Atlanta Colon & Rectal Surgery is committed to delivering extraordinary care with a compassionate experience each step of the way including recovery and rehabilitation after undergoing a procedure. Providing patients with post procedural information and instructions is integral to a successful recovery. A copy of our most common post procedural instruction sheets have been provided on this website; however, please remember that these instructions are generalized. After locating the appropriate instruction sheet, please contact your physician or physician’s medical assistant for further information or more specific issues and concerns.
Please contact your physician’s nurse during regular business hours. Prescription refill requests after 4PM may not be processed until the following business day. Due to legal constraints, we cannot refill pain medications after hours.
When and how are my stitches/staples removed?
This is individual to the case and patient. Consult the post operative instructions given to you at discharge or contact your physician for details.
What if my wound opens up?
Small openings in the skin are common and do not necessarily indicate an infection. If you are not sure, please contact your physician.
How do I know if my wound is infected?
Some drainage from the wound is common and does not necessarily indicate an infection. Some signs of an infection include increasing redness, fever, and/or increased pain. If you are not sure, please contact your physician.
When and how are my stitches/staples removed?
Most stitches will dissolve or fall out within a few days of the procedure. It is normal to see them in the toilet bowl. Please refer to the Anal Rectal Discharge Instructions for further instructions.
Is drainage and/or bleeding normal after surgery?
Some mucous discharge and minimal bleeding is normal following surgery. It may occur until the wound is completely healed. Placing clean dry gauze over your wound between the buttocks will help absorb the blood and protect your clothes. Most often, bleeding occurs with bowel movements, wiping, and excessive activity, if bleeding becomes heavy and/or constant, please contact the office immediately.
Is swelling common after surgery?
Swelling is a normal side effect and individual to the patient. There is no definite time frame for residual swelling. It is generally caused by the body’s reaction to the sutures. Often, it is common for patients to misinterpret swelling as hemorrhoids. These may actually be skin tags which will decrease in size over time. It is important to take warm water baths at least 3-4 times daily. Please refer to the Anal Rectal Discharge Instructions for further instructions.
How long should pain last after surgery?
Depending of the type of surgery, post-operative discomfort might be minimal, last only a few days, or last for 1-2 weeks. Following the instructions located on Anal Rectal Discharge Instruction sheet will help reduce the pain and discomfort associated with an anorectal surgery.
How long will I need to be out of work?
Most patients may return to work within a few days depending on a patient’s job duties and activity level. Contact your physician for further information.
How long should I take the mineral oil after surgery?
Take the dose indicated on the Anal Rectal Discharge Instruction sheet until the first smooth bowel movement. Then you may reduce the mineral oil to 1-2 tablespoons twice daily. If you have any questions or concerns, please call your physician’s office.
Following Hemorrhoid surgery, patients can experience a wide range of symptoms including but not limited to: pain, bleeding, swelling, constipation, nausea, diarrhea, difficulty with urination, burning and itching. Each patient is individual to the post-operative process. A few factors may influence what type of symptoms a patient experiences: the number of hemorrhoid bundles removed (severity of the surgery), the condition of the hemorrhoids pre-operatively, and patient response. Regrettably, a patient’s response to surgery cannot be controlled by your surgeon. Our doctors rely on patient’s compliance to the post-operative instructions to reduce or eliminate these symptoms. A majority of our patient population does very well. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your surgery or recovery, please do not hesitate to call the office.
Do not be alarmed. 7-10 days of post-operative pain is normal. The pain should slowly decrease over a period of time. A pain medication is prescribed and should be taken as directed. However, be aware that excessive pain medication use can lead to constipation and hard bowel movements. It is important to drink at least 8-10 glasses of non-carbonated clear liquids daily to help prevent these side effects. When possible, it is recommended that patients use Tylenol as an alternative to the prescribed pain medication. Accordingly, warm water baths also reduce the pain associated with natural post-operative swelling. Warm water baths should contain plain clear water only. Do not add Epson salt, soap, etc.
