Surgery for piles (haemorrhoids)


Piles can be uncomfortable and cause irritation but they can easily be removed with a surgical procedure

What are haemorrhoids?

Haemorrhoids also known as piles are swellings in or around the anus that contain large blood vessels. They can be uncomfortable and itchy and sometimes bleed.

Most piles don't need surgery but there are a few different ways you can have them surgically removed, including banding and stapling.

Need to know

  • What happens during surgery? icon plus

    A conventional haemorrhoidectomy involves making small incisions around the piles to cut them out. There are also other procedures:

    • Banding involves cutting off the blood supply to the haemorrhoid with a rubber band, leaving it to die and drop off after a few days.
    • Stapled haemorrhoidectomy is a technique that removes the excess lining of the bowel, reducing the blood supply to the haemorrhoids. This makes them shrink.
    • Diathermy haemorrhoidectomy uses a high-frequency current that produces heat which kills the haemorrhoids.

    Haemorrhoidectomies are usually done under local anaesthetic, so you'll be awake during the procedure.

  • How to prepare icon plus

    The type of surgery your consultant recommends for you will depend on the size and number of piles you have. Your consultant will explain which procedure is best and tell you exactly how to prepare for this. Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved.

    Your consultant will explain these to you. Even if you can go home the same day as your surgery, you might feel uncomfortable afterwards - so it could be a good idea to arrange for someone to drive you home. Or maybe you can arrange for a taxi to pick you up.
  • After surgery icon plus

    You might not notice your piles falling off, as they should pass out of your body when you go to the toilet. Straight after your procedure, you might notice blood on any toilet paper you use. This is normal, but you shouldn't experience excessive bleeding.

    If you've had banding, ulcers may appear at the site of the banding. These should go away by themselves. You should take about a week to recover fully from the surgery. If you've had to take time off work, you should be able to get back to your usual routine within a week.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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