Bowel problems are surprisingly common, ranging from relatively mild issues, like occasional constipation or diarrhea, to severe and even life-threatening problems, like twisted colon or colon cancer. While most milder issues can be treated conservatively, serious bowel problems often require a surgical solution to relieve symptoms and prevent serious complications.
At Desert West Surgery in Las Vegas, Nevada, our team is skilled in state-of-the-art colon surgery techniques tailored to each patient’s unique and specific needs. In this post, learn about six colon conditions where colon surgery may be recommended for your care.
1. Colorectal cancer
More than 105,000 Americans are diagnosed with colon cancer every year, and nearly 50,000 are diagnosed with rectal cancer. In nearly every case, colon cancer plays a pivotal role in removing tumors and restoring bowel health and function. Surgery focuses on eliminating the cancerous tissue while preserving as much healthy, unaffected tissue as possible.
2. Twisted colon
A twisted colon (or volvulus) is just like its name sounds: The colon becomes twisted, preventing stool from moving. Without emergency medical care — and, typically, surgery — the twisted part of the bowel can block normal circulation, leading to tissue death and life-threatening complications.
3. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
Inflammatory bowel comprises two conditions: ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Both can cause inflammation and sores inside your colon, bleeding and other serious symptoms. Fortunately, IBD can be managed medically in most cases, but if complications develop, surgery may be necessary to prevent complications, like tears or hemorrhages.
Diverticulitis happens when tiny “pouches” form on your colon wall and become infected. Many people find relief with medication, but for very serious cases, you may require surgery to treat an uncontrollable infection or to prevent or treat tears or other complications.
5. Uncontrolled bleeding
Bowel bleeding should always be taken seriously, but in most cases, it can be managed with medication and other conservative treatments, along with dietary or lifestyle changes. But when these options aren’t effective, you may need surgery to repair the bowel and prevent excessive blood loss.
6. Rectal prolapse
Rectal prolapse occurs when the end of your rectum descends and protrudes from the anal opening. Rectal prolapse can cause pain and fecal incontinence, and in rare circumstances, the protruding tissue can die, leading to a life-threatening situation. Surgery focuses on restoring the rectum to its normal position so complications can be prevented.
7. Polyps removal
Polyps are fleshy growths; when they form inside your colon, they can be a precursor to cancer. Most polyps can be removed during a colonoscopy, but if they are very large, you may need surgery to remove them.
If you have chronic or recurrent bowel symptoms, scheduling an exam and evaluation is the best way to rule out serious issues. To schedule your evaluation, call Desert West Surgery and schedule a visit at the Las Vegas location nearest you.