Robo Suzie for your Derriere
As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I’ve been on a quest for anal - rectal health for many years following that painful experience with thrombosed hemorrhoids that I had as a teenager.
By the time I was in my mid-40s, hemorrhoids were really a problem for me again. The biggest issue was personal hygiene. While I had routine rectal exams with my primary care physician as part of my annual physical, her only real advice was dietary fiber supplements. Yes, these were better than nothing but didn’t solve the problem. Finally, she sent me to a colon & rectal surgeon, a Dr. P. My primary care physician’s parting words were, “Whatever you do, don’t have surgery, the type your grandmother might have had. It will only make things worse.”
I soon had my appointment with Dr. P. I described my problem to him as intermittent, but not severe, rectal pain, difficulty with hygiene causing soilage of my underwear, and occasional bleeding. I further said that I believed I had prominent anal tags which may have interfered with hygiene. He examined me with a metal anoscope. He did this by himself without a medical assistant in attendance. I was simply lying on my left side with my legs drawn up and pants down. He agreed that there were moderately severe hemorrhoids, both internal and external. I asked him about the anal tags. He said they can be removed but it is not normally worth it. He told me the only time he ever removes people’s anal tags are for young women who have it done for cosmetic reasons (Imagine that!).
Dr. P. said he could do injection sclerotherapy. I was familiar with this since I had had it done years before, as I described in another blog. He said this would help the internal hemorrhoids but not the external. I agreed with proceeding. Dr. P. told me he’d use a slotted anoscope to better visualize and gain access to the injection sites. He proceeded with the injections which took only a minute or two. He withdrew the scope, wiped my anus, and told me to come back if needed.
The doc left the room and I got up off the table and proceeded to get dressed. I was surprised and somewhat alarmed at how bloody the medical instruments and gauze wipes were. I took this as an indication of the severity of my problem. I went back to Dr. P. a few months later. After a brief examination, he said there wasn’t anything further he could do short of surgery and that he didn’t particularly recommend the surgery. The reason, he said, was that what I had remaining were external hemorrhoids which don’t respond well to injection sclerotherapy compared to the internal ones. So that was that.
Several months later at my next appointment with my primary care physician, she asked me about my appointment with Dr. P. I told her about the injection sclerotherapy. She said, “That must have hurt!”. I said that it wasn’t exactly a picnic but wasn’t terrible either. Her comment gave me the impression that few of her patients had experienced this before.
Meanwhile, I remember a year or two later seeing Dr. P. being interviewed on television. It wasn’t particularly informative for me, although it may have been for people who had not previously pursued this type of therapy.
Here’s what Robo Suzie says to do about it. It’s quite a cute show. I wish I had known about Robo Suzie’s advice many years ago.