Crohn’s Disease is a chronic inflammatory process primarily involving the intestinal tract. Although it may involve any part of the digestive tract from the mouth to the anus, it most commonly affects the last part of the small intestine (ileum) and/or the large intestine (colon and rectum). The exact cause is not known. Crohn’s disease is not contagious. Initial treatment is always with medication. In more advanced or complicated cases of Crohn’s disease, surgery may be recommended. Not all patients with Crohn’s disease require surgery. This decision is best reached through consultation with your colon and rectal surgeon.
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammation of the lining of the large bowel (colon). Symptoms include rectal bleeding, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, weight loss and fever. Initial treatment of ulcerative colitis is medical, using antibiotic and anti-inflammatory medications.
Surgery is indicated for patients with life threatening complications of inflammatory bowel disease such as bleeding, perforation or infection.
Ileoanal J-Pouch is the newest alternative for the management of ulcerative colitis. Your Colon and Rectal Surgeon is trained in this procedure. The Surgeon removes all of the colon and rectum, but preserves the anal canal. The rectum is replaced with small bowel, which is refashioned to form a small pouch. The pouch acts as a reservoir to help decrease the stool frequency. This maintains a normal route of defecation, but most patients experience five to ten bowel movements per day. This operation all but eliminates the risk of recurrent ulcerative colitis and allows the patient to maintain a normal route of evacuation.
Pruritis Ani is itching around the anal area. A common cause of pruritis ani is excessive moisture in the anal area. Moisture may be due to perspiration or a small amount of residual stool around the anal area. Puritis ani may also be a symptom of hemorrhoids and anal fissures. The initial condition can be made worse by scratching, vigorous cleansing of the area or overuse of topical treatments. A careful examination by a colon and rectal surgeon can help identify the cause for the itching.
Rectal Prolapse is a condition in which the rectum turns itself inside out. Weakness of the anal sphincter muscle is often associated with rectal prolapse at this stage and may result in leakage of stool or mucus. A videodefecogram may be used to demonstrate the prolapse. Anorectal manometry may also be used to measure the muscle around the rectum. Surgery may be suggested. Your colon and rectal surgeon can help you decide which method will most likely achieve the best result by taking into account many factors such as age, physical condition, extent of prolapse and the results of various tests.
Rectocele is a bulge of the front wall of the rectum into the vagina. The rectal wall may become thinned and weak and it may balloon out in the vagina when you push down to have a bowel movement. The underlying cause of a rectocele is a weakening of the pelvic support structures. A rectocele is diagnosed using an x-ray study called a defecagram. This study shows how large the rectocele is and if it empties with evacuation.