There are many queries and misconceptions about ano-rectal diseases. It is difficult for the patient to decide what should be the best approach for him. Here is the list of most commonly asked questions by our patients.
Question: Is it correct to call every ano-rectal problem as piles?
Answer: No, considering every symptoms of ano-rectal region is not only incorrect, but is dangerous too. As many patients who think that their symptoms are due to piles and do a self medication or ignore the symptoms completely may land up with trouble.There are almost 2 dozens of ailments which can occur in and around the ano-rectal region and all of them have different treatment strategy. It could be life threatening if one has got a cancer of the rectum and is being ignored or ill-treated just because it has many symptoms, which looks like those of piles or hemorrhoids.
Question: Is bleeding the only symptom of ano-rectal disease?
Answer: No. It is not necessary that every anal pathology should present with bleeding from the stools. The symptoms may be any of the following are
- Pain in or around the anus.
- Pus or other discharge.
- Itching in or around the anus.
- Burning or pain during passing stools.
- Presence of swelling in or around the anus.
- Change in the bowel habit (frequent or less stools per day)
- Difficult or obstructed stool passage.
Question: Can children get ano-rectal disease?
Answer: Yes, though majority of the patients suffering from ano-rectal ailments are grown up people, certain disease may affect the children also. These may be inborn, acquired due to faulty diet or toilet habits or could be due to some other pathologies of the body. These include anal fissures, rectal polyps or prolapse of the rectum. Many children suffer from constipation or bizarre stool habits.
Question: Is there any co-relation between our dietary habits and ano-rectal problems?
Answer: Yes. The ano-rectal area is the distal most part of our digestive system and any disturbance in this system is reflected at the ano-rectal region. It cannot be overemphasized to say that most of the ano-rectal diseases are created due to our negligence and irregularity about the food and its consumption.
The food containing more spices, chili pepper, fried or junk foods are difficult to digest and thus disturb the normal bowel functions. It is quiet evident that people suffering from ano-rectal pathologies experience an increase in the intensity of symptoms after consumption of the above-mentioned foods.
Question: Mostly, it is the pain which compels the patient to seek opinion of the doctor. So does every ano-rectal affections cause pain?
Answer: It is true that pain attracts our attention to attain medical consultation, however it does not hold true for ano-rectal pathologies. There are certain ano-rectal diseases, which are painless. Most common are the piles, the cancer of the rectum and anal canal and the inflammatory bowel disease do not produce any kind of pain or discomfort in their initial days.
Question: I feel awkward to get myself examined by the doctor for anal pathology. Is it possible to treat me by assessing my symptoms and avoiding examination of the anal region?
Answer: It is almost incorrect to treat the ano-rectal diseases merely by listening to the symptoms and coming to a correct diagnosis. There are many diseases, which can only be diagnosed by examination of the inner part of the anus. And ignoring a local anal examination could be dangerous too as many a time it could happen that the patient might be suffering from a more complex disease and whose treatment is delayed just because it was confused with a common anal pathology.
EXAMINATION IS A MUST FOR CORRECT DIAGNOSIS!
Question: I feel something coming out of my anus while passing stool. What could it be?
Answer: There are many reasons for this symptom. A prolapsing pile, rectal polyp, rectal prolapse or cancer of the anal canal can present with this symptom.
Question: Is operation the only answer for ano-rectal diseases? I am scared of getting operated.
Answer: It is a misconception that in every case, the patient is advised to go for surgical procedure. The fact is that only 10% patients really require a surgical intervention or operation. Rest of them can very well be treated with medications, dietary regulations and a regular follow-up.
Unfortunately, patients do not seek medical advice in the early stages of the disease where most of these symptoms can be successfully treated by conservative approach and when they report to a proctologist, the disease is already reached to a very advanced stage and needs a surgery.
Question: It is heard that even after operation, the incidence of recurrence of these diseases is very high. They why should we go for the operation?
Answer: This is an incorrect thinking. Most of the ano-rectal diseases are completely curable by surgical treatment. However, there are certain rules which are to be followed after anal surgeries like change in the food habit, regular bowel activity, regular reviews with the operating surgeons to avoid any recurrence or relapse of the symptoms.
But the irony is that it is thought that once the patient got himself operated, he does not need to follow all these precautions mentioned above. This negligence can cause him dear with recurrence. So if you have been operated for any anal pathology, be in touch with your surgeon frequently. He will help you out to avoid such nagging recurrences.
Question: Can you give us few tips to avoid occurrence or recurrence of these diseases?
Answer: Include more amount of fibers in your diet. Fruits like apple, pear, banana, orange and carrot, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach and other green leafy vegetable should be used in impunity.
Take your meals at a fixed and regular time. Don’t consume spicy, fried or highly seasoned food. Chili pepper should be avoided.
Regular exercises, relieving anxiety and constipation goes a long way to help out relieving the symptoms of anal region.
A small amount of laxative like milk of magnesia, psyllium husk or lactulose can be consumed at the bedtime to relieve constipation.
Sitting in a tub containing warm water and soaking the entire anal area is soothing.
Question: We have heard about stapler technique used for piles, which is claimed to be painless and leading to quick recovery and return to work. Do you recommend this procedure for piles?
Answer: This procedure of staplers to curb hemorrhoids is gaining popularity these days. However, there is some problem attendant to it and this procedure is found to have more incidence of recurrence than the conventional hemorrhoidal surgery. Few very uncommon and life threatening complications have been reported with this procedure. So before choosing this procedure for yourself, get assured that you are being operated by a surgeon who has got a good experience in this technique so that he can avoid such formidable complications.
This procedure is quiet expensive when compared with any other surgical option for hemorrhoids.