Anorectal Surgery FAQs

Prior to my anorectal surgery, will I require bowel cleansing?

The nature of your surgery determines what type of bowel preparation will be necessary. For example, if your surgery involves an anastomosis you may require a more thorough cleansing routine that if you are having an abscess drained. The possibilities for preparation will be discussed with you and may include GoLytely®, Magnesium Citrate, Fleet® Phosphosoda or Fleet® enemas. Oral antibiotics may also be necessary. Please follow your surgeon's directions completely and call the office if you are unable to complete your preparation.

Prior to my surgery, will I require any special tests?

The nature of the problem determines what special tests may be necessary. For example, ultrasound may be utilized to determine if there is anatomic sphincter damage in patients complaining of incontinence. Colonic transit studies may be useful for documenting abnormal motility in those who complain of constipation. Routine preoperative labwork such as complete blood count (CBC), chest X-ray and EKG may be necessary.

After my anorectal surgery, will I have to stay in the hospital?

If your surgery is for benign disease, such as hemorrhoids, fissures, or fistulae, you will probably be treated on an outpatient basis, unless it is late in the day or you have other medical problems which will mandate inpatient care. If your surgery involves a large excision or an anastomosis, you will be admitted to the hospital to insure there is no excessive bleeding, no leakage, and adequate pain control.

After anorectal surgery, how will my pain be controlled?

Your pain management in the hospital will consist of regional anesthesia (spinal or epidural), local anesthesia (anesthetic injected in and near the operative site), as well as oral pain medicines. You will be discharged with a prescription for pain medicine, which may be a narcotic, an anti-inflammatory agent, and perhaps, metronidazole (Flagyl®), an antibiotic that may minimize pain. It is important that you follow your physician's instructions for pain control and that you prevent becoming constipated. If you do not have a bowel movement within 3 days following your operation, you should call your physician's office for further recommendations. Sitz baths help reduce rectal spasms and allow cleansing of the area.