If it’s possible for a colorectal surgeon to be popular, then this guy is likely the one.
Dr. Elie Schochet is returning to the Pride Center in Wilton Manors to give his always informative presentation on the importance of all things anal health for men who have sex with men.
Schochet, who has more than a decade of experience in the field, will present “Happy Hiney Health” on Sept. 25 in the Pride Center’s Schubert Building. About 150 people came to his last Pride Center presentation a couple years ago.
Lorenzo Robertson, Pride Center prevention interventions coordinator, said the timing of this year’s event is also a way to commemorate National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day – which is Sept. 27.
The day is observed each year to direct attention to the “ongoing and disproportionate” impact that HIV/AIDS has on gay and bisexual men in the U.S.
To mark the day, the Pride Center will be conducting onsite HIV testing Sept. 25 and at offsite locations as well.
Let’s talk about anal
For those who haven’t been to one of Schochet’s presentation, Robertson said you can definitely expect to be engaged.
“It’s been a great presentation. He’s really easy going and draws people into it. There’s a lot of information and you will learn about something that is very important,” Robertson said.
Among the many topics covered are overall anal health, anal cancer, other colorectal issues, relevant testing, treatment as prevention and the use of PrEP.
No subject is off limits.
Schochet has discussed removing foreign objects from patient’s anal canals to treatment for constipation, diarrhea, hemorrhoids and STDs.
Part of the reason anal health topics are important anywhere, but especially South Florida, is that the area and its gay population have above average anal cancer rates.
Oh, and what about anal fissures? We didn’t forget – that will be covered as well, including many of the myths associated with the condition.
“One of the top myths is that you can work through the pain,” Schochet previously told SFGN. “Anal fissures overlie the anal sphincters. When they're in spasm, nothing is getting in or out without significant pain that may shoot to the back, or legs, or torso.”
Schochet suggests “heat and patience” to reset the sphincters, such as a hot shower just before a bowel movement to help pain and spasms.
Other myths, he said, is that hemorrhoid cream will help and that you can ignore an anal fissure if it doesn’t hurt.
“Sometimes fissures will stop hurting, but not heal. Any fissure that doesn’t heal with basic measures needs to be evaluated by a specialist for possible biopsy,” he said.