Ask a Colorectal Surgeon: Dr Mark Wong from Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital Singapore

Ask a Doctor ForumCategory: General SurgeryAsk a Colorectal Surgeon: Dr Mark Wong from Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital Singapore
Prof Dr. Mark Wong asked 10 months ago
I am Dr Mark Wong, Senior Consultant, General & Colorectal Surgeon practicing at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital Singapore and Mount Alvernia Hospital Singapore.

My special interests are in minimally invasive (laparoscopic) and robotic surgery for both cancer and benign bowel disorders. Prior to starting my private practice, I practiced at the Department of Colorectal Surgery at Singapore General Hospital, where I pursued my interests in minimally-invasive (robotic and laparoscopic) colorectal cancer surgery and functional disorders (piles, constipation and incontinence).

I was the longest-serving Director of the SGH Pelvic Floor Disorders Service. In this position, I led a multidisciplinary team of specialists, comprising colorectal surgeons, gynaecologists and urologists to provide holistic care for patients with pelvic floor disorders, including incontinence, chronic constipation and organ prolapse. In 2016, I was appointed Director of the SGH Gastrointestinal Function Unit, where I led a team of gastroenterologists and surgeons to evaluate patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders.

I am well-versed in laparoscopic and robotic surgery for both cancer and benign disorders, proctology (piles, abscess, fistula and fissure), advanced therapeutic endoscopy (gastroscopy and colonoscopy) and functional bowel disorders (constipation and incontinence).

I have worked with colorectal surgeons throughout Europe, USA and Asia, gaining a global perspective in treating patients. I am an opinion leader in the field of minimally invasive (laparoscopic and robotic) colorectal cancer and pelvic floor surgery, having been invited to lecture at numerous international colorectal meetings.

I have also mentored and trained doctors from all across Southeast Asia, including Bangladesh, Myanmar, the Philippines and Vietnam. I am a dedicated educator and was appointed Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School and Senior Clinical Lecturer at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS. I was faculty of the Singhealth General Surgery Residency Programme and have contributed to maintaining high standards in surgical education.

Learn more about me here: https://www.smarterhealth.my/specialist-doctor/mark-wong-te-ching/

Learn more about Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital here: https://www.smarterhealth.my/hospital/mount-elizabeth-novena-hospital-singapore/ and Mount Alvernia Hospital here: https://www.smarterhealth.my/hospital/mount-alvernia-hospital-singapore/

Whether you’ve got questions about general, stomach, gallbladder, colorectal or anal surgery, feel free to ask me anything. Take care and stay safe!

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155 Answers
suciyanti answered 10 months ago
Doc, I have grade-2 hemorrhoids. If I feel stressed, it will recur. Is there any food to reduce the symptoms?
Prof Dr. Mark Wong
replied 10 months ago

Hi, thank you for the question.

Piles are usually not triggered by stress. They are usually due to:
– the food you eat causing the stools to change in size and consistency. They probably became too hard or too soft/watery. Or
– you may have sat too long on the toilet bowl OR
– both the above reasons
You should start medications like Daflon.

Take care and stay safe!


Keen to tele-consult with Dr Mark Wong? Leave your details at https://www.smarterhealth.my/specialist-doctor/mark-wong-te-ching/ and we’ll help arrange an appointment.

siswanto answered 10 months ago
Hello, Doctor. I want to ask. I feel so much pain when I defecate, there was once I saw blood. I read an article online that maybe there is a boil in my anus. If it is so, how do I treat this, Doc?
Prof Dr. Mark Wong
replied 10 months ago

Hi, thank you for the question.

When there is pain and blood at the anus, there are several possible causes; these include an abscess, a fistula, a fissure, or even ambeien or cancer.
For your safety, I suggest you come and see me for a more thorough check.
I also offer Teleconsult services for your convenience. Take care and stay safe.


*Keen to tele-consult with Dr Mark Wong? Leave your details at https://www.smarterhealth.my/specialist-doctor/mark-wong-te-ching/ and we’ll help arrange an appointment.

Aranisiska answered 10 months ago
Doctor, my grandfather was diagnosed with stage-4 anal cancer and has undergone several chemotherapy sessions. I read an online article that said cancer is a hereditary disease. Are there any tips for me to avoid the risk of having anal cancer? Thank you
Prof Dr. Mark Wong
replied 10 months ago

Thank you for the question. I wish your grandfather well.

First thing is for you to do a colonoscopy if you re aged 45ys and above or having anal symptoms. Colorectal cancer is still far more common in your country.
Secondly, anal cancer can be due to chronic infections in the anal region, including abscess, fistula, or even viral infections like HPV. These should be diagnosed early and treated.
Thirdly, anal sex and HIV also increase one's risk for anal cancer.
Take care.


*Keen to tele-consult with Dr Mark Wong? Leave your details at https://www.smarterhealth.my/specialist-doctor/mark-wong-te-ching/ and we’ll help arrange an appointment.

Lia answered 10 months ago
My uncle has rectal cancer and now we are considering chemotherapy. But he is currently complaining about having smelly liquid discharge from his anus. Does it mean his disease has worsened, Doc?
Prof Dr. Mark Wong
replied 10 months ago

The liquid is a sign that the cancer may be advanced and large.
The best treatment is usually surgery first.
I will be better able to advise you if you can share more about the biopsy/histology, CT scan results.
We can also arrange for a Teleconsultation if you are keen.
Take care and stay safe!


