Colorectal surgery is a field of medicine in which surgery is performed for diseases of the colon, rectum and anus.

Common conditions seen requiring colorectal surgery as treatment include:

  • Colorectal cancer

  • Diverticular disease

  • Hemorrhoids,

  • Anal abscesses and

  • Fistula

Other less common conditions treated are inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and pelvic floor disorders.

In Singapore, colorectal cancer (also known as colon cancer) is the most common cancer in men and 2nd most common cancer among women.

For hemorrhoids (commonly known as piles), one in three persons in Singapore suffer from it.

In this Q&A forum, Associate Professor Emile John Tan, Head & Senior Consultant with the Department of Colorectal Surgery at Singapore General Hospital (SGH), a member of the SingHealth group, answers your questions about colorectal surgery in treating these conditions - how effective it is, what are the latest surgical techniques, what criteria makes you suitable for surgery, how to prepare and more.

This Q&A forum is open from 16 Jan to 15 Feb 2023.


Click here to post your questions


About Associate Professor Emile John Tan

Associate Professor Emile John Tan is Head & Senior Consultant with the Department of Colorectal Surgery at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH). He studied Medicine at the University College London Medical School before completing both his basic and higher surgical training in London.

Assoc Prof Emile John Tan completed a year-long fellowship at the Royal Marsden Hospital, London, training in advanced and recurrent colorectal cancer surgery, and spent a further year at the renown St Marks’ Hospital in Harrow, UK, training in advanced laparoscopic surgery, intestinal failure, pelvic floor disease and inflammatory bowel disease, before being appointed Consultant and Clinical Senior Lecturer with Imperial College London, operating on the Chelsea and Westminster and Royal Marsden Hospital Campus.

He also helped to set up a pelvic floor translational research platform on behalf of Imperial College London, and took the opportunity to develop his career as a clinical academic. He was awarded a National Institute for Health (NIHR UK) Academic Clinical Fellowship in 2008, followed by an NIHR award for a Clinical Academic Lectureship in 2011.

Assoc Prof Emile John Tan has published widely in international peer-reviewed journals, and presented internationally. He maintains a strong interest in minimally invasive and open cancer surgery, and pelvic floor disease, in particular laparoscopic prolapse and functional surgery, as well as neuromodulation.

Ref: I23