Anal and rectal problems may be embarrassing to talk about, but if you are experiencing pain or bleeding it’s important to tell your doctor. Gundersen Lutheran has specialists trained to diagnose and treat conditions of the anus and rectum.
The rectum is in the lower section of the large intestine and stores stool. The anus is the opening that releases the stool from the rectum. Anal and rectal problems such as hemorrhoids, abscesses, incontinence and cancer are common.
Treatment for these conditions can vary. Some procedures, such as internal hemorrhoid banding, do not require surgery. The most common anal and rectal surgeries at Gundersen Lutheran include:
- Inside and outside hemorrhoids
- Anal fissure
- Removal of rectal polyps that cannot be removed during colonoscopy
- Opening abscesses (pockets of infection)
- Removal of diseased area for pilonidal disease
- Control of bleeding
For patients that have very low rectal cancer, surgery called an abdominal perineal resection can be performed to remove the cancer and the entire rectum. This requires the placement of an ostomy or opening where stool is drained into a bag that is attached to the abdominal wall.
Some anal and rectal problems can be prevented. Avoid constipation by gradually adding more fiber to your diet and drink 6-8 glasses of water a day. Also, keep the anal area clean and dry. Be gentle when cleaning or wiping after a bowel movement.
For more information about anal and rectal problems, talk with your primary care provider or call Gundersen Lutheran Surgery at (608) 775-2331.