*Keen to tele-consult with Dr Mark Wong? Leave your details at https://www.smarterhealth.my/specialist-doctor/mark-wong-te-ching/ and we’ll help arrange an appointment.

herman answered 10 months ago
Doctor, I have bowel obstruction, and sometimes it is hard for me to defecate. I feel like there is a lump in my anus, but I am not sure either because I have never seen a doctor. When I cannot defecate, I take laxatives. Is this normal? Do I need to see a doctor?
Prof Dr. Mark Wong
replied 10 months ago

Hi, thank you for the question. I suggest you see a doctor for this problem. It can be due to many reasons, but you should make sure it is not dangerous like cancer. A colonoscopy is also advisable, especially if you have symptoms like bleeding anus, loss of weight or appetite, aged above 45years or have a family history of cancer. We can also arrange a Teleconsultation if you are keen.

Take care and stay safe!


*Keen to tele-consult with Dr Mark Wong? Leave your details at https://www.smarterhealth.my/specialist-doctor/mark-wong-te-ching/ and we’ll help arrange an appointment.

Aha Huang answered 10 months ago
I have piles that make it difficult for me to defecate. What should I do, Doc?
Prof Dr. Mark Wong
replied 10 months ago

The piles are enlarged and this is causing problems for you. The piles themselves do not block the poop from coming out.
The piles are swollen because of what you eat, that made the poop either too hard or watery.
So the first thing you do is take medication (eg. Daflon) and make sure you change your eating habits to ensure your poop is not hard or watery.
If this doesn't get better then you may need surgery. If you need help figuring out the food, then feel free to do a Teleconsultation with me. you can find out more about this on my website.
Take care and stay safe!


*Keen to tele-consult with Dr Mark Wong? Leave your details at https://www.smarterhealth.my/specialist-doctor/mark-wong-te-ching/ and we’ll help arrange an appointment.

Essy Daulani answered 10 months ago
Doctor, I always have diarrhea if I eat spicy food. Is this normal? Can it be cured?
Prof Dr. Mark Wong
replied 10 months ago

Hi, thank you for the question. This is not normal.
The most important thing is to avoid any foods or drinks that cause you diarrhoea. It means that either your gut health is not optimal or your food is contaminated or both.
I would test your poop for infection, and do a colonoscopy as well and perhaps start probiotics after.
Lifestyle change is critical after you exclude infections and cancer. Eat right and stay healthy!


*Keen to tele-consult with Dr Mark Wong? Leave your details at https://www.smarterhealth.my/specialist-doctor/mark-wong-te-ching/ and we’ll help arrange an appointment.

Baskara answered 10 months ago
Doctor, my father has colon cancer. Now he defecates through a hole in his stomach. My question is, is this permanent, Doc? What can I do to ease his pain because sometimes I can see from his facial expressions that he is struggling with the pain. He said it is difficult for him to defecate.
Prof Dr. Mark Wong
replied 10 months ago

Hi thanks for the question.
A stoma can be temporary or permanent. The doctor who did the surgery would have told you at the start.
He should not have pain or difficulty if the stoma is working well. Many patients live with a permanent stoma and can have good quality of life.
I feel a tele consult will be useful for me to understand your father's condition better so that I can give more accurate advice.
Take care and stay safe!


*Keen to tele-consult with Dr Mark Wong? Leave your details at https://www.smarterhealth.my/specialist-doctor/mark-wong-te-ching/ and we’ll help arrange an appointment.

A. Hizulfah answered 10 months ago
My father was diagnosed with colorectal cancer when he was 71. I am his daughter, and I am 35 years old. I want to ask, am I at risk to inherit this cancer? What are the signs of colorectal cancer that I should watch out for? Do you have any advice to prevent it, Doc?
Prof Dr. Mark Wong
replied 10 months ago

Hi thank you for the question.
You are already 2 times more likely to get this cancer than someone with no family history.
You should do screening and the best way is a colonoscopy. It starts at age 45 ys old or 10 years before the first cancer in your family, whichever comes first.
Of course, if you have symptoms like loss of weight, blood or mucus in your poop, change in bowel habits, then u should consult your doctor earlier and may have to do the colonoscopy earlier.
Most of the time, cancer in the early stages DO NOT have symptoms. So u do not need to have symptoms before doing the scope.
There is no guaranteed way to prevent it. You can only eat healthy, exercise regularly, avoid too much alcohol and do not smoke. Most importantly, do your colonoscopy at the right time.
Take care and stay safe!


*Keen to tele-consult with Dr Mark Wong? Leave your details at https://www.smarterhealth.my/specialist-doctor/mark-wong-te-ching/ and we’ll help arrange an appointment.

fika answered 10 months ago
Doctor, can piles be totally cured? When I take medication for it, it keeps recurring. Is there any advice, doc?
Prof Dr. Mark Wong
replied 10 months ago

Hi thank you for the question.
Piles are actually a normal part of our body.
It only becomes a problem when we do not take care of what we eat and how we poop, it is these that tend to make them worse.
So medication and surgery is only temporary.
You must identify the trigger and remove that.
Take care and stay safe!


*Keen to tele-consult with Dr Mark Wong? Leave your details at https://www.smarterhealth.my/specialist-doctor/mark-wong-te-ching/ and we’ll help arrange an appointment.

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