Conditions

Our colorectal specialists are experienced and friendly.

Our Conditions

If you?re looking for advice, pain relief, or specialist treatment, a colorectal surgeon may be able to help you.

Speak to your GP about obtaining a referral. We?re looking forward to assisting you.

Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is cancer involving the large bowel. This is a common condition which can affect approximately 5% of the Australian population.

 

As with many medical conditions, colorectal cancer has multiple causes. These causes include genetic factors as well as environmental factors.

If you have a family history of colorectal cancer, your risk is higher. This is especially the case if there are multiple relatives affected, or if a relative developed cancer when they were younger than 50 years of age.

 

Certain factors in your environment can also affect your risk. These aspects include a low-fibre diet that is high in animal fats, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption.

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Faecal Incontinence

Faecal incontinence is a common condition. The symptoms can vary. In some cases, the issue can be very mild, while for other people, the condition can severely limit their lifestyle.

 

Incontinence affects many people. Women tend to be affected more often than men, and it is more common in those who are older.

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Haemorrhoids

Haemorrhoids are actually a normal part of our bodies. When they become enlarged, this is when symptoms can develop, which we often refer to simply as ?haemorrhoids?.

 

There are two kinds of haemorrhoids ? external haemorrhoids (outside the anus) and internal haemorrhoids (inside the anus). The symptoms can be different depending on which kind of issue has developed.

 

External haemorrhoids can often cause a painful lump or ?pile? on the outside of the anus. The pain tends to be strongest in the first 24-72 hours. After this time, it tends to reduce over about two weeks. Ice packs and simple pain relief are very good at minimising the acute symptoms.

 

Internal haemorrhoids are inside the anus. They might be bulging into the anal canal or protruding from it. People who are suffering from internal haemorrhoids typically notice painless, bright red bleeding, as well as a sensation of prolapsing (slipping) tissue from the anus.

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Colostomy and Ileostomy (Stomas)

A stoma is an opening in the bowel onto the abdominal wall. Using this opening, effluent can be collected into a bag that?s attached to the abdomen.

 

There are two main kinds of stoma. A colostomy is created using the large bowel (the colon), and an ileostomy is created using the small bowel (the ileum).

 

Many different surgical procedures might necessitate a stoma. In some cases, you might need to wear a bag temporarily, while in other cases, it might be a permanent part of managing your condition.

 

After a bowel operation, a temporary ileostomy is sometimes needed. This protects the join-up while it heals. After the initial recovery period, the join is checked with a specialist x-ray. Once it?s appropriate to do so, a further procedure will be arranged to close the stoma and remove the bag.

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Diverticular Disease

Diverticular disease is a common, benign condition that affects the large bowel. Most commonly, the left side of the bowel (sigmoid colon) is affected.

 

Small pockets of the innermost lining of the bowel can ?blow out? through the muscle of the bowel well. When these pockets form, it?s common to have no symptoms.

 

These pockets can get blocked. This blockage can then cause inflammation, or diverticulitis.

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Perianal sepsis and Fistula

An anal abscess is a collection of pus in the tissues near the anus. Most of the time, it?s noticeable as a painful lump in the anal area. Sometimes though there might not be an obvious lump. This condition arises from the glands in the anal canal.

 

Sometimes, an anal abscess might be associated with a fistula. This is a track between the anal canal and the skin around the anal area. This can happen in many different directions and it can involve the anal sphincter to varying extents.

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Hernia

A hernia is an abnormal bulge in a muscle wall. A common place for a hernia is in the groin. Other common areas include the sites of surgical scars and around stomas.

 

Generally, a hernia is first noticed as a lump. Sometimes, there is also a noticeable dragging discomfort in the area. The lump is not painful and usually looks smaller when you lie flat.

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Polyp

A polyp is a lesion that protrudes from the surface of the bowel. There are many different kinds of lesions that can be called polyps. These range from benign to malignant.

 

Often, the term is used to refer to pre-cancerous lesions. We currently understand that bowel cancers may develop through a series of steps. A polyp phase is thought to happen before the bowel cancer becomes invasive. So, if polyps can be removed this prevents the development of bowel cancer.

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Anal Fissure

An anal fissure is a tear in the anoderm, which is a unique skin area near the opening of the anus. Often an anal fissure is caused by passing a hard stool. Sometimes an anal fissure can also arise after childbirth.

 

This condition is painful. It results in painful bowel movements, which might be described as ?passing razor blades?. Bright red blood is often visible on the toilet paper.

 

When an anal fissure causes this pain, there can be a resulting spasm of the anal sphincter muscle. This compounds the pain and can make it more difficult for the fissure to heal.

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Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a common cause of abdominal pain and infertility in young women. This is a condition that affects the female reproduction system.

 

This condition can be diagnosed and managed by health professionals. If you are concerned that you may have endometriosis, you can consult with your GP.

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Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory Bowel Disease might be referring to Crohn?s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis. These are inflammatory conditions of the bowel. Crohn?s Disease can affect any segment of the intestine but Ulcerative Colitis only affects the large bowel (also known as the colon).

 

In both cases, common symptoms include abdominal pains and diarrhoea that often has some blood. If you are concerned about any symptoms, consult your GP. Your GP might suggest a referral to Coast Colorectal in certain circumstances.

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Pilonidal Sinus

A pilonidal sinus literally means ?nest of hairs?. This is a condition that arises when hair penetrates the skin between the buttocks (the natal cleft).

 

When this happens, there can be a range of different symptoms. In some cases, there are few symptoms. In other cases, there can be recurring infections or abscesses in the area. These symptoms can be painful.

 

The hair can sometimes cause pits in the skin. Treatment involves removing these pits so that healing can occur.

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