Anyone with peri-anal skin tags

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skeptical
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Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 369
   Posted 11/20/2007 5:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Today I had my yearly exam and the Dr. didn't do a rectal exam because she said I was so inflamed. She didn't do one last year either, but I was waiting to have surgery. (I had 10 inches of my terminal ileum removed after they finally realized I had totally obstructed)

Here's the thing....... she wants me to see a colorectal specialist because she's worried I might have rectal cancer. She said she'd never seen anything like it; that it looked like a thrombo-something hemorrhoid.

Now I want to know from you guys, do you think she's just unaccustomed to Crohn's peri-anal skin tags or should I be worried. Has anyone ever had a PCP say anything like this? We're in the middle of trying to change insurance companies, so I don't want to see anyone about it until it goes through. (You know, another pre-existing condition isn't good for me)

I'm a little freaked out. I did have diarrhea this morning because I was stressed out over the exam. I always am.

Should I worry?

Malibu05
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 98
   Posted 11/20/2007 5:24 PM (GMT -7)   
I have a skin tag in that area but my doctor knew right away that's what it was. Before I went to the doc though, I was pretty sure that it was a hemorrhoid as well but I was also worried it could be something else. Turned out to be a skin tag and it's gotten so small now that I don't even notice it. The doctor that diagnosed it though was a Crohns specialist. I'd get it checked out by someone who is more knowledgeable on Crohns disease.

pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20576
   Posted 11/20/2007 5:56 PM (GMT -7)   

I'm the queen of perianal crohns skin tags...but here's a link, the first pic is of hemmies the second pic is perianal crohns skin tags (aka: elephant ears)

 

http://www.emedmag.com/html/pre/fea/features/011504.asp

 

You should go see a colo-rectal surgeon anyways just to be sure it's not a cancerous growth.

 

:)


My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)


Smrtgrl96x
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 11/20/2007 6:33 PM (GMT -7)   
I have 'em too and my first gastro didn't know what it was and made me go to a dermotologist.  My gastro now knew EXACTLY what it was.
Claudia

Post Edited (Smrtgrl96x) : 11/22/2007 10:58:38 AM (GMT-7)


skeptical
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Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 369
   Posted 11/20/2007 6:59 PM (GMT -7)   
I am really hoping that my PCP just hasn't seen them before. She's very aware of my Crohn's and I told her that although they look like bad hemorrhoids, they are skin tags and shouldn't be removed. It just scared me when she said she was worried it could be rectal cancer and that she'd never seen anything that bad before. As soon as we get new insurance, or decide we have to stay with the one we have, I'll go to a specialist. As a side bar, the second GI I went to mentioned them as "Hemorrhoids" as he was starting a colonoscopy. (He was an idiot anyway)

pb4
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Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20576
   Posted 11/20/2007 7:17 PM (GMT -7)   
You can have both hemmies and skin tags together but regardless that GI would have mentioned both, that's why it's important you see a colo-rectom surgeon, mind you with my experiances they can be idiots too.
 
skeptical did you check out the pics in the link I posted above?

:)


My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)

Post Edited (pb4) : 11/20/2007 7:23:19 PM (GMT-7)


tinglebell
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 531
   Posted 11/20/2007 8:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Boy, I thought mine looked bad, lol. That pic is pretty bad, but that is usually what they put in textbooks. You would know it if you had a thrombosed hemmorhoid. Usually the pts would come moaning and limping into the ER. Sometimes unable to walk at all. How long before insurance goes thru?? Maybe you could at least set up an appt for right after the effective date.
DIANNE
Diagnosed at age 19 with CD.
3 small bowel resections, 1 for perforation, 2 for strictures 
 


rootsmith
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Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 598
   Posted 11/21/2007 7:42 AM (GMT -7)   
I don't know why she mentioned rectal cancer and thrombosed hemmorrhoid together as they are not related. A thrombosed hemmorhoid looks awful and is very painful but it is not life threatening.

