John Flynn Colorectal Centre may offer treatment for a range of conditions including:
An anal abscess is pus collected around the anus. Infection in the anal region may arise from small glands in the anal canal. An abscess in the anal area can cause severe pain.
Read more about Anal Abscess
Anal fissure is a tear in the anal lining, often caused by a hard bowel movement, or by frequent loose stools. It causes pain, which can be quite severe, and rectal bleeding. A swollen skin tag often develops on the outside of the anus when a fissure is present. Many acute fissures heal by themselves, but if they become chronic a sphincterotomy will be required.
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Different conditions can cause anal pain and severe pain at the time of bowel movements is most likely to be due to an anal fissure. Less common causes include anal or rectal cancer.
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Colorectal (bowel) cancer is a very common condition in Australia, affecting around five per cent of people during their lives. It is more common as we begin to age and is rare in young people. Men are slightly more likely to get bowel cancer than women. The exact cause of bowel cancer is unknown but genetic and lifestyle factors play a part.
Read more about Colorectal (Bowel) Cancer
Patients may require a stoma, which involves joining part of the bowel to the skin of the abdomen. The bowel contents then empty into a bag (or pouch) rather than being passed from the anus.
Read more about Colostomy and Ileostomy
This very common condition does not usually have a serious cause. It is important to seek advice if there is a change in bowel habit or new development of constipation. Symptoms are usually managed successfully with dietary and lifestyle changes.
Read more about Constipation
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel condition, which can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract. It is most common in the small bowel and the colon. The disease often first presents at a young age but it can strike in older people as well. Typical symptoms may include diarrhoea, abdominal pain and weight loss.
Read more about Crohn's Disease
Diverticular disease, or “pockets on the bowel” is a very common condition, especially in middle age, which is usually asymptomatic. Pockets develop when the lining of the bowel protrudes through the muscle layer to form small lumps on the surface of the bowel.
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Endometriosis is a common cause of cyclical abdominal pain and infertility in young women. A small proportion of women with more severe forms of endometriosis have the disease, which affects the rectum or other parts of the intestine, causing painful bowel movements, cyclical changes in bowel function, severe constipation or diarrhoea.
Read more about Endometriosis
Tests such as anorectal manometry (measuring the muscle and nerve function) and anal ultrasound may be performed to determine the reason for difficulties in controlling bowel movements. Treatment options include biofeedback and sacral nerve stimulation.
Read more about Faecal Incontinence
A fistula is a connection between the anal lining and the skin. It presents as an opening near the anus from which pus or blood may discharge. There is sometimes a small lump and it may be uncomfortable. The condition rarely heals by itself and surgery is required.
Read more about Fistula
Prominent blood vessels in the lower rectum and upper anal canal are known as haemorrhoids. Main symptoms are bleeding and prolapse (where the haemorrhoid protrudes from the anus). Haemorrhoids are usually painless, but there may be discomfort if they prolapse.
Read more about Haemorrhoids
Hernias are abnormal protrusions of abdominal contents through weaknesses or holes in abdominal wall muscles. Patients may notice a bulge or discomfort at the site of the hernia. Most common sites for a hernia are in the groin (known as an inguinal hernia), at the umbilicus or in an old surgical incision (an incisional hernia).
Read more about Hernia
Pilonidal disease affects the natal cleft (the area between the buttocks above the anus) and occurs when hairs burrow under the skin and cause a cavity that may become swollen and infected. Surgery is recommended for patients who have repeated infection.
Read more about Pilonidal Sinus
Growths on the lining of the colon are called polyps. They sometimes cause rectal bleeding but often produce no symptoms. They can be identified during a colonoscopy or other investigation. There are several different types of polyp and it is necessary for them to be analysed by pathology testing to determine type.
Read more about Polyps
Bleeding from the rectum is a common symptom but should not be ignored. It may arise from an anal condition like haemorrhoids or an anal fissure, or it may be due to a polyp or cancer in the bowel.
Read more about Rectal Bleeding
More common in women than men, it is a condition where the rectum protrudes from the anal canal, and most likely to be noticed after bowel movements. The prolapse can be pushed back into place but if it cannot be pushed back medical attention is needed immediately.
Read more about Rectal Prolapse
An inflammatory bowel disease affecting the colon. Symptoms include diarrhoea, urgent bowel movements, abdominal rectal bleeding and mucous discharge. Diagnosis is most often made by colonoscopy and taking biopsies of the inflamed bowel.
Read more about Ulcerative Colitis