Gastrointestinal Surgery refers to surgical procedures that involve the digestive track. This web page addresses lower gastrointestinal track (GI) health issues. Common upper GI health conditions are found on our Abdomen Surgery web page.
Common Gastrointestinal Health Conditions
In the lining of the colon, small fleshy clumps of tissue, called polyps, can form. Most polyps are benign (not cancerous), and cause no symptoms. However, over time, a polyp can change and become cancerous. The larger a polyp becomes, the higher chance it has of becoming cancerous. Most cases of colon cancer begin as polyps.
Colon cancer is cancer of the large intestine, or colon. The colon is a muscular tube that forms the last part of the digestive tract. Semi-liquid food waste (stool) from the small intestine enters the colon at the cecum (the beginning of the colon). As the stool moves through the colon, the colon absorbs water and stores the waste until it is passed out at the rectum.
The colon, or large intestine, is a muscular tube that forms the last part of the digestive tract. Semi-liquid food waste (stool) from the small intestine enters the colon at the cecum (the beginning of the colon). The stool moves from the cecum to the ascending colon, across the transverse colon, to the descending colon, sigmoid colon, and lastly through the rectum and anus. As the stool travels, the colon absorbs water and solidifies it.
Hemorrhoids are rectal veins that become swollen and dilated because of increased pressure upon them, usually due to straining during a bowel movement. About half of the population have hemorrhoids by age 50. They are also common in women during and immediately after pregnancy because of increased pressure in the abdomen. Diarrhea may also cause them to flare up.