:

    • Your hemorrhoids are large
    • You have both internal and external hemorrhoids
    • You have bleeding and pain that isn't managed with other non-surgical treatments.

    With small hemorrhoids, your healthcare provider will usually suggest lifestyle changes first. This may include eating a high-fiber diet and drinking lots of water.

  • When can you drive after surgery?

    You should make arrangements for someone to drive you home from surgery and in the days after, while you still have pain. Avoid driving while you are using pain medication.

    (Video) Piles Surgery Recovery: How long does it take? | Dr. Kiran Shah by Apollo Spectra Hospitals
  • What should you eat after hemorrhoid surgery?

    Your healthcare provider may suggest sticking with clear liquids on the first day after surgery. These may include things like:

    • Broth
    • Juice
    • Clear soda
    • Popsicles

    In the days that follow, add fiber to your diet with foods like:

    • Whole grains
    • Fresh fruits
    • Fresh vegetables

    Avoid foods that cause constipation, like dairy, red meat, and processed foods.

7 Sources

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Bouchard D, Abramowitz L, Castinel A, et al. One-year outcome of haemorrhoidectomy: a prospective multicentre French study. Colorectal Dis. 2013;15(6):719-26. doi:10.1111/codi.12090

  2. Kunitake H, Poylin V. Complications following anorectal surgery.Clin Colon Rectal Surg. 2016;29(1):14–21. doi:10.1055/s-0035-1568145

  3. Nikooiyan P, Mohammadi Sardo H, Poursaeidi B, Zaherara M, Ahmadi B. Evaluating the safety, efficacy and complications of electrotherapy and its comparison with conventional method of hemorrhoidectomy.Gastroenterol Hepatol Bed Bench. 2016;9(4):259–267.

  4. Albuquerque A. Rubber band ligation of hemorrhoids: a guide for complications.World J Gastrointest Surg. 2016;8(9):614–620. doi:10.4240/wjgs.v8.i9.614

  5. Lohsiriwat V. Treatment of hemorrhoids: a coloproctologist's view.World J Gastroenterol. 2015;21(31):9245–9252. doi:10.3748/wjg.v21.i31.9245

    (Video) Hemorrhoids: Recovery Time with Advance Treatment by Dr. Anand L by Apollo Spectra Hospital

  6. Yeo D, Tan KY. Hemorrhoidectomy - making sense of the surgical options.World J Gastroenterol. 2014;20(45):16976–16983. doi:10.3748/wjg.v20.i45.16976

  7. Kaiser Permanente. Hemorrhoidectomy after care.

Additional Reading

By Jennifer Whitlock, RN, MSN, FN
Jennifer Whitlock, RN, MSN, FNP-C, is a board-certified family nurse practitioner. She has experience in primary care and hospital medicine.

FAQs

How long does it take to completely heal from a hemorrhoidectomy? ›

Hemorrhoids may cause pain, bleeding, blood clots, and itching. Complete recovery from hemorrhoid surgery typically takes about 4 weeks. Following your hemorrhoidectomy, you will experience pain or discomfort in your rectal area.

What is the most painful day after hemorrhoidectomy? ›

Following a conventional hemorrhoidectomy the worst pain is on days 2 to 8. By day 9-15 pain should start becoming moderate.

How Can I poop easier after hemorrhoid surgery? ›

CONSTIPATION IS TO BE EXPECTED WHILE ON NARCOTIC PAIN MEDICATIONS. MOST PATIENTS DO NOT HAVE THEIR FIRST BOWEL MOVEMENT UNTIL AT LEAST 3 DAYS AFTER SURGERY. THIS IS OFTEN PAINFUL. WHILE UTILIZING NARCOTICS, YOU SHOULD REMAIN ON AN OVER THE COUNTER STOOL SOFTENER SUCH AS COLACE OR DOCUSATE (ONE TABLET TWICE DAILY).

