Functional Bowel Disorders for the Colorectal Surgeons
Although most patients are referred to colorectal surgeons for consideration of possible surgical therapy, many of these patients have an existing functional bowel disorder. It may be the patient’s primary concern or a factor complicating other medical illnesses. Some of the more commonly diagnosed functional bowel disorders include irritable bowel syndrome and pelvic pain conditions such as chronic proctalgia, coccygodynia, and pudendal neuralgia. It is paramount that colorectal surgeons understand the symptoms, diagnostic criteria, and treatment strategies of these disorders, especially with respect to the role of medical management and physical therapy. As described, when surgery is considered, a multimodal approach can be helpful.