Hemorrhoid surgery

Learn about the surgical procedure, costs and recovery for hemorrhoid surgery.

What is hemorrhoid surgery?1

Hemorrhoids, commonly called piles, are lumps that occur inside and around the anus. They are usually caused by straining when going to the toilet because of constipation, and sometimes occur during pregnancy or labour.

Hemorrhoid surgery is an operation to remove severe hemorrhoids. It’s usually performed in hospital as a day procedure under general anaesthetic (you’ll be ‘put to sleep’). The surgery is simple and safe, but recovery can take weeks and be painful.2

Hemorrhoids often don’t require surgery. They can be treated with medicines or nonsurgical procedures. They may also be avoided by eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, drinking enough water, and getting regular exercise.

Hemmorhoid surgery is usually performed by a gastroenterologist.

The medical term for hemorrhoid surgery is hemorrhoidectomy.

Note: The proper spelling of ‘hemorrhoid’ is actually haemorrhoid.

We have used ‘hemorrhoid’ here because it’s the more commonly used spelling.

Woman researching hemorrhoid signs

Signs you might need hemorrhoid surgery2

Surgery is usually only recommended if lifestyle changes and other treatments are not helping.

Signs you may need hemorrhoid surgery include:

  • Rectal bleeding.
  • The veins protruding from the anus.
  • Hard lumps around the anus.

Alternatives to hemorrhoid surgery1

Preventing constipation can be helpful in avoiding hemorrhoids. A diet high in vegetables, fruits, cereals, and water, and getting adequate exercise can help.

Alternative treatments include:

  • Ointments or suppositories.
  • Band ligation.
  • Injection (sclerotherapy) where a chemical is injected into the hemorrhoid to numb the pain, stop any bleeding and cause it to shrink.
A doctor advising hemorrhoid surgery alternatives
Woman recovering from hemorrhoid surgery on the couch with her dog

Hemorrhoid surgery recovery2

Many people get surgery and go home the same day. But recovery can take a few weeks and can be painful.

  • The general anaesthetic might make you feel sick and tired for a few days.
  • Many people need to take one to two weeks off work.
  • You may have some bleeding.
  • You may need to take stool softeners.
  • Drink plenty of water and eat a healthy diet that is high in fibre, fruit and vegetables.
  • Hemorrhoids can return.

Getting hemorrhoid surgery at a public vs private hospital

It’s important to understand how getting your procedure in a public or private hospital differs.

Public system (Without health insurance)
Private system (With health insurance)

Will I avoid public hospital waiting lists?

  • No.
  • Yes.

Will I be able to choose my hospital?

  • No.
  • Yes.

Will I be able to choose my doctor or surgeon?

  • No.
  • Yes.

Will I have out-of-pocket costs?

  • No.
  • Yes.

What is the cost of hemorrhoid surgery?

In a public hospital

In a public hospital, hemorrhoid surgery is covered by Medicare for eligible residents.

Once you are discharged from hospital, you may still need to pay out-of-pocket for things like medicines and health services (like physiotherapy or occupational therapy).

In a private hospital, using health insurance

In a private hospital, private health insurance can cover some costs of hemorrhoid surgery.

You may have an out-of-pocket cost if you use private hospital cover when you get treatment. You can minimise some of these costs by choosing a hospital and specialist that have agreements with your health insurer.

If you have an excess on your cover, you will have to pay for that out of pocket.

What is hospital excess?

What is an out-of-pocket cost?

How to find health cover for hemorrhoid surgery

Minimise your costs

Ask your GP for an open referral

Your GP is the one who’ll most likely refer you to a specialist – but you may want the option to choose your own specialist.

Asking for an open referral can let you:

  • Choose your own specialist.
  • Find a specialist with good availability who can perform treatment at the hospital you prefer.
  • Find a specialist that you trust to perform your surgery.
  • Find a specialist with minimum out-of-pocket expenses for you.

Find a gastroenterologist with minimum out-of-pocket costs

To find surgeons who have an agreement with HBF, just search for ‘gastroenterologist’ or ‘colorectal surgeon’ in our find a provider tool.

  • Look for the “Full Cover” tick mark or “Access Gap Cover” tick mark.
  • These specialists will help minimise your out-of-pocket cost.

Find a Provider

If you’ve already started working with a specialist

If you’ve already got a specialist, ask them these questions:

  • Do you have a Full Cover or No Gap agreement with HBF?
    If they don’t, you may need to consider if their fees work with your budget.
  • What hospital(s) do you operate in?
    You can then check if the hospital has a Full Cover or No Gap agreement with HBF.

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