What is a colon and rectal specialist?
A board certified colon and rectal surgeon has successfully completed at least a five year ACGME approved training program in general surgery and one additional year in an ACGME approved colon and rectal surgery residency. He/she has then passed both the Written (Qualifying) and Oral (Certifying) Examinations given by the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery. The ABCRS requires certification by the American Board of Surgery for all candidates entering the examination process.
In addition to having proficiency in the field of general surgery, colon and rectal surgeons have acquired particular skills and knowledge with regard to the medical and surgical management of diseases of the intestinal tract, colon and rectum, anal canal, and perianal area. Colon and rectal surgical specialists also have special skills in the performance of endoscopic procedures of the rectum and colon and evaluation of the anal sphincter and pelvic floor using anorectal physiology techniques. Colon and rectal surgical residency programs now provide training in minimally invasive abdominal surgery involving the colon and rectum.
A colon and rectal surgeon has been trained to deal with conditions such as, but not limited to, colon and rectal cancer, polyps, inflammatory bowel disease, diverticulitis, as well as anal conditions such as hemorrhoids, fissures, abscesses, and fistulas. Training in colon and rectal surgery also provides the specialist with in-depth knowledge of intestinal and anorectal physiology required for the treatment of problems such as constipation and incontinence.
Board certified colon and rectal surgeons are committed to the highest standards of care for patients having diseases affecting the intestinal system.
I have seen blood in my bowel movements. Is this normal?
No. Rectal bleeding is never normal and should be investigated. This investigation will be different for each patient based on the specific details of the bleeding. One the source of the bleeding has been identified, a plan of care can be created and the treatment begun. This treatment may include diet modification, medication, an office based procedure, full colon exam, or surgery.
I have a lot of pain with my bowel movements. What can be done about this?
Any consistent pain during or after bowel movements can be a cause for concern. It can be a symptom of any number of causes and correct diagnosis will only occur by seeing a physician.
I have trouble getting or staying clean after bowel movements. What can I do?
It could be related to too much fiber or supplements in your diet. However, once you adjust these and you are still having trouble, you need to see a physician.
I have hemorrhoids that really bother me. Do I need surgery?
If they bleed, cause pain or otherwise interfere with normal everyday activities, the answer could be, "yes," but you need to meet with your physician to determine the best course of treatment.
Sometimes I leak stool or have accidents with bowel movements. What can be done for this?
Incontinence to stool and/or gas is not uncommon. Many patients suffer in silence and are unwilling to discuss this issue with their physician. There are treatment options available to patients who have trouble with leakage of stool, anal discharge and an inability to hold onto their bowel movements in a socially acceptable fashion. The investigation of this problem involves a detailed history and physical examination by a well qualified physician. Treatment may include physical therapy, diet and behavioral modification and potentially surgery.
The specialists at GHS Department of Colon & Rectal Surgery are board certified in the surgical and non-surgical treatments of this condition. They have received advanced training in the care and management of patients with conditions effecting the colon, rectum and anus and are best suited to deal with these issues.
Which month is designated as Colorectal month?
March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer found in the United States for both men and women combined. This year over 56,000 Americans will die from colorectal cancer. If detected and treated in time, between 80 - 90% of colorectal patients are cured without major surgery. Colorectal cancer is a disease that can be prevented through regular screenings, a healthy diet and regular exercise. The death rate for colorectal cancer has decreased over the years due to polyp removal during colorectal screenings.
Is having a colonoscopy a painful procedure?
No, with some of our sedation techniques, we offer a completely painless colonoscopy.