At Colorectal Clinic of Tampa Bay, our colorectal specialists treat a myriad of intestinal, rectal, and colorectal conditions. People with a wide range of issues can seek treatment from our specialists for everything from complex diseases like colorectal cancer to other colorectal ailments including inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), diverticulitis, and much more. Below, we take a look at 4 anorectal diseases we treat, including what they are and how they are best treated.
Anorectal conditions refer to ailments that affect the anus and rectum. Hemorrhoids, anal fissures, anal fistulas, and abscesses are the most common anorectal conditions.
Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, are swollen veins in the lower part of the anus and rectum. When the walls of these vessels are stretched, they become irritated.
Symptoms can be relieved in the following ways. However, these treatments do not all eliminate the hemorrhoids completely:
Over-the-Counter Medications: These include topical creams and ointments, pads, or suppositories with active ingredients like hydrocortisone to relieve itching and pain.
Rubber Band Litigation: A rubber band is placed on the base of the hemorrhoid to cut off blood supply, causing the hemorrhoid to shrink or fall off
Hemorrhoidectomy: This may also involve stapling, where a prolapsed hemorrhoid is tacked back into place. These procedures are performed under general anesthesia, and most people can go home on the same day as the surgery.
An anal fissure (also called fissure-in-ano) is a small rip or tear in the lining of the anal canal. Fissures are common, but are often confused with other anal conditions, such as hemorrhoids.
Anal Fissure Treatment
Although most anal fissures do not require surgery, chronic fissures are harder to treat and surgery may be the best option. The goal of surgery is to help the anal sphincter muscle relax, which reduces pain and spasms, allowing the fissure to heal.
An anal abscess is an infected area - usually filled with pus - found near the anus or rectum. Ninety percent of abscesses are the result of an infection found in the internal glands of the anus. There are different types of abscesses characterized by their location in and around the anus and rectum.
Anal Abscess Treatment
You may need surgical drainage to treat an abscess in most situations. Your doctor or colorectal specialist will make an incision near the anus to drain the fluid in the cavity.
They have quite an interesting name, but what is an anal fistula? An anal fistula (also commonly called fistula-in-ano) is a small tunnel that develops between the end of the bowel and the skin near the anus. They're usually the result of an anal abscess, which occurs in up to 50% of patients with abscesses. When the pus drains away, it can leave a small channel behind.
Anal Fistula Treatment
Because they rarely heal on their own, anal fistulas usually require surgery for treatment. Main surgery treatments include:
Fistulotomy – a surgical procedure where your colorectal specialist will cut the whole length of the fistula so it heals into a flat scar
Seton procedures – piece of surgical thread called a seton is placed in the fistula and left there for several weeks, allowing it to heal
It can be distressing to experience an anorectal condition, but it’s important to remember that most of these conditions are easily treatable! If you’re experiencing regular symptoms and feel that you may be suffering from one of the above conditions, visit the experts at Colorectal Clinic of Tampa Bay today for treatment.