Normally, when a person has a bowel movement, the fecal matter is excreted from the body without straining. Sometimes, however, medical conditions, inadequate diet or abnormalities in the physical structure of the rectum make it difficult to pass stools, and tissue of the anus or rectum becomes swollen and inflamed. This swelling causes little skin tags, or hemorrhoid tags, to form that sometimes need to be removed.
A doctor will remove your hemorrhoid skin tag through a surgical procedure known as a hemorrhoidectomy. Basically, the surgeon cuts off the offending tag and sutures the tissue left behind so that it can heal. Because surgery is required, plan on having a mild anesthetic. Discuss with your doctor any allergies or adverse reactions you have had to anesthetic in the past so that he can choose an anesthetic that is appropriate for you. The doctor may classify the procedure as outpatient, but because of the anesthetic, take the day off work and arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure.
After the surgery, your doctor may advise you to take an over-the-counter or prescription pain medication. This is completely appropriate, since a hemorrhoidectomy involves a very sensitive area of the body. Take whatever medication the doctor recommends as indicated on the prescription or packaging, and avoid medications that thin the blood, since you don't want any bleeding you have to be excessive. Ice packs, sitting on a round cushion and sitz (salt) baths also can provide relief from pain and swelling.
The area on which the hemorrhoidectomy is performed will be very sensitive after the procedure, which may make it difficult to wipe well after using the toilet. Rinse your anal area at least three times a day and after bowel movements, using a peri-bottle or the spray from a detachable shower head. Take a shower every day and wash the area with a very mild soap and water; letting the water and soap run onto you from a loofah or squeezed washrag is adequate. Pat, don't rub, dry.
You do not want to strain after having a hemorrhoidectomy, as straining can make hemorrhoids come back and can cause your incision to bleed. Thus, eat plenty of fiber. The fiber in your diet will give your bowel movements enough bulk so that they move out of the colon easily. Foods high in fiber include most raw fruits and vegetables, particularly celery, asparagus and carrots. Also take a mild stool softener. The stool softener will keep you from getting constipated so that the bowel movements can happen with little effort.