Anorectal Disorders Information
Anorectal disorders are conditions which affect the anus and the rectum. The anus is the opening between the buttocks that acts as the exit for solid waste. It is the end of the gastrointestinal tract and begins at the end of the rectum, which is the final section of the colon, or the large intestine. These parts of the body play an important role in helping the body rid itself of solid waste, which can be toxic if not passed.
Anorectal disorders can greatly impact an individual’s quality of life, and many anal and rectal conditions share similar symptoms, such as anal itching, rectal bleeding, constipation, anal warts/lumps, constipation, and abdominal pain. Common anorectal disorders include:
- Anal stenosis – Also called anal stricture, a narrowing of the anal canal
- Fecal incontinence – Also called bowel incontinence, uncontrolled bowel movements
- Hemorrhoids – Also called piles, swollen blood vessels/veins in the anus and lower rectum
- Rectal cancer – The presence of cancer cells in the rectum, benign or malignant
- Rectal fistula – An abnormal connection, or cavity, between the skin and the anus
- Rectal prolapse – The partial or total falling of the rectum through the anal opening
When observing your symptoms to determine your specific condition from other anal disorders or rectal disorders, Tampa General Hospital’s staff will use one or more diagnostic methods. Some tests which are commonly employed to diagnose anorectal disorders include anoscopy, physical exam, biopsy, colonoscopy, and endoscopy. Our gastroenterology department uses the latest technology when treating anorectal conditions.