The rectal problems and irritation are quite common among grown up. However, the number of people who actually seek for its treatment is very less. The most common reasons for the same are being ignorant and being embarrassed. Several people often withstand and live with physical discomfort and mental trauma for years before finally seeking treatment, when they can no longer tolerate the problem.

However, it is always better to address a medical issue at its first stage itself, it not only make the treatment simple but will also keep additional complications at bay.

Anatomy And Function Of The Anorectal System

The small bowel meets the large bowel. The large bowel includes the colon of approximate length of 5 feet and the rectum of another 8 inches length. Then ending of the rectum is the anus, where the stool emerges.

The main function of the colon is to process about 3 pints of liquid stool into solid stool each day. After the solidification, it gets ready for evacuation. The rectum helps in this process of evacuation. On an average, an individual can pass about 200 grams of solidified stool each day. However, the amount of stool one passes in each sitting varies drastically. Thus, normal frequency of passage of stool can vary anywhere between 3 times a day to 3 times a week.

Risk Factors For Anorectal Diseases

There are certain associated risk factors that enhance the chances of being affected by the rectal diseases, such as-

  • Personal or family history of colorectal polyps and cancer

  • Inflammatory bowel diseases like, ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease

  • Lack of physical activity

  • High consumption of fat

  • Consuming alcohol

  • Overweight and obesity

  • Lesser consumption of fruits and vegetables

Symptoms Of Anorectal Diseases

The symptoms may vary depending upon the severity of the disease and the overall condition of the individual. However, following are the usual symptom of the same

  • Pain in the rectal region

  • Discomfort in the gastrointestinal tract

  • Having severe pressure in the rectal area

  • Rectal bleeding

  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

  • Blood in the stool

  • Difficulty passing stool

  • Change in frequency of passing stool

  • Narrowing of the stool

  • Persistent diarrhea

  • Persistent constipation

  • Any lump or swelling near the anus

  • Puss or tissue sticking out of the anus

Several Common Anorectal Diseases

There are several rectal disorders and abnormalities experienced by people that affect their daily life significantly. The most common rectal diseases are as follows –

Irritable bowel syndrome– Having fecal incontinence, often either diarrhea or constipation or having both simultaneously.

  • Chronic constipation– Passing excessive hard stool for a considerably long period of time.

  • Rectal prolapse– Protrusion of the inner rectal wall through the anus

  • Congenital defect– Birth defect like having an imperforate anus

  • Hemorrhoids– Inflammation and swelling of the veins of the anal and the rectal region

  • Anal fissures– Unnatural tears or cracks in the anal skin

  • Anal fistulas- An abnormal passage between the rectum/colon to the skin of the anus.

  • Crohn’s disease– An inflammatory bowel disease that damages the lining of the digestive tract.

  • Cancer – Having malignant tumors in the anus, rectum or colon

  • Anorectal malfunction– Having a certain degree of deformities in the structure of rectum or anus.

Apart from these rectal treatments and surgery also address and cures accidental injury of the anus or rectum. It can happen either due to swallowing of any non-consumable mass of a substance or while playing or even due to any other surgical procedure of the lower abdomen.

Diagnosis Of Anorectal Diseases

In case there is a possible rectal disease into consideration, the following tests and diagnosis are carried out to evaluate the extent of the disease-

  • Physical examination

  • Anoscopy/colonoscopy

  • Proctoscopy

  • Biopsy

  • Laparoscopy

  • Fistulography

  • MRI

  • Anorectal endosonography (EUS)

  • CT scan

  • Sigmoidoscopy

Rectal Surgery And Treatment

Some of the diseases mentioned above can be cured with oral medication and by changing diet and lifestyle. However, several other diseases need surgical intervention in order to cure. Here are some of the most executed surgical procedure

  • Colonoscopy– the surgeon removes a partial or entire portion of the colon. It is also performed to cure a severe IBS, which cannot be cured otherwise

  • Colostomy– the surgeon creates a small orifice in the abdomen and pulls an end of the colon. It is helpful to address several conditions of rectum and colon it can be done either temporarily when it heals on its own, or permanently, when no other alternative works.

  • Rectopexy– It is employed to treat mainly rectal prolapse. The surgeon tucks back the protruded rectal skin back in its place and secures them to prevent it from recurring.

  • Resection– the surgeon removes either the malignant portion of the organ or the entire organ altogether.

  • Ileal pouch anal anastomosis– Also known as the J pouch procedure, is done mainly after the colon is removed. The surgeon creates a small pouch that helps to carry out the excretion process as smoothly as possible.

  • Internal sphincterotomy – The internal sphincter muscle expand and contract to help the passage of stool from the body. The surgeon stretches the muscle to make it relax and help the fistula heal. It is done when dietary change and medicines do not help.

  • The stapler haemorrhoidectomy for piles– It is also known as Procedure for Prolapse and Hemorrhoid (PPH) stapler. It is a relatively advanced surgical technique to address and treat piles. Due to its huge potential and enormous benefits, it has become an ideal treatment choice for third-degree hemorrhoids.

This medical device is a circular hollow tube, which is often disposable, due to hygienic reasons. The device is inserted into the anal canal. A long thread is introduced and then circumferentially woven in the anal canal, just above the diseases hemorrhoids. The process involves pulling down the infected hemorrhoids, cutting down its blood supply and once it cures, to tuck it back in the cavity.

Disclaimer – The information contained in this website is based on the results which the existing patients have got after treatment. However, results may vary from case to case.