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Definition  

A hemorrhoidectomy is an operation to remove hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are swollen veins located in or around the anus and rectum. Hemorrhoids can cause discomfort, pain, or bleeding.

Hemorrhoid  
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Reasons for Procedure  

Hemorrhoidectomy is used to treat painful, swollen hemorrhoids. The procedure is most often done for the following reasons:

  • Hemorrhoid symptoms do not get better with other therapies
  • Severely bleeding hemorrhoids
  • Hemorrhoid containing a blood clot
  • Hemorrhoids that protrude through the anus
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Possible Complications  

Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Constipation
  • Recurrence of hemorrhoids
  • Narrowing of the anal canal
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Adverse reaction to local anesthetic

Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage factors that may increase your risk of complications such as:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking
  • Chronic disease such as diabetes or obesity

Other factors that may increase your risk of complications include:

  • Prior anal surgery
  • Bleeding disorders
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What to Expect  

Prior to Procedure  

Your doctor may do the following:

  • Physical exam
  • Rectal exam
  • Anoscopy—the visual examination of the inside of the anus using an anoscope to help keep the sphincter open
  • Sigmoidoscopy—the use of a specialized endoscope to examine the inside of the anus, rectum, and lower intestine

Leading up to the procedure:

  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
  • Your doctor will order a laxative for you. It will cleanse your colon and rectum.
  • Arrange for someone to take you home after the surgery.
  • Talk to your doctor about your medications, even non-prescription medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to one week before the procedure, like:
    • Aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen
    • Blood thinners
    • Anti-platelets

Anesthesia  

Your surgery will be done using either:

Discuss these options with your doctor before the day of your surgery.

Description of the Procedure  

An anoscope will be inserted into your anus. The doctor will be able to see the hemorrhoids through the scope.

An incision will be made around each hemorrhoid. The swollen vein inside the hemorrhoid will be tied off so that it does not bleed. The hemorrhoid will then be removed. The wounds will either be stitched closed or left open to heal.

There are other variations of this procedure. Ask your doctor to describe which procedure will be used.

Immediately After Procedure  

You will be monitored in a recovery area for a few hours.

How Long Will It Take?  

About 1-2 hours