PB, I took a look at that link several times and I agree with tinglebell, they are awful looking. After the first time, I got a mirror and a penlight and checked again. My concern doesn't look as bad as that picture. I had asked my gyn NP at one time what that fleshy blob was and she said it was an "old hemmorrhoid" Well, that was several years ago and I have more than a fleshy blob. If I don't have perianal CD then they should put a picture of me next to that one and label it "don't confuse these with this situation" I'm seeing an Ob-Gyn next month for a check up so I will ask her for her opinion. it was the last Ob-Gyn I saw (the NP retired and since my OB-Gyn of 20 years died I've had a rough time finding a replacement) who told me not to accept that the lump I had was a lipoma, go see a surgeon. I followed his advice and it wasn't a lipoma, it was a cyst.
10 years, many tests, 3 gi doctors, Pentasa 1000mg 3x day
diovan, simvastatin and now trying good ol' zoloft


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20576
   Posted 11/21/2007 11:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Well I hate to say this, but mine are much worse then the pic, I have more and they are larger than in the pic shown...literally a pain in the arse.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)


potatoqwn
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 355
   Posted 11/22/2007 11:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh pb4 I am so sorry. Those pictures were really something. It's hard to imagine them as much worse than that picture. Can they ever shrink? Do you always have pain from them?

yogaprof
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1665
   Posted 11/23/2007 10:08 AM (GMT -7)   
hey skep, how scary for you. what happens next?
thanks for the nice note about my tenure. yp
48 y/o woman.  Diagnosed 4/06 after colonscopy, SBFT, CT-scan all showed crohns. 3 months later, after pred and remicade, all tests showed no crohns. In December had adhesions cut through a laparoscopy. Now just taking Glycolax, metamucil, and began Humira 9/07.


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20576
   Posted 11/23/2007 11:18 AM (GMT -7)   
hey potatoqwn :)

They used to shrink up yrs ago before I actuall got sick with crohns (it's where my CD actually started, with these perianal crohns skin tags but docs kept saying they were just hemmies) unfortunately after the birth of my first child they flared really bad and I was sent in for an emergency hemheroidectomy on them (they banded them) but soon after it was discovered they were NOT hemmies but instead crohns anal skin tags and they got even worse when I ended up with fissures all over them (I had to fill the tub with water to poop because that pain was soooooooo excrutiating)...they'll never shrink back down again because of them being banded when they shouldn't have (when I was a teen that's when they first appeared but absolutely no other symptoms, at that time in my life they would come and go on their own which is why I guess they were "tagged" as being hemmies and not what they actually were)...live and learn the hard way I guess, crohns is a very sneaky and ugly disease as we all know.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)


rootsmith
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 598
   Posted 11/25/2007 9:50 AM (GMT -7)   
I am sorry you had to learn the hard way PB4 but you have taught me something- no one is touching my behind.
10 years, many tests, 3 gi doctors, Pentasa 1000mg 3x day
diovan, simvastatin and now trying good ol' zoloft


potatoqwn
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 355
   Posted 11/25/2007 10:39 AM (GMT -7)   
pb4
I have read when you have written about these before, but until seeing the photos, I really had no idea how serious they were. They should rename them because people most likely think of those little skin tags that people get.
I too have learned from your story. Wow! This disease is something, huh?

pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20576
   Posted 11/25/2007 11:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Ya, it wasn't until I found that above link with the pics that I even knew they were aka "elephant ears", who ever came up with that???? Imagine going around and saying "ya, I have elephant ears on my arsehole because of my crohns disease"...looks more like popcorn to me but I suppose that would really turn people off from popcorn LOL.

This disease is sick.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)


Adria132004
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 11/28/2007 7:42 AM (GMT -7)   
This was my first symptom of Crohn's. For years, I've had what I thought was a very large external hemorrhoid. My gynecologist assumed that's what it was as well and tried a couple of times to refer me to a surgeon to have it removed. When I finally went, the surgeon took one look and said "That's not a hemorrhoid, it's chronic fissure with a very large, very wide-based skin tag. And by the way, have you ever had any symptoms of Crohn's? Because the only skin tags I've ever seen that look like that have been in Crohn's patients." I was completely skeptical, since I had never and still have not been sick with the typical GI symptoms. Yet this skin tag is what led me down the path to eventual Crohn's diagnosis. It was that obvious to my surgeon, who was familiar with the various presentations of Crohn's, but my gynecologist and primary care doctor had no clue.

pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20576
   Posted 11/28/2007 11:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Almost exact same with me Adria...I too started out with my perianal crohns skin tags when I was a teen, they would come and go on their own with no rhyme or reason as I never experianced any gut issues either. Docs would see them and say "they're just hemmies".

