My GP referred me about my ongoing problem with my piles, and this morning I had a 9.30am hospital appointment at the hospital. So an early night, set the alarm for 7am in order to do all the things (loo visits mainly) I have to do before I leave the house. When I was called in I was really surprised to see the lead Colorectal Consultant. We had a chat about my painful piles, and he thought piles shouldn't be giving me as much pain as they do. Eventually he said let's have a look. Well, he did, and before he even did a DRE, he could tell by LOOKING that I have quite severe anal stenosis. He said he'd try to carry out a DRE but the minute I flinched when he inserted his finger he stopped. I then got dressed and we sat and had a chat.
What a truly lovely man. He was so gracious and kind - cue big lump in my throat whilst he spoke to me, someone who understood! He was amazed that they had managed to do a sigmoidoscopy in January with the mount of restriction I have and I explained that I cannot ever go without daily Laxido and prune juice daily, my stools have to be pencil thin. And he totally understood and agreed, he was so empathetic. The whole discussion became about my anal stricture with the piles just a footnote.
So he outlined his solution; to do an examination under general anaesthetic, possibly band the piles, check to make sure everything is alright up there, and then to very gradually stretch the anus. He said the possible problem with this route is that it might just shrink back afterwards unless I carried on stretching myself every day, and stressed that this isn't always easy He completely took on board my fears about going the other way and ending up incontinent and said this was really conservative treatment. And he emphasised no need for a decision today, go away and think about it, and he would ring me in a couple of months and to find out how I am.
The alternative is to carry on exactly as I am doing now.
I left the hospital and before I got to the end of the road I decided I am going to go ahead. I have nothing to lose, and if I decide that the daily task of stretching is too painful/difficult then I will just be back to square one. But I am more than prepared to make a concerted effort over a period of time.
I would add that this hospital is rated outstanding overall by the Care Quality Commission for the quality of its care and I am so blessed to be treated there and feel so sorry that this standard isn't the experience of other forum members.
However; that satisfied feeling after a productive relatively normal loo visit might be on the horizon!
I don’t blame you for going ahead with the procedure that’s been offered, what is there to lose? At the very least you’re going to get some relief from the piles you’ve been suffering with! Will you be able to give your surgeon a call to say you want to go ahead? I remember when my stenosis was at its worst my surgeon spoke with me about the stretching under anaesthetic, it didn’t come to that for me thankfully as especially over the last year to 18 months the stenosis seems to improved somewhat & the only restricted bit I seem to be left with is the actual opening (sorry if that’s TMI!!) but with practiced muscle control & knowledge of the foods that affect me that’s generally not too much of an issue.
I too have been blessed to have had amazing care throughout the last 5 years at both of the hospitals I’ve been with for treatment & surgery, like with your treating hospital both rated outstanding by the CQC.
I am really interested that your stenosis improved; to be honest I don't know if mine is just the 'opening' (more TMI!) or the whole passage. All I know is that when I do go to the loo my stools have to be very very soft otherwise I literally can't go and I can spend a long time straining. And that doesn't help my piles of course. The minute I got home my husband was waiting and he was so pleased that I had decided to go ahead, he know the rigmarole I have to go through every morning. If I am honest I don't give it a second thought now but it would be lovely to be able to go out in the morning within a shorter timeframe than I have to allow myself at the moment, that is the biggest drawback for me.
We are hoping to go away which soon which is why I am going to wait until he calls me back, maybe if I am lucky I might improve like you!
Oh Irene, I'm so sorry about the piles and stenosis (conditions we share, sadly) but so so glad that you have such an amazing and sympathetic doctor! I'll be following with interest to see how the regimen works for you.
So glad to hear the consultant you saw was kind and understanding that does make such a difference. He really spent time going over your problems and coming up with a solution and even giving you time to think it over. Yes you are very lucky to have first class care at your hospital I do hope this procedure gets you back to normal or better loo visits - fingers crossed!
Love Carole x