Anorectal Surgery

Derek K. Paul, MD, FACS -  - General Surgeon

Derek K. Paul, MD, FACS

General Surgeon & Laparoscopic Surgeon & Oncological Surgeon located in Vero Beach, FL

Anorectal problems that require surgery range from common conditions like hemorrhoids to rectal cancer, which affects more than 43,000 Americans every year. As a board-certified surgeon, Derek K. Paul MD, FACS, specializes in anorectal surgery, including procedures that demand exceptional skills and experience to safely navigate the vast networks of nerves and blood vessels in the rectum and anus. If you have rectal pain or bleeding, call the office in Vero Beach, Florida, or schedule an appointment online for a thorough evaluation.

Anorectal Surgery Q & A

What is anorectal surgery?

Anorectal surgery treats conditions affecting the rectum and anus. The rectum forms the last 5-6 inches of the large intestine. It temporarily stores feces, controls defecation, and maintains continence. When it fills with stool, you have the urge to go to the bathroom.

The anus is the opening at the end of the rectum. It contains a round muscle called the anal sphincter that keeps stool inside the rectum until you sit on the toilet to have a bowel movement.

What conditions may need anorectal surgery?

Dr. Paul recommends conservative medical care for the initial treatment of most anorectal problems. However, some conditions often require surgical repair, including:

  • Hemorrhoids
  • Rectal cancer
  • Anal fissure
  • Anal abscess
  • Anal cancer
  • Anal stenosis
  • Rectal prolapse
  • Pilonidal disease
  • Rectocele
  • Ulcerative colitis

Dr. Paul performs different surgical procedures, depending on the underlying condition.

What anorectal procedures do surgeons perform?

Anorectal procedures incorporate a wide range of techniques. Dr. Paul is skilled in all types of anorectal surgery, but he frequently performs:

Rectal cancer surgery

Dr. Paul provides comprehensive care for rectal cancer, from a sigmoidoscopy and biopsy to surgical removal of the cancerous polyp and tissues. Surgical procedures to treat rectal cancer include:

  • Polypectomy, to remove a polyp in the rectum
  • Local excision, to remove rectal cancer that hasn’t spread
  • Resection, to remove cancer that has spread into the rectal wall
  • Radiofrequency ablation or cryotherapy, to kill cancer cells

If cancer spreads beyond the rectum, Dr. Paul performs a pelvic exenteration to remove the affected organs near the rectum.


Hemorrhoids occur when veins in your rectum and around the anus become enlarged. Dr. Paul recommends different procedures to remove hemorrhoids, depending on their severity and location. If you have extensive hemorrhoids or the blood vessels are severely dilated, he performs a hemorrhoidectomy or surgery to remove the hemorrhoids.

Anal fissure surgery

An anal fissure, which is a tear in the anal lining, causes sphincter spasms and pain. Some anal fissures heal on their own, but a sphincterotomy, or surgery to relax the sphincter, is the most effective option when you have a chronic fissure. 

Abscess surgery

An abscess develops when a gland in the rectum or anus becomes blocked and infected. Surgery to treat an abscess involves making an incision and allowing the abscess to drain.

If you need rectal or anal surgery, call Derek K. Paul MD, FACS, or book an appointment online.