What to expect after Surgery
The majority of patients get moderate pain for the first two to three days. Some patients can get severe pain while some get none at all. Your levels of pain will depend on the exact nature of your procedure and the degree of correction required. Unfortunately some degree of pain or discomfort is unavoidable.
Dr McGregor will insert long acting local anesthetic around you bottom to block the nerves during the operation. This will last most of the day. You will also be given a prescription for Mersyndol Forte and Endone. You should take Mersyndol Forte every 4 (max 8 per day)and Endone every four hours if pain is still severe.
Warm baths and ice packs on your bottom also help. Severe pain if present usually occurs only on the first and second day and then improves very rapidly. It is important to rest and maintain your fluids during this time.
2. USING YOUR BOWELS
It is important that you are opening your bowels during the days after your procedure. Constipation is the only real issue that patients have run into trouble with after surgery as the pain medicine is very constipating.
Dr McGregor will give you a prescription for Movicol to be taken twice a day for the first few days after your operation. It is important that you do not have diarrhoea on this medication. If your bowels are opening easily and you are comfortable please cease the movicol and return to a high fibre diet promptly.
It is not unusual to see some blood with your bowel motions just after your procedure and at stages during healing. This is normal and of no concern. Please let Dr McGregor know if bleeding is persistent or excessive. Bleeding normally settles spontaneously.
Ladies especially may find that in the few weeks after surgery that they need to empty their bowels immediately after sensing rectal fullness. This always improves with time.
3. PASSING URINE
Due to the anatomy of the pelvic nerves, pain signals from the rectum can affect relaxation of the bladder sphincters. As a result men especially may have difficulty commencing urination after surgery. This is especially the case in older men having prostate difficulties and is often present in the absence of pain.
If urination is difficult after the procedure a catheter will be passed into the bladder and removed after a couple of days. Ongoing urinary issues usually signifies problems with the prostate gland and referral to a urologist will be arranged.
Following surgery it is important that you do not drink excessively until you have passed urine. One you have successfully passed urine you may drink freely. Running water and having a shower are powerful aids to urination. If you have not passed urine within several hours of your procedure please advise the hospital where you had the procedure immediately.
4. LUMPS & BUMPS
Patients are sometimes concerned about lumps and bumps in the anal area after surgery. There may be a degree of swelling after the procedure that gives the impression that the haemorrhoids have returned. This almost always resolves.
Unfortunately perfection is sometimes impossible and the procedure is not always 100 % effective in fully resolving lumps and bumps in the anal area. It is important to note that the full effect of the procedure takes 3 months to complete. It is important not to worry about the end result until that time. While we generally have an idea at one month whether we are both happy with the result Dr McGregor will not consider further treatment until three months as most issues usually resolve by then.
While 95 % of patients are very happy at one month we will continue to work with all our patients to get the best result for the 100%. If you are seeing Dr Watson for your one month follow up and have some issues he will organise for you to see Dr McGregor. If, of course, you have any major concerns at any time please feel free to make an appointment to see Dr McGregor. You can also leave a message with Dr McGregor’s staff and he will call you back.
You will be taken to a recovery room to rest for about 2 hours while the sedative starts to wear off. You will probably be allowed to go home after this time, but you will need to have a friend or relative drive you home. You should not drive or operate machinery until the next day.
Your doctor may briefly run through the test results with you when you wake up, but a follow-up appointment is recommended to discuss the findings more fully. We recommend having 3-5 days off work after the procedure. If you have a physical or demanding job please let Dr McGregor know so you can negotiate a longer period off work with him. He will provide a sick certificate only when requested. If you have not organised one or need an extension please ring either Lorraine or Michelle on 07 3910 5150 and they can mail one out to you.
6. EXERCISE & PHYSICAL EXERTION
It is important to refrain from excessive physical exertion or straining for the first few weeks after surgery. You may do light physical activity such as walking, swimming, mowing etc but no straining (weight lifting etc) during that time.
Please advise Dr McGregor directly if you have any problems or concerns after your procedure. Please call his rooms during work hours on 07 3910 5150 as he may be operating or busy with patients. Often his staff Lorraine and Michelle can answer questions directly or organise Dr McGregor to call you back. Dr McGregor will give you his mobile number at the time of surgery in case you have any problems afterwards.
Just remember that a few days of discomfort will easily be worth a lifetime of comfort….