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Hemorrhoidectomy is a surgical option used to treat hemorrhoids.

This procedure might be considered when a patient’s symptoms are not responding to more conservative measures. By age 50, about half of Americans will experience a hemorrhoid.

  • Some hemorrhoids require no treatment.
  • However, when they cause heavy bleeding or pain, this surgical option might be the best choice for providing relief.


Before the procedure, the patient should tell their doctor about their full medical history and provide a detailed medication list. Those taking medications that thin the blood may need to temporarily stop these or alter the dosage to reduce the risk of bleeding following the surgery. Smoking should also be stopped before the surgery since it can impede healing. Up to 12 hours before the scheduled procedure, patients may be asked to refrain from beverages or food.

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There are different procedures that fall under the hemorrhoidectomy umbrella. The best one will depend on the patient’s hemorrhoid, severity of symptoms and their overall health. Prior to the procedure, there are three types of anesthesia the doctor can use to ensure that patients are comfortable:

  • Local anesthesia to numb the area where the hemorrhoid is located
  • Spinal anesthesia to ensure the lower body is numb
  • General anesthesia to put the patient to sleep

A conventional hemorrhoidectomy involves locating the hemorrhoid and making small incisions around it. The surgeon then takes scissors, a knife or a cautery pencil to remove the hemorrhoid. The second type of this procedure involves blocking the flow of blood to the hemorrhoid. This results in the hemorrhoid shrinking since it will no longer have the nutrients it requires to survive. The flow of blood is blocked by either placing a rubber band around the growth or using staples.

The third option uses either a laser or a special chemical solution. If the chemical is used, it is injected into the hemorrhoid. Both of these options work by helping to shrink the hemorrhoid so that it is not able to cause significant symptoms.

Risks and Recovery

As with all surgical procedures, there are possible risks that patients should be aware of. These include:

  • Infection
  • Stool leakage
  • Bleeding
  • Pain that makes passing urine difficult

For most patients, the recovery period is approximately two weeks. Most patients will not have to stay overnight and can go home shortly after the procedure. However, they should have a ride since driving might not be safe. The doctor may prescribe medications, and these should be taken exactly as directed to promote comfort during recovery.

Sitz baths are commonly recommended for patients during the recovery period. They help to increase blood flow and cleanse the area where the removed hemorrhoid was located. This type of bath involves warm shallow water. Patients are generally advised to sit in it for about 15 minutes.

Patients should avoid prolonged sitting and follow their doctor’s instructions about when to resume normal activity. Drinking plenty of water and working to alleviate constipation by getting more fiber is also important.

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