Haemorrhoids (piles) – abnormal swollen veins that develop in the anal canal. Mostly they are small and have no symptoms, but they can become painful and inflamed. There may be bleeding when you pass stool or a sensation of something pushing out the anus when you strain.
During the operation the swollen veins are cut away and the resulting wound is either left open or absorbable sutures are used to close the raw area. Alternatively or in combination with cutting away the swollen veins, stitches may be placed in the anal canal to limit the blood flow to the haemorrhoids, thereby reducing the bleeding and swelling. Your surgeon will discuss which operation is appropriate for you.
- There is a small chance that the external anal sphincter muscle can be damaged/injured during the procedure and may cause weakness (loss of muscle tone) with possible leaking of wind (flatulence) or stool, this mostly improves after some time but Kegel exercises (exercises to improve your pelvic floor muscle strength) can help speed up the recovery.
- The wound may take a long time to heal. It may also develop into a chronic anal tear which can be very painful.
- Later complications may occur such as an anal stricture or narrowing of the anal opening.
- Haemorrhoids can recur because this is a problem that develops over a long time and indicates poor bowel habits that need addressing. Please refer to our constipation article for lifestyle advice to prevent recurrence of haemorrhoids.
After your consultation:
- Obtain authorization from your medical aid and book your bed for your hospital admission.
- Carefully read through pre-operative information provided.
Day before surgery:
- Do not eat/drink after 22h00, the night before your surgery, unless otherwise specified by your surgeon or anaesthetist (you should be fasting for at least 6 hours before the procedure for solids but you are allowed to take clear liquids up to two hours before your procedure).
Day of surgery:
- Arrive for admission at indicated time on ‘Code & Consent’ sheet.
- Change into theatre attire, remove all valuable belongings.
Approximately 45 minutes.
Duration of hospital stay:
- Usually this is a day procedure, you can go home on the same day (dependent on pain management, general state of patient and first bowel movement).
- Refrain from strenuous activities (incl. exercise) for at least 2-4 weeks post-operatively. You can perform routine activities as soon as you get home. You may find sitting down for long periods can be painful for about a week after the procedure.
Back to work:
- Sick leave required post-operatively is approximately 10-14 days.
Some pain and discomfort post operatively may be expected following any operation, but the following measures are used to lessen the pain experienced:
- Warming devises in theatre as well as warm intravenous fluids.
- Intra-operative pain medication through the drip.
- Post-operative medication through the drip, please inform the nurses if you are in pain so that medication will be administered to you.
- As close to one week after discharge as possible. Please contact the rooms to schedule an appointment.