Doctors at The Hospital of Central Connecticut (HCC) use advanced equipment and procedures to help diagnose and treat a variety of colorectal and anorectal conditions, including:
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
Inflammatory bowel diseases include Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory disease of the intestines which can affect the entire digestive system anywhere from the mouth to the anus. Ulcerative colitis affects only the colon and rectum. Both have no cure, but medications can often suppress inflammation. Some severe cases may require surgery.
Hemorrhoids are enlarged veins near the lower end of the rectum or outside the anus likely caused by extreme abdominal pressure that causes veins to swell and become irritated. Pressure can result from obesity, pregnancy, standing or sitting for long periods, straining on the toilet, coughing, sneezing, or other factors. Diet is important in both cause and prevention. People who eat high-fiber foods every day are less likely to get hemorrhoids. It is also important to drink the recommended six to eight, 8 oz. glasses of water daily. Large, painful internal or external hemorrhoids can be removed surgically (hemorrhoidectomy).
Colon polyps are growths in the large intestine. Though common in adults, the cause of most colon polyps is unknown. Polyps usually do not cause symptoms, but some can turn into cancer over time, so screening is important. Most polyps are discovered during colon cancer tests, such as colonoscopies. Routine colon cancer testing for people 50 and older is highly recommended. People with a higher risk for colon cancer should ask their doctor if they should be tested sooner.
Bowel cancer (colon/rectal)
In general, colon cancer and cancer of the rectum begin as a small polyp. Colon cancer often has no symptoms, so screening is important. If found early, cancer can be treated with surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy. Surgeons can perform a bowel resection, or partial colectomy, to remove cancer and, if necessary, surrounding tissue in the colon or rectum.
For patients suffering from bowel control disorder, HCC offers a minimally-invasive outpatient procedure, Secca® therapy. It delivers radiofrequency energy within the anal canal to create lesions, which, once healed, strengthen canal tissue and improve bowel control. The approximately 30-minute procedure uses local anesthesia with sedation. Recovery is typically two to three days; bowel functioning improves in about a month and increases over six months. HCC was the first hospital in Connecticut to offer Secca, for patients who have not responded well to medications or dietary changes and are not surgical candidates.