Colorectal Surgery Conditions & Treatments
The expert surgeons at the Division of Colorectal Surgery at University Hospitals provide exceptional patient care in the diagnosis and surgical treatment of a wide spectrum of colorectal conditions.
Search by treatment or condition below or browse our A-Z.
Conditions We Treat
- Colorectal Cancers
For patients with cancers of the colon and rectum, the UH Division of Colorectal Surgery is located on the same campus as UH Seidman Cancer Center, which is consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s best hospitals for the treatment of cancer. This proximity provides patients and their surgeons with immediate access to advanced diagnostics and treatments including radiation therapy, proton therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and advanced clinical trials.
Under our care, patients are assured of a highly personalized treatment plan. Our tumor board meets weekly, providing the opportunity for every patient’s case to be read and discussed among a team of cancer experts. This review process ensures that all realistic treatment options are considered for each patient’s specific needs.
The types of colorectal cancer we treat include:
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is characterized by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. There is no cure for IBD and, without treatment, the prolonged inflammation can result in damage to the digestive system. There are two main types of IBD, which may have similar symptoms but are separate and distinct conditions that require different types of management strategies. Our specialists are skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of both types of IBD, which include:
- Anorectal Conditions
Anorectal disorders affect the anus and lower rectum. Although not typically life threatening, these conditions can lead to symptoms that negatively affect the patient's lifestyle, including itching, bleeding, burning, swelling and pain. Our colorectal specialists have the expertise and training to diagnose and treat a full spectrum of anorectal disorders, including:
- Pelvic Floor Disorders
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles, ligaments and nerves that support the bladder, rectum and other pelvic organs in both men and women. Pelvic floor disorders occur when these structures become weakened and the function of the pelvic organs is disrupted. The colorectal surgeons at University Hospitals work closely with urogynecology specialists to diagnose and treat a wide range of pelvic floor disorders, including:
Other Conditions We Treat
- Diverticulitis – When small pouches form in the intestines, the patient is said to have diverticulosis. In many people, these pouches do not cause any significant problems but if they become infected or inflamed, they can cause a condition called diverticulitis and lead to symptoms like pain, fever, nausea and a change in bowel habits.
- Bowel obstructions – Scar tissue from prior surgeries can lead to a blockage that does not allow the passing of any waste material, gas or liquids. Bowel obstructions often occur after surgery as a side effect of the natural healing process and can lead to obstructions of the large or small bowel that may require surgery to correct. Other causes of bowel obstruction may include tumors, poor blood flow or other inflammatory conditions.
- Radiation enteritis – Inflammation of the intestines that may occur after radiation therapy for cancers of the abdominal, colorectal and pelvic organs. Symptoms may include diarrhea, nausea, cramps and vomiting. A small percentage of patients may require surgery for this condition.
- Short bowel syndrome – A rare condition in which the small intestine does not absorb enough nutrients from the foods you eat. It can be an inherited condition or can develop after the surgical removal of a portion of the small intestine due to disease or injury.
Advanced Diagnostics and Surgical Techniques for Colorectal Disorders
Our surgeons rely on state-of-the art 3-D imaging technology, including ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging and flexible endoscopy, to accurately diagnose each patient so that the best total treatment plan can be developed. Our Enhanced Recovery after Surgery (ERAS) protocols have been proven to reduce surgical stress, risk of infection and other complications and shorten hospital stays and recovery times. And, for patients with a stoma, our enterostomal therapy nurses offer support and education throughout their recovery and beyond. After discharge, patients with an ostomy/stoma may receive ongoing support and care at one of our community-based Ostomy Clinics.
Our surgical expertise includes:
The physician scientists at University Hospitals are actively involved in clinical studies to further research around new and innovative treatments for a variety of colorectal conditions. For some patients, participation in a UH clinical trial may be offered as part of their total treatment plan.