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Introduction
The anus is the opening that is found at the end of the gastrointestinal tract, where it stops and leaves the body. It carries out the final part of the digestion process that is the removal of the waste products from the body.

Anal Disorders
Some of the diseases or disorders related to the anus and lower region of the rectum are as follows,

    • Hemorrhoids: also known as piles is a condition that occurs in the anus due to swollen veins. Hemorrhoids can occur both inside the rectum, called internal hemorrhoids or occurs under the skin surrounding the anus, which is called external hemorrhoids. It is a common condition, however, in some cases, it worsens over time. Hemorrhoids can be caused due to a number of problems, mostly due to straining during bowel movements, anal sex, obesity, pregnancy, low fiber diet or constipation.

hemorrhoids

  • Anal Cancer: The risk of anal cancer can be increased by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, anal sex, and multiple sexual partners.
  • Anal Herpes: HSV-1 and HSV-2 herpes viruses may spread through anal sex and develop painful sores around the anus.
  • Anal Warts: are warts that occur in and around the anus due to an infection of the HPV virus.
  • Anal Fistula: Inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis, or a prior surgery can be a cause for the development of an irregular channel between the skin of the buttocks and anus.
  • Anal Fissure: constipation can lead to a tear in the lining of the anus causing pain and other symptoms.
  • Anal Abscess: is a sack of pus that is formed in the tissue around the anus. This abscess is usually treated with the help of antibiotics and surgical drainage is used in some cases.
  • Anal Itching: is a common condition where the patient has itching around the anus.
    Anal Bleeding: is when bright red blood is noticed along with the stool. This might be caused by hemorrhoids or other serious illness and require immediate medical help.
  • Constipation: is the difficulty in passing stool causing pain, development of anal fissure and sometimes, anal bleeding.
  • Proctalgia Fugax: is the sudden, intense pain around the anal region and the rectum that comes and goes.

Symptoms
Some of the common symptoms include,

  • Bleeding when passing stool
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Irritation in the anal region
  • Swelling
  • Lump near the anus which can be sensitive or painful

Diagnosis
Some of the diagnostic methods used to test for conditions related to the anal disorders are given below,

  • Physical Examination includes inspecting outside the anus for lumps, tearing etc. The inside of the anus is inspected using a gloved finger to feel for any abnormalities.
  • Sigmoidoscopy is performed to view the lower part of the colon. This is done by inserting a long, flexible tube with a camera at one end called an endoscope into the anus.
  • Colonoscopy is the procedure where an endoscope is inserted through the anus into the colon to view the entire colon.
  • Fistulography (fistulogram): helps detect the abnormal fistula between the anus and the skin. This procedure is done by first injecting a liquid into an abnormal opening so as to improve the image contrast. This will allow the surgeon to clearly view the X-rays images taken.

Treatment
The doctor will suggest the treatment methods for anal disorders depending on the type and severity of the anal disorder. Some of the treatment options include,

  • Antibiotics: are prescribed to treat infections caused by bacteria.
  • Antiviral medications: such as Zovirax, Famvir, and Valtrex might be prescribed to treat the anal infections caused by the HSV-1 & HSV-2 Herpes viruses.
  • Anal surgery: is usually recommended for anal cancer, anal warts, abscess or fistula.
  • Incision and drainage: is a surgical procedure that is recommended for serious skin infections or abscesses found in or around the anus. This is performed to drain the infected fluid.

 

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