Anal Rectal Surgery

Colorectal Surgery located in San Antonio, TX

Anal Rectal Surgery services offered in San Antonio, TX

You might need anal-rectal surgery if you have a condition like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), anal fistulas, or rectal prolapse. Visit experienced colorectal surgeon Tamara Merchant-McCambry, MD, at Lone Star Colon & Rectal Surgery and Clinical Services of San Antonio if you have a condition that might benefit from surgery. Dr. Merchant-McCambry is fellowship-trained in gastrointestinal system procedures. Call the office in San Antonio, Texas, or book an appointment online to learn more about anal-rectal surgery today.

Anal Rectal Surgery Q&A

What is anal-rectal surgery?

Anal-rectal surgery treats conditions affecting the rectum and anus — the last parts of your digestive system. The rectum is where stools form from food waste before passing through the anus when you have a bowel movement.

You might require anal-rectal surgery if you have a disease that isn’t responding to other treatments. In some cases, anal-rectal surgery is the primary treatment.

Patients with anal or rectal disorders often undergo an endoscopic procedure before surgery. This involves using a flexible, tubular instrument to examine the rectum. Endoscopes used in the rectum are called sigmoidoscopes. They have a camera on their tip that sends back images of your rectal tissues to a monitor for Dr. Merchant-McCambry to assess.

You could undergo a biopsy if any abnormal tissue is found during the procedure. This involves extracting a small tissue sample for lab analysis. If rectal polyps (small growths that are usually harmless but can become cancerous) are found, Dr. Merchant-McCambry will remove them during your sigmoidoscopy.

Which conditions might require anal-rectal surgery?

Disorders that anal-rectal surgery can treat include:


Hemorrhoids are bulging veins on or just inside the anus that can be pretty painful. Less invasive treatments successfully resolve most hemorrhoids, but some that don’t respond can require surgery.


Fissures are cracks or splits in the soft tissues, usually caused by straining when passing large or compacted stools.


Fistulas are unnatural channels that form between the anus and the outer skin or the rectum and other abdominal organs.


Anal and rectal cancers can require surgery to remove the affected tissues before cancerous cells spread (metastasize).

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

IBD (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) arises from an immune system flaw that causes it to attack the cells lining your gastrointestinal tract. Sometimes IBD requires surgery if medication doesn’t adequately control your symptoms.

Anorectal abscesses

Anorectal abscesses are lumps containing pus that need surgical drainage and cleaning.

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)

STDs can cause anorectal lesions that might require removal. Anal condyloma (warts) often requires surgery to remove large warts or ones inside your rectum.

Sphincter defects

The anal sphincter is the tight band of muscle that enables you to retain stools and then opens when you have a bowel movement. Defects can result in fecal incontinence, potentially requiring sphincteroplasty (sphincter repair). 

What does anal-rectal surgery involve?

Where possible, Dr. Merchant-McCambry performs anal-rectal surgery using minimally invasive techniques. This involves accessing the rectum through the anus rather than making external incisions.

Minor anal-rectal surgeries include hemorrhoidectomy to remove the affected veins. If you have an anal fissure, making small incisions in the sphincter (internal sphincterotomy) reduces pressure and aids healing.

Major anal-rectal surgeries include resections, where Dr. Merchant-McCambry removes the rectum.

Call Lone Star Colon & Rectal Surgery and Clinical Services of San Antonio or book an appointment online today to learn more about anal-rectal surgery.