Surgery of the large bowel (Colorectum) falls within the scope of practice of a General Surgeon. The advent of colorectal surgery as a subspecialty has meant that some diseases are best dealt with by these sub-specialists. Examples include:
- Rectal cancer
- Complicated inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis)
- Pelvic floor disorders, including rectal prolapse.
However, Dr Andrew Russell has extensive experience in managing diseases affecting the colon (cancer, diverticulitis, large complex polyps) that may require surgical treatment (resection). A lot of large bowel surgery is now performed with a laparoscopic (keyhole) approach. Dr Andrew Russell recognises which patients may be better managed by sub-specialty colorectal colleagues and is always happy to refer to them if necessary. The welfare of the patient always comes first, and Dr Andrew Russell would never compromise that.
Anal & Perianal Conditions
Dr Andrew Russell manages a number of common anal conditions. The most common would-be hemorrhoids (piles) which usually cause painless bleeding while larger piles can actually prolapse through the anus as a lump, which may go back spontaneously or have to be manually reduced. Larger piles may require surgery (hemorrhoidectomy) whilst piles that just produce painless bleeding can generally be managed by a procedure known as banding, involving placement of tight rubber bands in the anal canal at the base of the hemorrhoid tissue. This is generally performed at the time of colonoscopy, with the patient heavily sedated. The patient may experience some discomfort or pain for 48-72 hours, but usually is fine after that. It is certainly much less painful than hemorrhoid surgery, which is generally only required for the more severe cases. Dr Andrew Russell also manages other anal conditions such as anal fissure and anal fistula, although complex cases of anal fistula may require the attention of a specialist colorectal surgeon.