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Benign anorectal disease

Anal conditions

There are a range of benign (non-cancerous) anal conditions you may experience. Our colorectal experts can treat you

About

Benign anorectal disease encompasses a number of conditions around the anus/rectal area. These can be very common with different levels of severity. You may experience problems such as ongoing pain, bleeding, or returning ulcers and or/abscesses. Our colorectal experts can discuss your symptoms with you. This will help them diagnose and treat you.

Need to know

  • Symptoms of benign anorectal disease icon plus

    Benign anal disorders and symptoms might include:
    • Haemorrhoids: anal bleeding after passing stools, lumps around the anus, anal swelling, redness or soreness
    • Anal fissure (tear/ulcer): bleeding or pain when passing stools
    • Anal fistula: skin irritation/swelling around the anus, pain when you sit down, anal bleeding or pus when passing stools
    • Anal abscess: pain when you sit down, anal bleeding or pus when passing stools
    • Pilonidal sinus: this is a rare condition. A small hole appears at the top of the buttocks, where they divide. Symptoms are not obvious, and it may be diagnosed as a result of infection
  • Diagnosis icon plus

    Your consultant will discuss your symptoms with you and help to make a diagnosis. They will likely ask about your toilet habits. Tests we offer to diagnose different anorectal diseases include:
    • A thorough examination of your buttocks and anus. This is to identify things such as fissures, lumps and abscesses
    • Digital rectal examination (DRE). Using gloves and lubricant, your consultant will check for abnormalities on the inside of your anus with their finger
    • In some cases a proctoscopy may be needed. A small, hollow tube with a light on the end (proctoscope) is inserted into your anus. This allows your consultant to assess your anal canal
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    Your consultant will discuss your treatment options and help to determine the best approach for you. Dependent on your condition, treatment options might include:
    • Pain relief medication, laxatives and creams
    • For conditions such as haemorrhoids, a treatment called banding may be required. A very tight band is tied around the haemorrhoid or lump to cut off its blood supply. It should fall off naturally
    • Botulinum toxin injections. A very strong poison that treats infections and fissures
    • In some severe cases there are a range of surgical procedures available to you. Your consultant will of course discuss these options in detail with you

Types of benign anorectal disease

Haemorrhoids

Also known as piles. These are swellings of large blood vessels around the anus and rectum.

Anal fissure

A tear or ulcer that appears on the inside of the anus. They can cause anal bleeding when passing stools.

Anal fistula

A fistula is a small tunnel that develops between the end of the bowel and anus. They're usually the result of an infection in this area.

Anal abscess

A painful collection of pus inside the anus, also usually caused by an infection in and around this area.

Pilonidal sinus

A small hole appears at the top of the buttocks, where they divide. Symptoms are not always obvious, and may be diagnosed as a result of infection.
Consultant in theatres

Our consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

  • Wellington-south-hero-facility-582-582

    The Wellington Hospital

    Wellington Place

    London NW8 9LE

    Appointments 0207 483 5148
    Enquiries 020 3131 7478

  • London Bridge Hospital Facility

    London Bridge Hospital

    27 Tooley Street

    London

    SE1 2PR

    Appointments and Enquiries 020 7234 2009
    Imaging Appointments 020 7234 2773
    Switchboard 020 7407 3100

  • facility-HSC-flag-hero-582x582

    The Harley Street Clinic

    35 Weymouth Street

    London

    W1G 8BJ

    Appointments 020 7034 8181
    Enquiries 020 3131 7962

  • The Portland Hospital Facility

    The Portland Hospital

    205 - 209 Great Portland Street

    London

    W1W 5AH

    Children's enquiries 020 7390 8020
    Maternity enquiries 020 7390 6068
    Gynaecology enquiries 020 7390 6200

  • The Lister Hospital Facility

    The Lister Hospital

    Chelsea Bridge Road

    London

    SW1W 8RH

    Appointments 020 7811 4000
    Enquiries 020 3131 4978

  • facility-pgh-hero-579x579

    The Princess Grace Hospital

    42-52 Nottingham Place

    London W1U 5NY

    Appointments 020 3131 7216
    Enquiries 020 3130 6833

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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