WHAT IS ULCERATIVE COLITIS?
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an inflammatory disease potentially affecting the entire large bowel (colon and rectum). The inflammation is confined to the innermost layer of the intestinal wall (mucosa). UC can go into remission and recur. Medical management is typically the first option for treatment. If surgery is needed for UC, it is usually curative.
RISK FACTORS Men and women are affected equally and people of all ages can develop UC. A family history of UC slightly increases the risk of the disease.
Pilonidal disease is a chronic skin infection in the crease of the buttocks near the coccyx (tailbone). It is more common in men than women and most often occurs between puberty and age 40. Obesity and thick, stiff body hair make people more prone to pilonidal disease.
CAUSES Hairs often grow in the cleft between the buttocks. These hair follicles can become infected. Further, hair can be drawn into these abscesses worsening the problem.
PELVIC FLOOR DYSFUNCTION
Pelvic floor dysfunction is a group of disorders that change the way people have bowel movements and sometimes cause pelvic pain. These disorders can be embarrassing to discuss, may be hard to diagnosis and often have a negative effect on quality of life.
Symptoms vary by the type of disorder. Many general practitioners may not be familiar with pelvic floor dysfunction, and it may take a specialist, such as a colorectal surgeon, to discover the correct diagnosis.
IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder, affecting an estimated 15% of the population. It is one of the several conditions known as functional gastrointestinal disorders. This means the bowel may function abnormally, but tests are normal and there are no detectable structural defects.
Symptoms vary from person to person and can range from mild to severe. IBS is a long- term condition, so symptoms may come and go and change over time.
ANAL ABSCESS AND FISTULA
An anal abscess is an infected cavity filled with pus near the anus or rectum. An anal fistula (also called fistula-in-ano) is a small tunnel that tracks from an opening inside the anal canal to an outside opening in the skin near the anus. An anal fistula often results from a previous or current anal abscess. As many as 50% of people with an abscess get a fistula. However, a fistula can also occur without an abscess.
CAUSES Small glands just inside the anus are part of normal anatomy. If the glands in the anus become clogged, this may result in an infection.
CHRONIC ANAL FISSURE
CAUSES OF ANAL FISSURE Fissures are usually caused by trauma to the inner lining of the anus from a bowel movement or other stretching of the anal canal. This can be due to a hard, dry bowel movement or loose, frequent bowel movements. Patients with a tight anal sphincter muscle are more likely to develop anal fissures. Less common causes of fissures include inflammatory bowel disease, anal infections, or tumors.
SYMPTOMS Anal fissures typically cause a sharp pain that starts with the passage of stool. This pain may last several minutes to a few hours. As a result, many patients may try not to have bowel movements to prevent pain.
FACTS AND STATS In 2017, nearly 136,000 new cases of colorectal cancer were expected to be diagnosed in the U.S. About 1 in 20 (5%) Americans will develop colorectal cancer during their lifetime. Colorectal polyps (benign abnormal growths) affect about 20% to 30% of American adults.
RISK FACTORS The exact cause of colorectal cancer is unknown. Physicians often cannot explain why one person develops this disease and another does not. However, the understanding of certain genetic causes continues to increase.
WHAT IS FECAL INCONTINENCE? Fecal incontinence (also called anal or bowel incontinence) is the impaired ability to control the passage of gas or stool. This is a common problem, but often not discussed due to embarrassment. Failure to seek treatment can result in social isolation and a negative impact on quality of life.
CAUSES There are many causes of fecal incontinence such as injury, disease and age.
HEMORRHOIDSOften described as "varicose veins of the anus and rectum," hemorrhoids are enlarged, bulging blood vessels in and around the anus and lower rectum. The rectum is the bottom section of your colon (large intestine). The tissues supporting the vessels stretch. As a result, the vessels expand, the walls thin and bleeding occurs. When the stretching and pressure continue, the weakened vessels protrude. The two types of hemorrhoids, external and internal, refer to their location. External (outside) hemorrhoids form near the anus and are covered by sensitive skin. They are usually painless unless a blood clot (thrombosis) forms.
Diverticular disease is the general name for a common condition that causes small bulges (diverticula) or sacs to form in the wall of the large intestine (colon). Although the sacs can form anywhere in the colon, they are most common in the sigmoid coIon (part of the large intestine closest to the rectum).
Diverticulosis: The presence of diverticula without associated complications or problems. The condition can lead to more serious issues including diverticulitis, perforation (the formation of holes), stricture (a narrowing of the colon that does not easily let stool pass), fistulas, and bleeding.