Then when I got older and got pregnant they came and stayed constant, however it wasn't until my baby was a yr and a half old that things got crazy with pain of the tags and the onset of the disease affecting me internally...however my GP dismissed my complaint about increased daily BM's (which were still formed, but one/day was normal for me so the increase should have been a big clue to docs) and said they were hemmies, she sent me in for an emergency hemheroidectomy and they banded them...this left them in a permanant flare, never to shrink down again, and it's been almost 17 yrs now. It was after the fact when crohns hit me hard internally that a GI who DX me with CD saw my tags and told me what they actually were....too little too late.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)


JennaSurvivor
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/12/2014 4:40 PM (GMT -7)   
I had type 1 Elephant rectal tags. There were two mainly. I had them starting at 20 years old. Believing they were common hemmeroids from pregnancy. As I got older they grew quickly. At 23 years old they reached a very embarrassing size. I was scared they were cancerous (of course upon diagnosis-yes I waited that long out of fear- that they were rectal tags).
I asked a few doctors about removing them. I got the same answer. It's too painful, could worsen my Crohn's disease, and a variety of other disheartening answers. After my divorce a few years ago I didn't want to date. The idea of intimacy was/is frightening.
This past January 2014 (32 yrs old) I had my transverse colon removed due to a stricture. The colo-rectal surgeon was amazing! Initially he was also going to remove the tags but due to "sterile" reasons he didn't. I was sad as that meant another surgery later.
The removal of my transverse colon went smoothly as did recovery. I will not lie. The pain. Excruciating. Worse than my labor during pregnancy. I was on a pain pump and was allowed .4mg/ 7 mins and I used it three days straight religiously. At home I was on morphine and percs.
So yesterday March 11, 2014 at 10am I went into surgery. Originally the anesthesiologist said they do a local (numb the rectum) and just some iv med to make woozy like twilight. Due to my resistance to meds I was terrified. Begged not to be awake for this stressful and embarrassing surgery. He said he'd also do a spinal block. I was still scared. Bless my surgeons and anesthesiologists heart. While he did the spinal he did completely sedate me with propophyl (sp?).
I woke numb and still under the spinal. As it wore off I still was very numb from lidocaine and the local. Driving home it steadily wore off. I felt mild discomfort. Like how a bleeding hemmeroids feel.
Today I feel no pain! Although I'm still on pain meds. But I doubt that's the only thing keeping the pain at bay. I can't explain how it feels completely normal. But I havnt actually explored the area I'm scared. I know having a BM will prob be horrible (even before it was never easy for me). The surgeon said this would be hellacious pain. I'm waiting for it to come but still. Nothing. I do have a gauze inside my rectum that has lidocaine and will come out with first BM but I'm sure that's wore off by this time.
I have 2% lido cream I can use and plan to soon as I feel a BM approaching. I'll post more as I recover. I pray the pain stays away it would be a miracle. I also pray the results are good and I can let go of some of the self-consciousness.

aka1908
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 3/12/2014 6:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Sending HUGS your way Jenna also praying for a speedy recovery. Take care

JennaSurvivor
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/8/2014 5:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you Aka1908. I'm happy to report the surgery went great! Somehow I made it with only mild discomfort. Prior to my first BM is used colace twice daily, Miralax twice daily. Which made BM's during healing very bearable.
Today my surgery has healed 3/4 of the way with no sign that there was ever Elephant tags present. I'm so satisfied and can't begin to say how this surgery impacts my life in a positive way. I wish anyone considering this type of surgery well. There's a lot to consider but I have no regrets.

pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20576
   Posted 4/8/2014 8:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Jenna, I hope the surgeon warned you that they can come back again, that's what they told me way back then.

