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New Technology for Anorectal Disease Aids Diagnosis

New Britain [October 12 2006] - Doctors at The Hospital of Central Connecticut are using new state-of-the-art equipment to help diagnose and determine treatment options for a variety of anorectal diseases. The hospital’s Endorectal Ultrasound (ERUS) went online recently and is being used for the first time in Hartford County at the New Britain General campus to diagnose certain conditions.
The new ultrasound was designed specifically for diagnosis of anorectal diseases. It can capture images from 360 degrees three-dimensionally and allow views not previously possible.
“It is a beautiful instrument that will be used to diagnose certain surgically correctible disorders,” says Dr. Christina Czyrko, one of the hospital’s colorectal surgeons.
Diseases that affect the lower intestinal tract are common, and range in variety from anorectal abscesses to fecal incontinence, to lower rectal cancers. About 8 percent of the U.S. adult population is known to suffer from fecal incontinence (loss of bowel control), but experts think the total number is much higher. Estimates of fecal incontinence vary because many people are too embarrassed to report the problem. Fecal incontinence effects all ages and genders, but does tend to affect more women than men.
“It may be a delicate subject, but it is one that needs to be discussed,” says Dr. Christine Bartus, a colorectal surgeon who practices at the New Britain General campus. “It is important for people to know that these problems can often be corrected entirely. “The new ultrasound allows us
to better delineate the muscles of control in cases of incontinence, and the level of tissue invasion in cases of rectal cancer,” said Dr. Bartus
“Colorectal surgeons can use this new technology to more precisely diagnose rectal cancers,” says Dr. Christine Mirth, who shares a practice with Dr. Czyrko. “Earlier diagnosis of cancers can allow for more localized procedures, thus preserving the rectum and avoiding a colostomy. In fecal incontinence patients, mostly women, we can determine if there is an anal sphincter defect requiring repair. This newer technology has the ability to visualize the sigmoid colon, not just the rectum, with incredible resolution.”
The ERUS ultrasound can more precisely diagnosis problems or injuries to the sphincter (muscles of control), as well as diagnose complex anorectal abscesses. “This is a cooperative team approach with the radiology department,” says Dr. Cyrko. “We can now offer patients the important diagnostic tool of defecography. This is a tool used to diagnose certain surgically correctible disorders related to incontinence and constipation. This is a valuable resource for patients in the New Britain community.”
On Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 6:30 p.m., The Hospital of Central Connecticut’s New Britain campus will host a free lecture on colon health. Dr. Mirth will present an overview of colorectal diseases and focus specifically on fecal incontinence and what treatments are available. For more information and reservations, please call 1-888-224-4440.

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