Colon and rectal disease
Duke’s colon and rectal disease specialists use the latest techniques to diagnose and heal colon and rectal disease. We use advanced imaging techniques to diagnose chronic constipation, as well as relieve hemorrhoid pain and diverticulitis. We recommend the most effective, least invasive treatments customized for your needs.
Comprehensive care for colon and rectal disease
We work daily with patients experiencing colon and rectal discomfort. Our experience includes challenging long-term colorectal conditions such as profound constipation, hemorrhoids and diverticulitis, as well as fecal incontinence. We also treat intestinal disorders including Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, fissures, warts, strictures and painful abscesses. We specialize in the latest diagnostic technologies and screening procedures for the full range of diseases. If surgery is required, we use less invasive surgical techniques that result in minimal discomfort and scarring. If you have colon, rectal or anal cancer, our cancer team uses the latest techniques to diagnose and treat your cancer. Our focus is getting you back to good health.
Our experience helping many patients -- from individuals facing constipation challenges or hemorrhoidal inflammation, to those enduring the more severe challenges of diverticulitis -- allows us to personalize the best plan for your recovery.
Choose Duke to treat your colorectal condition because we offer:
- Trials to improve outcomes. We review the latest research and participate in clinical trials to ensure you benefit from the safest and most effective procedures. Many colorectal surgeries must take place within small areas of the body, so our continuing research helps us minimize procedures and improve your recovery.
- Team approach. Because colorectal conditions often involve related physiological factors, we work with Duke specialists from gynecology and urology to create your complete treatment and recovery plan.
- Latest imaging technology. If you suffer from a colon or anal condition, our tests will ensure accurate, thorough assessments. Our new 3-D ultrasound technology provides a high-definition view so we can recommend the most effective treatment options.
- Enhanced recovery reduces hospital stays and readmissions. Our physicians are national leaders in enhanced recovery, a program that minimizes pre-operative fasting, encourages immediate post-operative physical rehabilitation, and incorporates specialized pain management to reduce the stress of colon surgery. Duke research shows their enhanced recovery approach decreases post-operative complication rates, and reduces the length of hospital stays.
COLON AND RECTAL DISEASE
Many colon and rectal conditions -- from hemorrhoids to inflammatory bowel syndrome -- may be manageable with diet changes and careful monitoring. After a thorough evaluation, we may initially encourage a conservative, nonsurgical approach. Increasing water consumption and fiber intake may help with constipation and reduce lower bowel pressure. These proactive steps can reduce your symptoms and help you avoid surgery. Regular monitoring is essential for proactive colorectal disease care.
We are committed to minimally invasive procedures that promote quicker healing. We perform 80 percent of colorectal procedures through laparoscopic or robotic surgery. Sometimes called keyhole surgery, laparoscopic surgery allows us to make minimal incisions and use digital images. Robotic surgery provides improved images and greater physical control for surgeons. Both are preferred over traditional surgery because smaller incisions mean less discomfort, lower infection risk and reduced scarring. We may use transanal endoscopic microsurgery for some colorectal procedures to minimize the complications associated with abdominal surgery. This laparoscopic procedure is initiated through the anus and leaves no scars.
Diseases such as diverticulitis benefit from robotic surgery. Our surgeons have a wealth of experience using robotic minimally invasive surgical techniques. Robotic surgery affords your surgeon more precision in performing the procedure. It also avoids the need for a large incision. We can remove lesions more fully, and reduce leaks and infection risk associated with open surgery.
Some colorectal conditions require more than one surgery for complete recovery and healing. This may also be true if your condition is chronic. We specialize in assessing the need for revision or repeated surgeries. Our commitment to imaging technologies allows our physicians to select a surgical approach designed to treat your condition most effectively.
Targets the sacral nerve, which controls the muscles responsible for fecal or bowel incontinence. A flexible wire is implanted under the skin of the upper buttock and attached to an external stimulator. Mild electrical pulses stimulate the nerve and help to reduce the nerves communicate correctly with the muscles that control bowel function. This allows you to resume many of your daily activities with tolerable symptoms.
Hemorrhoidal pain is a common colorectal condition that may be improved surgically. Many of our patients benefit from procedures designed to reduce hemorrhoidal inflammation. One surgical option is transanal hemorrhoidal dearterialization (THD), which allows for removal of the pain source with limited involvement of anal skin. Prompt healing is possible without future pain.
COLON AND RECTAL DISEASE
We use high-definition ultrasound techniques to diagnose colon and rectal diseases. The latest 3-D tools capture images of tumors, lesions and inflamed tissue. Endoscopic imaging is assisted by elastography, which reveals the texture and hardness of tissue. The tissue's texture may help identify a cancerous lesion. These screening tools help us understand your disease conditions and plan the most effective treatments.
By examining the colon or large intestine with a long, flexible lighted tube called a colonoscope, we can identify and remove pre-cancerous polyps in the cancer. We can also take biopsies to help diagnose conditions of the colon and rectum.
We perform a high volume of endoscopic ultrasounds to obtain images and information about the colon and rectum. A thin flexible tube containing an ultrasound probe, also known as a transducer, is inserted into the rectum. We can confirm a diagnosis or determine a disease stage using sound waves.
We often encounter fecal or urinary incontinence when treating our patients suffering from colon and rectal disease. We engage our medical experts from gynecology or related fields to create a specific treatment to help you heal quickly.