Is walking good after hemorrhoid surgery? ›

Taking frequent sitz baths 3-4 times a day will keep the area clean and will also help ease discomfort. What activities am I able to do after surgery? You may resume normal activities as tolerated, but avoid straining or vigorous exercise. Walking and climbing stairs are okay.

What food should be eaten after hemorrhoid surgery? ›

Eat lots of whole grains, green leafy vegetables, and fruits. Avoid foods that cause constipation such as dairy products, red meat, processed foods such as pizza, frozen dinners, pasta, and sugar products such as cakes, pies, pastries, doughnuts and drinks containing caffeine.

What is the most common complication after hemorrhoidectomy? ›

The most common complication after 1 week was recurrence of hemorrhoids in 2.3% of patients, severe pain (1.7%), stenosis (0.8%), fissure (0.6%), bleeding (0.5%), skin tag (0.5%), thrombosis (0.4%), papillary hypertrophy (0.3%) fecal urency (0.2%), staples problems (0.2%), gas flatus and fecal incontinence (0.2%), ...

How can I prevent stenosis after hemorrhoidectomy? ›

It is most commonly seen after overzealous surgical hemorrhoidectomy. A well-performed hemorrhoidectomy is the best way to avoid anal stricture. Symptomatic mild functional stenosis and stricture may be managed conservatively with diet, fiber supplements, and stool softeners.

Why is a hemorrhoidectomy so painful? ›

It is not uncommon for spasms to occur in the area where the hemorrhoids were removed, and these spasms can be excruciating. In addition, the surgical wound itself may be sore, and may also sting or burn during bowel movements.

Should you sit on a donut after hemorrhoid surgery? ›

You may sit on a soft pillow for comfort, but DO NOT sit on a donut ring pillow. Rest for the first 24 hours, and when you feel tired.

How long does it take for stitches to dissolve after hemorrhoidectomy? ›

The time it takes for dissolvable or absorbable stitches to disappear can vary. Most types should start to dissolve or fall out within a week or two, although it may be a few weeks before they disappear completely. Some may last for several months.

What helps pain after hemorrhoidectomy? ›

Sitz Baths:

If you are having a hemorrhoidectomy, often time's sitz baths can make your postoperative recovery more comfortable. A sitz bath is simply immersing your bottom in some warm water for 10 or 15 minutes.

When can I eat normal after hemorrhoid surgery? ›

After the surgery, you should not eat or drink anything for around 4 hours. After this time period, start with liquids and a bland diet such as plain rice, bananas, apple sauce, etc. To help alleviate discomfort, your doctor will give you some dietary guidelines for a few days to soften the stool.

What should I wear after hemorrhoid surgery? ›

You will probably want to keep some kind of cotton or other absorbent dressing in this area as you will have some bloody drainage for several days. It is probably easiest to remove any dressing after it is wet (see below… sitz baths).

How should I sleep after a hemorrhoidectomy? ›

In addition to clean cotton underwear and loose-fitting pajamas, we recommend you sleep on your stomach to reduce anal pain and place a pillow under your hips to prevent yourself from rolling over onto your back.

What exercise can I do after hemorrhoid surgery? ›

After surgery for hemorrhoids in Los Angeles, most people are able to safely engage in activities like: Walking. Because it is low-impact and accessible to everyone, walking is among the safest and most reliable workouts available, even after hemorrhoidectomy.

What are the long term effects of hemorrhoid surgery? ›

Chronic Pain

Chronic anal pain after anorectal surgery can be disabling for the patient and difficult to treat. To some degree, acute anal pain is common following anorectal surgery, particularly after hemorrhoidectomy, but this generally resolves completely within 3 to 4 weeks.

Is it normal to pass blood clots after a hemorrhoidectomy? ›

Delayed, or secondary hemorrhage after hemorrhoidectomy is a troublesome complication and it occurs in 0.2 to 4% of the hemorrhoidectomies. The nature of the bleeding is a diarrhea consisted of blood clots and dark blood. It usually occurs at the patients home between 7 to 14 days after the operation.

