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Date: 28 May 2023

Time: 08:13

Colorectal surgery: bowel symptoms

  • Abdominal pain
  • Anal/ rectal pain
  • Change in bowel habit
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Difficulty opening bowels
  • Incontinence
  • Prolapse
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Symptoms of anaemia

It should be stressed that the symptoms above are common in the vast majority of bowel patients and do not imply any serious condition. If you suffer from any of the symptoms and they persist despite simple treatments consult your GP.

The following age group symptoms are regarded as being of possible higher risk. Even in these cases only a small percentage of patients will have a serious underlying condition.

All ages:

  • Rectal bleeding and change in bowel habit with or without loose stools for 6 weeks or more
  • Iron deficiency anaemia without an obvious cause

Over 60 years:

  • Persistent rectal bleeding without anal symptoms (soreness, discomfort, itching, lumps, prolapse, pain)
  • Change in bowel habit to looser stools with or without rectal bleeding for 6 weeks or more

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