The colon, also known as the large intestine, is part of the digestive system. It’s a long, hollow tube at the end of the digestive tract where the body makes and stores stool. Many disorders affect the colon’s ability to work properly. Some of these include:
- Colorectal cancer
- Colonic polyps – extra tissue growing in the colon that can become cancerous
- Ulcerative colitis – ulcers of the colon and rectum
- Diverticulitis – inflammation or infection of pouches in the colon
- Irritable bowel syndrome – an uncomfortable condition causing abdominal cramping and other symptoms
Treatment for colonic diseases varies greatly depending on the disease and its severity. Treatment may involve diet, medicines and in some cases, surgery.
In most cases, surgery can be performed laparoscopically, with less post operative pain, shorter hospital stay and faster recovery.
More than 50 percent of the U.S. population will develop symptomatic hemorrhoids in their lifetime. However, hemorrhoids are not the only problem affecting the anal and rectal area. Many of the patients we see for hemorrhoids actually end up having something else causing their symptoms.
An anal fissure is a tear in the opening of the anus that can cause pain, itching, and bleeding. The most common symptoms are pain when having a bowel movement and blood on the toilet tissue. The pain, which can be quite severe, usually occurs during and after a bowel movement. The most common cause of anal fissures is constipation, but diarrhea can be a cause as well. Anal fissures often result from a cycle in which you have pain as a result of constipation, avoid having a bowel movement, and thus worsen the constipation.
An anal fistula is a tract or tunnel that develops in the anal canal. It usually starts when an abscess or infection starts inside one of the glands on the inside of the rectum. The infection then burrows to the outside forming an abscess or pus collection. This , then, ruptures or is incised to let the pus out. As the area heals, the connection created from the inside to the outside may remain.
Treatment consists of completely removing or unroofing and cleaning the tract. This is usually a one hour, same day, outpatient surgery.