Rectal Pain: What are the Common Causes? | Minnesota

Rectal pain is one of common symptoms in the minnesotan patients with anorectal diseases. It can be caused by various anorectal conditions.

Acute anal fissure usually causes sharp pain during intense, forced bowel movements, and it is often accompanied by rectal bleeding with bright red blood. The patients with chronic anal fissures usually have intermittent sharp rectal pain due to sphincter muscle spasm and bleeding with each bowel movement for a long time.

Pain that begins gradually and becomes excruciating may indicate infection that leads to anorectal abscess, and pain improves if the absecess ruptures, and pressure inside abscess reduces.

In general, external hemorrhoids often cause itching and discomfort due to the difficulty in cleasing after bowel movement, but it usually don’t cause significant rectal pain. They will cause pain, however, if the varicose vein complex ruptures, as blood clots occur and build up the pressure inside the lump. This condition, known as thrombosed external hemorrhoid, causes an extremely painful bluish anal lump. The somatic nerve in the anal canal (below the dentate line) can sense pain, this is why the patients feel significant pain with the immediate onset when they develop thrombosed external hemorrhoids.

Internal hemorrhoids, however, are not painful due to being located above the dentate line of the rectum that is supplied by the visceral nerve, like those found within the intestines, which sense pressure rather than pain. Similarly, rectal cancer typically does not cause pain unless the condition is advanced.

Proctalgia fugax (rectal pain) is an anorectal pain syndrome that occurs in episodes lasting seconds or minutes, typically in the middle of the night, though it is very possible to experience it during the day as well. Patients may feel spasm-like, sharp pain in the anus that is often mistaken for a sign that they must defecate. Levator ani syndrome presents the symptoms with vague, aching or pressure feeling high in the rectum. It could be worsened by sitting and relieved by walking. The pain tends to be constant and lasts from hours to days. It recurs regularly. Both conditions are recurrent, and while not curable, treatments are available.

Treatment of External Thrombosed hemorrhoids | Minneapolis & St Paul

External hemorrhoids occur outside the anal verge. Thrombosed external hemorrhoids occur if varicose veins rupture and blood clots develop. It is often accompanied by swelling with a bluish-purplish discoloration and severe incapacitating pain.

The symptoms may improve in some patients with conservative nonsurgical treatment – the anal care I coined includes stool softeners, increased dietary fiber, increased fluid intake, warm Sitz baths, and analgesia. For most patients, surgical excision is often more effective and efficient in treating thrombosed external hemorrhoids. Surgical excision is an office-based procedure performed under local anesthesia. This safe office procedure offers low complication and recurrence rates and high levels of patient satisfaction.

Procedure
After cleaning the anal area with an antiseptic, lidocaine with epinephrine is locally injected in the surgical area. The thrombosed hemorrhoid is unroofed by making an elliptical incision in the hemorrhoid, then the blood clots are removed, and the procedure is finished for a simple case. Simply draining the clot usually relieves the pain immediately, but it may not work well if multiple thromboses exist as it can also lead to recurrence, so it is better for patients with multiple thromboses to completely excise the thrombosed hemorrhoids. The external hemorrhoidectomy may be performed, then the hemorrhoidal tissue with blood clots is removed together, and the bleeding in the wound is stopped with a cautery. The wound in the anal area is covered with sterile gauze.

Postoperative Care
The patient will be instructed to do anal care measures, including warm Sitz baths three times a day for 15-30 minutes at a time. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen should be used for pain control. The patient should remain well hydrated and take a stool softener to keep stool soft.

Complications
Common complications of thrombosed external hemorrhoid excision include pain, bleeding, infection and delayed healing. A perianal skin tag could develop in some patients. Stricture and incontinence are extremely rare complications.

Manangement of Anal Skin Tags | Minnesota

Have you been using too much toilet paper because of pesky anal tags? Hemorrhoidal skin tags are flaps of skin or flesh found around the anus. They often form as a result of an existing hemorrhoid. Hemorrhoids occur when veins in the anorectal areas become swollen and inflamed.

Anal skin tags often occur if an individual heals the thrombosed external hemorrhoids at home without surgery, the thrombosed hemorrhoids may leave behind skin tags. Anal skin tags may also form because of non-hemorrhoid causes, such as anal fissure, surgery, or infection, etc. Despite the fact that people often confuse them with cancerous growths, skin tags are benign and present no serious health concerns.

Hemorrhoidal skin tags often don’t cause significant rectal symptoms, but they often affect the cleansing after bowel movement. If feces become trapped beneath the skin tags, it can cause irritation and lead to itching and further inflammation. Skin tags can also cause pain when it flairs up or if there’s another underlying rectal problem.

Patients suffering discomfort or itching due to hemorrhoidal skin tags can treat the condition with the following:

  • Thorough cleaning of the affected area after bowel movement. May use gentle cleansers, such as witch hazel or aloe vera extract.
  • Do a Sitz bath with warm water.
  • May use OTC hemorrhoid cream to reduce irritation and swelling.
  • If the skin tags frequently cause symptoms, individuals may consider having them removed surgically.
  • Most patients who have anal tags often have hemorrhoids, too, they should consider complete care by treating internal hemorrhoids before removal of anal tags or at the same time.

Excision of anal tags:
Anal tags can easily be removed in the office using local anesthetic. The procedure takes less than 10 minutes and patients are safe to drive immediately afterwards. There may be mild postoperative pain and discomfort with bowel movement in the first week. The patients are typically able to go back to work next day although the whole healing process may take a few weeks.

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