Which fruit juice is good after piles surgery? ›

So, it easy to digest and recommended after surgery of the digestive tract. Food choices in a liquid diet for hemorrhoids include apple or cranberry juice, gelatin, fruit ice, and broth.

Is oatmeal good after hemorrhoidectomy? ›

Whole grains like bran cereals, oatmeal, brown rice, multigrain bread, etc are the best foods to eat after piles surgery. These foods have a high fibre content to promote smooth bowel movements.

Can I eat bread after piles surgery? ›

Tip. The best foods to eat immediately following hemorrhoid surgery are low-fiber foods such as white bread, mashed potatoes, soft-cooked vegetables and healthy proteins. But to prevent future hemorrhoids, high-fiber foods make the best choice.

How long does fecal incontinence last after hemorrhoidectomy? ›

This condition can occur if the muscles of the anal sphincter are stretched too much or cut during surgery. In most cases, fecal incontinence resolves during the normal recovery period, which can last as long as six weeks. As your body heals, the incontinence should go away.

What is the fastest way to heal a hemorrhoid? ›

Treatment
  1. Eat high-fiber foods. Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. ...
  2. Use topical treatments. Apply an over-the-counter hemorrhoid cream or suppository containing hydrocortisone, or use pads containing witch hazel or a numbing agent.
  3. Soak regularly in a warm bath or sitz bath. ...
  4. Take oral pain relievers.
12 May 2021

Is a hemorrhoidectomy worth it? ›

A hemorrhoidectomy is surgery to remove hemorrhoids, whether they're internal or external. Surgery is typically not the first line of treatment. But when all else fails, hemorrhoidectomy is a safe, effective treatment that doesn't just make hemorrhoids easier to live with — it gets rid of them altogether.

Can a hemorrhoidectomy cause nerve damage? ›

Hemorrhoidectomy can also result in incontinence resulting from clamping injury to the anal sphincter, destruction of the sensory nerves within the anal canal, and from removal of hemorrhoidal cushions.

What does stenosis mean? ›

Stenosis, which means narrowing, can cause pressure on your spinal cord or the nerves that go from your spinal cord to your muscles. Spinal stenosis can happen in any part of your spine but is most common in the lower back. This part of your spine is called your lumbar area.

Is Haemorrhoidectomy a major surgery? ›

A haemorrhoidectomy is an operation to remove the haemorrhoids and is usually done under a general anaesthetic. This is a major operation and you will need to take at least a week off work afterwards.

How much blood is normal after hemorrhoidectomy? ›

A small amount of blood is not unusual. If you see large amounts of blood, tell your doctor. Bleeding may increase with bowel movements. This is especially true in the first 48 to 72 hours after your procedure.

Can hemorrhoids return after hemorrhoidectomy? ›

Surgery usually cures a hemorrhoid. But the long-term success of hemorrhoid surgery depends a lot on how well you are able to change your daily bowel habits to avoid constipation and straining. About 5 out of 100 people have hemorrhoids that come back after surgery.

How long does the pain last after hemorrhoid surgery? ›

You will feel aches and pains around the area for 2-4 weeks after the procedure, lessening each day as you recover. After 1-2 weeks, you should be able to return to your normal daily activities, but you still should not participate in activities that require a lot of effort.

How do I reduce swelling after hemorrhoidectomy? ›

During the first 24 hours after your surgery you can place an icepack over the surgical site. This can help reduce swelling and pain. A warm pack can also be helpful during the recovery period.

Why is hemorrhoid surgery so painful? ›

It is not uncommon for spasms to occur in the area where the hemorrhoids were removed, and these spasms can be excruciating. In addition, the surgical wound itself may be sore, and may also sting or burn during bowel movements.

