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Sphincterotomy Recovery – A Guide


You have done sphincterotomy, now what? Will this be a start of another harrowing experience? The path to sphincterotomy recovery is not a difficult one. With the right care and medication, you will be on your way to a normal and active lifestyle.

Many even reported signs of improvement as early as 2 weeks.

Below is a guide to sphincterotomy recovery, compiled based on real experience of patients and what worked for them.

Week 1

This is the week of patience as you will probably not see any improvement to your condition. In fact, you may still be in pain during this week. Taking care of personal hygiene is important during this time to avoid infection. You should also continue with medication prescribed and visit your doctor regularly.

Week 2

You most probably see some improvement during BM during this week. A key to recovery is to make sure you have enough of liquid and fiber intake to prevent hard stools.

Week 3

This is the week of healing. BM will be smooth and with little pain (or none at all). You could probably start doing some normal activities during this week. However, care should still be taken to continous healing.

Week 4 thereafter

After this week, you should be able to start work and your normal activities again. You should feel glad that you took sphincterotomy. BM is painless and spasms rarely occur. Although full recovery may take up to 2 months, with the right care, many sphincterotomy patients see recovery much earlier.

Do you really need to go for Sphincterotomy?

Chances are, you are here because your doctor suggested sphincterotomy procedure to treat your piles or anal fissures problem. You barely can pronounce the name correctly, let alone hear or know what it is.

Some questions ran quickly through your mind. How is it performed? Is it painful? What are the risks? What are the chances of recovery? What are the side effects?

I know. It is scary. But this article will explain based on real experiences of sphincterotomy treatment and recovery.

By the way, sphincterotomy is pronounced as sfink-ter-ro-te-mi. A surgical incision of a sphincter (muscles that control the anus). See What is Sphincterotomy?

Sphincterotomy is usually suggested to patients with the following conditions:

  • Anal muscle is abnormally tight.
  • Frequent spams during passing motion or BM (What is BM? See Glossary).
  • Scar tissue has formed from previous wounds and it takes long time to heal.

That being said, a sphincterotomy is a viable choice if you have been suffering from piles or anal fissures for a long time. You should also consider this procedure if the wound or tear is becoming bigger and taking longer to heal.

The sphincterotomy procedure is performed by cutting the sphincter to weaken the muscle, thereby reducing pressure and promote healing of the wounded area. It may also involve cleaning of scar tissues to prevent further tearing.

It may sound painful, but sphincterotomy can be performed with only local anesthesia. Many who went through the operation claims that the pain is much less compared to the pain of anal fissures itself.

You may feel continuing pain a few days after sphincterotomy (some reported up to a week). This could be quite depressing for some, especially those who think of sphincterotomy as the last resort.

However, the situation usually improves starting from the second week after the operation. Full recovery may take up to 2 months. See Sphincterotomy Recovery – A Guide. BM is painless and normal for most people after that.

Post-sphincterotomy care is necessary to ensure quick recovery and to help you deal with the temporary side-effects. Side-effects may include mucous around the scar, itching to inability to control BM and gas movement. It varies from person to person, so it is best to consult your doctor or surgeon.

During sphincterotomy recovery, you can take medications and supplements to soften stools (best taken at night for BM the morning after). A diet containing generous fiber and water intake is recommended.

Nowadays, sphincterotomy has almost 100% of success rate!