How to Know if You Might Need Colorectal Surgery

Written By: Care New England on May 25, 2021

If you’re experiencing discomfort or pain in your rectum, anus, or colon, you may be experiencing an issue that needs to be resolved through colorectal surgery. However, not many people are familiar with this field of medicine so a lot of these symptoms tend to go untreated.

So, how do you know if colorectal surgery is an option for you? Here is some useful information to help you better understand colorectal surgery and a few signs that it may be something you might want to consider.

What is Colorectal Surgery? 

Also referred to as proctology, colorectal surgery helps treat rectum, anus, and colon conditions. Hence, a colorectal surgeon is an expert trained in diagnosing and treating rectum, anus, and colon-related diseases. The diseases mentioned above are usually categorized as anorectal and colorectal conditions. It is not uncommon for a surgeon in the colorectal field to be confused for a gastroenterologist. But they are not the same, with the core variance being that gastroenterologists do not perform surgery. 

5 Signs and Symptoms That Could Lead to Colorectal Surgery

If you've been experiencing a change in your bowel movement and maybe even constant stomach pain, you may be wondering whether seeing a surgeon is the right decision. Below, we outline five situations that would require colorectal surgery. 

1. Anal Fissure

When the thin tissue lining surrounding the anus has a tear, it's called an anal fissure which is often the result of hard or large bowel movements. Other causes, such as straining during bowel movements, constipation, or Crohn's disease, can also lead to an anal fissure. Simply drinking more water and taking a stool softener can help give it the necessary time it needs to heal. But, if it doesn't heal in eight weeks, you may have a chronic fissure that will need colorectal intervention.

2. Pilonidal Cysts

A pilonidal cyst is usually located close to the tailbone, above the cleft of the buttocks. If hair grows there and ends up perforating the skin, it's safe to say that a cyst has formed. If you're still not sure, check if the area has skin debris, embedded hair, and if it hurts, then it's likely infected. Those likely to suffer from pilonidal cysts are people that tend to sit for long hours during the day. And if you're a young male, your chances of developing it doubles. Colorectal surgical intervention can help. 

3. Chronic Constipation

Is there a considerable change in bowel movement? Are you frequenting the bathroom less, or has passing a stool become more difficult? If so, there's a chance you're constipated. Of course, you can easily fix this by changing your diet. But what about chronic constipation that can easily damage your pelvic floor muscles or even lead to an infection? To avoid this, it would be best to see a colorectal surgeon for early diagnosis.

4. Inflammatory Bowel Disease

IBD is a term that refers to two problems:

  • Crohn's and Ulcerative colitis

Both diseases are a result of gastrointestinal (GI) tract inflammation and are often caused by a defective immune system. This disease is characterized by:

  • Blood in stools
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Lack of appetite
  • Constant diarrhea
  • Pain in the abdominal area, etc.

If left untreated, it could cause severe damage to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. During this stage, surgery is an optimal option to help remove any damaged portion of the bowel safely. 

5. Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids occur when the veins around your rectum or anus become inflamed and swollen. This is typically caused by straining during bowel movements, being overweight, or pressure during pregnancy, but it is a fairly common ailment that becomes more common as we age. Also known as Piles, this condition can lead to a great deal of pain, which can last for days, if not properly diagnosed and treated. Normally, it can be treated with the use of certain medications, ointments, or time. However, if it doesn't heal, a colorectal surgeon can help correct this problem.

If you've been experiencing any symptoms or pain related to bowel movement(s) and the health of your rectum, colon, or anus, contact us today to consult with a medical professional.

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