What is the most common complication after hemorrhoidectomy? ›

The most common complication after 1 week was recurrence of hemorrhoids in 2.3% of patients, severe pain (1.7%), stenosis (0.8%), fissure (0.6%), bleeding (0.5%), skin tag (0.5%), thrombosis (0.4%), papillary hypertrophy (0.3%) fecal urency (0.2%), staples problems (0.2%), gas flatus and fecal incontinence (0.2%), ...

Does it hurt to poop after hemorrhoid surgery? ›

A hemorrhoidectomy of multiple very large hemorrhoids may result in significant pain. No matter which treatment you have, it is normal to have pain with a bowel movement in the week after surgery. Straining and pushing can make the pain much worse.

What helps pain after hemorrhoidectomy? ›

Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil): Ibuprofen is excellent for pain control, especially for younger patients. Some people do not tolerate this as it causes GI distress. If you are able to tolerate ibuprofen, we suggest taking this again on a scheduled basis for the first few days after surgery.

When do stitches fall out after hemorrhoidectomy? ›

The time it takes for dissolvable or absorbable stitches to disappear can vary. Most types should start to dissolve or fall out within a week or two, although it may be a few weeks before they disappear completely. Some may last for several months.

How do you pee after hemorrhoid surgery? ›

Take the pain medication you were prescribed and do warm sitz baths – either in a bath tub or sitz basin. While soaking, attempt to relax the bladder and urinate into the water. If you are unable to urinate in the first eight hours after your surgery, notify the doctor's office.

Can I use Vaseline after hemorrhoidectomy? ›

Unless otherwise instructed, the wound requires no dressing, and you should wear a pad inside your underwear to absorb any fluid leaking from the wound. These secretions can irritate the skin around the anus. This can be prevented by using a barrier cream like Bepanthen or Vaseline.

How long does it take for bowels to return to normal after surgery? ›

Most people with constipation following surgery will experience relief after a few days, especially if they receive treatment quickly. Stool softeners and fiber laxatives tend to act within a few days, while stimulant laxatives and suppositories typically work within 24 hours.

How can I prevent stenosis after hemorrhoidectomy? ›

It is most commonly seen after overzealous surgical hemorrhoidectomy. A well-performed hemorrhoidectomy is the best way to avoid anal stricture. Symptomatic mild functional stenosis and stricture may be managed conservatively with diet, fiber supplements, and stool softeners.

Is a hemorrhoidectomy worth it? ›

A hemorrhoidectomy is surgery to remove hemorrhoids, whether they're internal or external. Surgery is typically not the first line of treatment. But when all else fails, hemorrhoidectomy is a safe, effective treatment that doesn't just make hemorrhoids easier to live with — it gets rid of them altogether.

How serious is hemorrhoid surgery? ›

Recovery from this surgery can be very painful. Narrowing of the anus or rectum (anal or rectal stricture). Other risks of surgery include infection, bleeding, and being unable to urinate or pass stools. Hemorrhoids sometimes come back after surgery.

How long does fecal incontinence last after hemorrhoidectomy? ›

This condition can occur if the muscles of the anal sphincter are stretched too much or cut during surgery. In most cases, fecal incontinence resolves during the normal recovery period, which can last as long as six weeks. As your body heals, the incontinence should go away.

What are the side effects of hemorrhoid surgery? ›

Risks
  • Bleeding from the anal area.
  • Collection of blood in the surgical area (hematoma)
  • Not being able to control the bowel or bladder (incontinence)
  • Infection of the surgical area.
  • Stool trapped in the anal canal (fecal impaction)

What is the fastest way to heal a hemorrhoid? ›

Treatment
  1. Eat high-fiber foods. Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. ...
  2. Use topical treatments. Apply an over-the-counter hemorrhoid cream or suppository containing hydrocortisone, or use pads containing witch hazel or a numbing agent.
  3. Soak regularly in a warm bath or sitz bath. ...
  4. Take oral pain relievers.
12 May 2021

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