Our colorectal surgery department at the Emirates Specialty Hospital deals with issues concerning the colon, rectum, and anus.
Doctors can treat problems such as blockages when passing stools, inflammation of the bowel (Crohn’s disease) and lower digestive tract concerns, including bowel cancer. Patients come to us at Emirates Specialty Hospital when experiencing discomfort for haemorrhoids, a term used to describe swollen veins in the lower part of the rectum or anus.
Fissures (anal cracks or tears), faecal incontinence, rectal prolapse, and birth defects such as anorectal malformations, can also be treated at Emirates Specialty Hospital.
Through laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery, the area can be examined using a small camera, paired with ultrasound, a computerised tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan techniques. It ensures minimal invasion through slight incisions.
Laparoscopic surgery allows a closer look at the problematic areas and can involve the removal of all or part of the affected areas, including where masses and tumours are present.
Some conditions can be conservatively treated through a change in diet or using non-surgical treatments such as banding (cutting off the bloody supply to the affected veins). Where necessary, surgery can shrink haemorrhoids and remove them if itching or discomfort does not clear up after a few days. Haemorrhoids are especially painful, as the lower third of the anal passage contains nerves, even though the upper two-thirds do not. Therefore, if over-the-counter ointments, creams and suppositories, combined with lifestyle changes, cannot relieve symptoms, our patients may be advised to have a haemorrhoidectomy operation.
With a haemorrhoidectomy (complete removal of haemorrhoids), the chances of haemorrhoids returning are only 1 in 20 and, as patients are put under general anaesthetic, the procedure is pain-free but can result in downtime of about one-week post-operation.
Alternatively, in some cases, a haemorrhoidal artery ligation, a procedure which stitches hanging haemorrhoids close to the vessel to block blood supply, can be performed. It has a quicker recovery time compared to a haemorrhoidectomy.
Complications may result in fistulas, which can also be treated by the team at Emirates Specialty Hospital. This is when a collection of pus forms between the end of the bowel and the anus, a channel can be left behind when the liquid drains, causing throbbing pains, fever, and more uncomfortable issues.
Treatments include a fistulotomy (cutting open the fistula to allow it to form a flat scar when it heals), inserting a seton thread for a period of a few weeks, to start the recovery process, and filling it with a plug, glue or covering with tissue.
Patients may also have polypectomy (removal of a polyp), strictureplasty (creating an opening in the bowel for relief), colectomy (restructuring the large intestine) and anoplasty (reconstructing the anus) procedures carried out with us at Emirates Specialty Hospital.