I recently started Humira, and my GI mentioned that the biologics have been known to shrink the perianal crohn's skin tags also known as elephant ears so he tried to make me feel optimistic for that to happen as well...he said if it works on me that he could send me to a really good surgeon he knows that can remove the sagging skin left behind if the tags shrink away...nothing has changed with my skin tags yet though...I've been on Humira since February 12.
bee propolis caps 500mg one cap twice/day
omegas 369 caps one cap twice/day
probiotics 10 billion cfu once/day
vitamins C-calcium ascorbate (easy on the gut) and vitamin A each once/day
Prodiem fibre supplement one cap before bed
I've also altered my diet (no junky stuff at all, processed, fast-foods, refined sugars, ect) and exercise regularly.
I went from 30+ bloody BM's/day with lots of lower back pain to an average of 5/day no bleeding no back pain and completely formed stools, still have severe urgency issues.
~~~~~~~~My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)~~~~~~~~

Jen77
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2690
   Posted 4/9/2014 1:12 AM (GMT -7)   
I have them too, one pretty decent size. My doctors always knew what they were right away, and none of them ever suggested removing them. My rectal fistula surgery took a year to heal up all the way, so I try to avoid surgery there if I can! Besides if they can come back, I'm not sure what the point would be? I mean if they hurt then absolutely, or get so big they need to be removed.

I guess if you're nervous about what it is it would be good to get a second opinion. My money is on a skin tag though, we are notorious for those things!

HabsHockeyFan
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 3130
   Posted 4/9/2014 5:02 AM (GMT -7)   
I have elephant tags also. I know my whole body is slow to heal so I am too concerned about the after effects for me to have surgery. It is good to hear that someone is successful to date--would like to hear more as you go along. I am also too concerned about surgery in that area due to my highly acidic BMs..they hurt now and can not imagine the pain on a surgical site, especially if I can not take my cholestyramine.

pb4--still hoping you see some positive results from the Humira on the tags. I will live with mine, but would like to know there is an option
Age 45-50, female. Still holding on with just Pentasa and cholestyramine! Doc says most of my problems are side effects of my resection ('90) and my disease is doing GREAT and no sign of a repeat fistula. Meds now to control the lack of TI and gallbladder....happy to be out and about. OOOpppps...first big flare up in 11 years (10/2012) - but still trying to get back to "my normal".

not creative
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 466
   Posted 4/9/2014 7:31 AM (GMT -7)   
I had several tags prior to my ostomy surgery. They were awful, I asked several doctors about removing them since I thought they were hemmies for a long time. I was told that removal would prob not be successful and could make them worse since they were tags and not hemmies. I lived with them until my surgery when they were removed along with my rectum/anus. So glad.
Laurenne, 29 Analyst for State of CA's Affordable Care Act Exchange, Covered California
Dx'd w/ IBS and CD in 2002. 3-9-10: Total proctectomy and Sigmoid colostomy
1-2014: Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia after long flare- Cymbalta started and very helpful with pain, depression, and anxiety
On: Simponi, 6MP, Cymbalta, Strattera, synthroid, iron, multivitamin

pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20576
   Posted 4/9/2014 11:02 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Habs, I'm still waiting for Humira to do it's thing, I go anywhere from 4 times a day to 9 times a day so it's still unpredictable and honestly so far it doesn't feel like I'm doing much better in regards to frequency and urgency yet considering I started Humira February 12 and it's now April 9. I figured by now I'd be doing much better but I didn't have a ton of hope that Humira would be a miracle cure for me anyways....it's still depressing though, having to give myself a shot every 2 weeks and still not feeling remission...it's no wonder I'm still feeling very down in general about life and my stupid disease.

I see my GI again at the end of May, so maybe he figures by then I'll see more improvement and that's why he scheduled me for that date.
bee propolis caps 500mg one cap twice/day
omegas 369 caps one cap twice/day
probiotics 10 billion cfu once/day
vitamins C-calcium ascorbate (easy on the gut) and vitamin A each once/day
Prodiem fibre supplement one cap before bed
I've also altered my diet (no junky stuff at all, processed, fast-foods, refined sugars, ect) and exercise regularly.
I went from 30+ bloody BM's/day with lots of lower back pain to an average of 5/day no bleeding no back pain and completely formed stools, still have severe urgency issues.
~~~~~~~~My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)~~~~~~~~
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