Instructions Following Anorectal Surgery
  • The local anesthesia will wear off approximately one hour after the procedure.

  • You may have a small absorbable sponge attached to the anus; when it gets wet with blood, it may look like a large blood clot. You should remove all the tape and sponges in a warm bath as soon as you get home. If you do not find the sponge, there is no need for concern-it has probably dissolved. Apply only a gauze on the surface of the anus. It is best held in place by a pair of cheap tight fitting cotton underwear rather than tape. The gauze has no therapeutic effect. It is only to protect your clothing.

  • You should take hot tub baths 3 times a day without adding any soaps or Epsom salts. Take these until all the pain has stopped.

  • Any sutures placed are absorbable, meaning they will dissolve by themselves and not have to be removed. They may unravel somewhat and you may feel them tugging as they pull. The loose ends will be snipped off on the first post-operative visit. (It doesn’t hurt!)

  • You can expect bleeding from all anal operations for up to 2 weeks. If you see clots of blood, however, you should call immediately.

  • You should not take any aspirin containing compounds for one week before or one month after surgery.

  • For pain, it is preferable to avoid narcotics (Vicodin, Lortab Tylenol #3, etc) since they will cause severe constipation, however take them as directed every 6 hours for the first 2 days. Take 2 Extra Strength Tylenol every 6 hours as needed after the first 2 days. Use the narcotics (between doses of the narcotics) ONLY if the Tylenol is not helping.

  • DO NOT use a rubber donut. If you must sit on something for comfort, sit on a soft pillow.

  • Avoid alcohol or witch hazel containing preparations (eg Tucks) after surgery; place a non-irritating cream such as BALNEOL or CVS PERIANAL CLEANSING LOTION on the incision as often as you like.

  • If you become constipated, it is better to take a Fleets enema (the one in the White & GREEN box). If you take a laxative, you may have diarrhea and this will hurt more than a Fleets.

  • Take fiber (e.g. CITRUCEL) twice a day. It should be taken with meals and lots of water (at least 6 glasses a day).

  • You should call for fever, chills, increased anal swelling, or any steady increase in pain beginning one day after surgery.

  • Your next appointment should be 7-14 days after surgery, unless otherwise specified.

  • Do not wash the anal skin with soap while in the shower or bath; do not use scented toilet paper. Wash with water alone or BALNEOL or CVS PERIANAL CLEANSING LOTION.

  • Take one cup of Senn tea at night (over the counter) for the first week following surgery only if you are taking prescription narcotics.

  • If you have any questions, call the office and ask for the covering physician.
Meet the specialists
Fadi F. Attiyeh, MD, FACS, FASCRS
Surgical Oncology/ Hepatobiliary Surgery
Professor of Surgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
(212) 307-1144
Kathryn Baxter, NP
Nurse Practitioner and Certified Wound, Ostomy & Continence Nurse
Lester Gottesman, MD
Colorectal Surgery
(212) 675-2997
Nipa D. Gandhi, MD
Assistant Professor of Surgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
(212) 523-7404
Richard L. Whelan, MD, FACS, FASCRS
Chief of Division, Colorectal Surgery and Surgical Oncology
Professor of Surgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
(212) 523-8172

Richard L. Whelan,
MD, FACS, FASCRS

Minimally Invasive Colorectal Resection to Treat Colon Cancer
- April 27, 2010