Please Note: Hard bowel movements also lead to post-operative pain and can be avoided by following the post-operative instructions. These include the use of a fiber product, increase in liquid intake, and the use of mineral oil. You should avoid rectal suppositories, enemas, or any other medication taken per rectum unless directed by a physician. Having a warm water bath ready after a bowel movement will also help to reduce pain and swelling.
Pain medication prescriptions are called in only during office hours, Mon-Fri 9AM to 3:30PM. Due to legal constraints, we cannot refill pain medication after hours.
Swelling is a normal side effect and individual to the patient. There is no definite time frame for residual swelling. It is generally caused by the body’s reaction to the sutures. Commonly, a prescription is given to help reduce immediate inflammation. It is common for patients to misinterpret swelling as hemorrhoids. These are actually skin tags which will decrease in size over time. It is important to take warm water baths at least 3-4 times daily. Warm water baths should contain plain clear water only. Do not add Epson salt, soap, etc.
It is common to experience some constipation after surgery. The use of anesthetics during surgery and prescribed pain medication after surgery may lead to increased constipation and production of hard bowel movements. Often patients will state that they are “constipated” because they have not had a bowel movement within 1-2 days following surgery. Some patients experience their first bowel movement up to 3-4 days following surgery. Constipation is most often noted by symptoms of bloating, the sensation of feeling full, or straining with hard bowel movements. Usually, constipation can be relieved within 24 hours with the use of a fiber product, mineral oil, and increase in liquid intake as directed in the post-operative instructions. If after following these instructions over a 24 hour period, a patient is still experiencing constipation, he/she should contact the office.
Difficulty with Urination
A small percentage of patients have difficulty with urination following surgery. This is due to post-operative swelling preventing the flow of urine through the urethra. Soaking in a warm water bath to help reduce the swelling may help a patient to urinate. It is ok to urinate in the tub if this helps. If the patient is able to urinate with the help of a bath, he/she should repeat this process as often as needed. If within 24 hours, baths are still needed to urinate, contact the office. However, after trying the warm water baths, a patient still cannot urinate; contact the office for further instructions. Sometimes, patients will need to have a catheter inserted for 2-3 days while the swelling decreases.
Due to a patient’s individual response to fiber and mineral oil, some patients may experience diarrhea following surgery. Diarrhea may lead to swelling, pain at the surgery site, and the sensation of burning and pain of the skin surrounding the site. Please call the office for instructions to modify the post-operative course of treatment.
Nausea most often occurs as a side effect of the anesthetic drugs used during surgery; as well as the use of prescribed pain medications following surgery. Patients are instructed not to take pain medications on an empty stomach. After arriving home from the procedure, she/he should attempt to consume soft and/or liquid foods; starting with clear liquids such as 7-up, Sprite, or clear juice and then advancing to a regular diet. Antacids (Tums, Maalox, Pepto-Bismol) or carbonated beverages help to alleviate nausea. If vomiting occurs and is persistent, please call the office.
Minimal bleeding is a common side effect following surgery. It may occur until the wound is completely healed. Placing clean dry gauze over your wound between the buttocks will help absorb the blood and protect your clothes. Most often, bleeding occurs with bowel movements, wiping, and excessive activity, if bleeding becomes heavy and/or constant, please contact the office immediately.
A few days into the recovery period, patients might describe burning or a “knife-like” pain. Most often it is a condition of the skin of the area surrounding your surgical site. It is similar to “Diaper Rash.” As your wound heals, it expels the dead tissue from the surgery. This drainage from the wound soaks the skin and keeps it moist. The area then becomes red and inflamed. You then start to feel a burning or “knife-like” pain. To help heal and prevent this from occurring, start by cleaning the area using a soft spray or soaked wash cloth (no rubbing) of warm water. Do not use soap, creams, or any other products on this area unless directed by your physician. Place 1-2 pieces of gauze between the buttocks over the wound to catch any drainage and protect the skin. The gauze should be changed out at least 3-4 times a day. As the area is allowed to “dry-out,” the symptoms will decrease and the area will heal. The key is keeping the area clean, dry, and chemical-free (soaps, creams, etc). You should see improvement within 24-48 hours. If no improvement is seen or symptoms increase, please contact the office.