Colon and rectal surgery are major areas of specialization within Columbia Surgical Associates. Leaders in the Columbia-area medical community, the surgeons introduced the technique of laparoscopic colorectal surgery to mid-Missouri in 1991.
The field of colorectal surgery encompasses a wide range of disorders. While traditional (open) surgery is an option for treatment of these disorders, Columbia Surgical Associates helps the majority of their patients through less invasive procedures that result in less pain and a shorter recovery.
Columbia Surgical Associates physicians offer surgical treatment for the following:
- hemorrhoids - swollen, painful veins located near the rectum or anus which can be internal or external. Hemorrhoids can be removed through a surgical procedure called hemorrhoidectomy.
- internal hemorrhoids - cased by veins around the anus which have weakened, resulting in bulging. With the repeated pressure of bowel movements, the veins may burst, causing bleeding.
- external hemorrhoids - hemorrhoids that lie beneath the skin near the opening of the anus. These may suddenly clot resulting in pain.
- anal warts - growths found on the skin around the anus (rectal opening) or in the lower rectum. These growths are caused by the human papilloma virus and are also known as condyloma.
- fecal incontinence - Fecal incontinence is due to weakened sphincter muscles or injury to the nerves that serve these control muscles. Often this disorder is due to injury associated with childbirth. Degrees of continence are denoted by the ability to control gas, liquid stool, or solid stool.
- rectal pain - pain or discomfort in the lower portion of the gastrointestinal tract often caused by conditions such as hemorrhoids or anal fissures.
- rectal prolapse - a condition resulting from the weakening of the ligaments and muscles around the rectum which causes the tissue lining the rectum and part of the large intestine to slip through the anal opening. It is most common in young children and the elderly.
- Crohn's Disease/ulcerative colitis - a painful inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation of the digestive tract. This inflammation can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition.
- pilonidal cyst - an abnormal pocket in the skin, usually located near the tailbone at the top of the cleft of the buttocks, that contains hair and skin debris. These cysts can become infected, resulting in an abscess that is often extremely painful. Pilonidal cysts can be drained through a small incision or removed surgically.
- parastomal hernia - the most common complication of ostomy surgery, these hernias occur when the intestines press outward near a stoma, the hole created for a colostomy or ileostomy appliance, causing a bulge under the skin. They can cause pain and bothersome leakage. Though rarely dangerous, severe symptoms may indicate the need for emergency treatment.
- diverticulitis - diverticula are small, bulging pouches that form in the lining of the digestive system, most often in the colon. When one or more of the pouches become inflamed or infected the condition is known as diverticulitis. Diverticulitis can cause severe abdominal pain, fever, nausea and a marked change in your bowel habits.
- inflammatory bowel disease - an umbrella term used to describe disorders that involve chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. These conditions can be debilitating and usually involve severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue and weight loss.
- anal cancer - a type of cancer that occurs in the short tube at the end of the rectum through which stool leaves the body. Symptoms can include rectal bleeding and anal pain.
- colorectal cancer - a cancer that starts in the colon or rectum. These cancers can also be named colon cancer or rectal cancer, depending on where they start. Colorectal cancers are the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States.
Minimally Invasive Techniques
CSA surgeons currently offer other minimally invasive techniques, including the following:
- transanal endoscopic microsurgery
- hand-assisted laparoscopic surgery
- and combined laparoscopy and colonoscopy to avoid major incisions.
The group also offers robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery for certain conditions. Other common procedures include colostomy creation and takedown and parastoma hernia repair.
Multi-disciplinary Care for Colon and Rectal Cancer
A special emphasis throughout the history of Columbia Surgical Associates has been the treatment of cancer, and the surgeons offer patients multi-disciplinary care for colon and rectal cancer. In-office transrectal ultrasound studies of rectal cancer facilitates and expedites a patient's initial evaluation, and patient care is coordinated with medical and radiation oncology colleagues.