You have had an operation on your bottom. Your recovery from the operation may take anywhere between 2-4 weeks. Here are a few points that will help after you have gone home.
Pain after anal operations can last anywhere from 1-3 weeks. This is because the skin on your bottom and the lining of the last portion of your bowel, the anal canal, has a very rich nerve supply. Your operation may have involved a cut near the anus and a wound. This will heal slowly from inside to out. The aim is to make things as comfortable as possible for you during your recovery. You should try and use simple painkillers such as Paracetamol and/or Nurofen (if you don't have a history of asthma or stomach ulcers). You may be given a script for stronger pain tablets if required.
Salt baths are an excellent way to relieve the pain and discomfort after your anal surgery, and to help the wounds stay clean and heal. Buy Epsom salts from the chemist and sprinkle a handful into a luke-warm water bath and bathe yourself for 20 minutes 1-3 times/day. The more times, the better. Most people feel the difference after a nice salt bath to help with their recovery. Continue this for as long as you can.
Your Bottom and Bowels
The areas of your bottom where you have had surgery may be like a very shallow open wound, or a graze. This can take between 2-6 weeks to heal. As the wound heals, it will weep, therefore have a dry absorbent pad on the inside of your underwear to prevent your clothes from staining. The discharge is usually a clear liquid, but it can contain a thick jelly-like substance (mucous) or blood. These are all normal. Bleeding is not unusual as wounds are healing. It usually tapers off over the first two weeks. If you develop heavy bleeding, or begin passing clots, contact Dr Jamnagerwalla’s rooms on (02) 8578 2805 or present to the Emergency Department at Sutherland Hospital immediately.
You may be sent home on laxatives to help keep your bowels soft. You must avoid becoming constipated or “holding off” on going to the toilet for fear of pain. This will make things worse therefore take the laxatives daily to achieve a soft, smooth bowel motion every day. Some urgency (needing to go quickly to the toilet) and frequency (having to go to the toilet more often than usual to open your bowels) is common initially after surgery. This will usually settle within a few weeks as the wounds and scar go through the healing process.
Depending on the extent of your surgery and the type of work you do, you may be able to go back to work within 2-3 days. Speak to Dr Jamnagerwalla for advice on when you are safe to return to your specific type of work. If you require a longer period off work, contact Dr Jamnagerwalla’s rooms or your GP for another work certificate.
Legally, you are unable to drive within 24 hours after an anaesthetic. After this time, you should not drive until you are confident that you can drive safely. You should not start to drive again until your strength and speed of movement are up to coping with an emergency stop. You should also make sure that you are not drowsy from any painkillers and that your concentration is normal.
It might be sensible to check that you are insured to drive after surgery before you start driving again after your operation.
Anal surgery is uncomfortable. You should begin feeling more comfortable after the first few days. Use the medications advised to you for pain and ensure you do not get constipated. Have salt baths regularly. Use simple absorbent pads inside your underwear whilst the wound is healing as it will weep until it is fully healed.
If you have any concerns or questions, you can phone Dr Jamnagerwalla’s rooms on (02) 8578 2805 or alternatively, speak to one of the nurses on the ward you were staying. Please contact the rooms to make a follow-up appointment as advised.