Gross Anatomy

From unsightly scars and severe acne to decaying teeth and irregular stools, The Doctors covers some of the most painful and embarrassing body conditions in a special “Gross Anatomy” edition.

Rectovaginal Fistula

Sarah, 24, suffered a 4th degree tear in her vagina during labor – one which goes all the way through the rectum. Although the attending physician sewed her back up, Sarah developed a fistula – where an abnormal connection or passageway is formed between two organs in the body. In Sarah’s case, the fistula formed between her rectum and her vagina.

Sarah consults OB-GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson about treatment options to correct her condition.

Dr. Lisa explains how a rectovaginal fistula occurs and how it is repaired.

Sarah visits pelvic surgeon and urogynecologist Dr. Tom Margolis for a surgical solution.

Dentinogenesis Imperfecta
Kayla, 21, suffers from a rare dental disorder that causes teeth to gradually disintegrate. Kayla’s teeth are thin, brittle and slightly transparent.

“When I got my two front teeth chipped, it really dawned on me that I’m not going to have my teeth for very much longer,” Kayla says. “I feel like my teeth hold me back. I know that image is a big thing. I just would really like a smile that I can be proud of [and] be able to laugh and not have to hide it.”

Kayla visits cosmetic dentist Dr. Bill Dorfman to evaluate and treat her condition.

Extreme Acne
Brittany, 19, began to experience severe acne in July of 2011. The breakouts started along her jaw line and rapidly spread over her entire face and neck, causing an itching, burning sensation and seepage of pus and blood. Brittany has been prescribed lotions, creams and anti-acne pills, all of which had no effect on her chronic condition.

“Since the breakout, my confidence level and my self-esteem have dropped dramatically,” Brittany says.

Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Sandra Lee diagnoses Brittany with an aggressive form of acne vulgaris called acne conglobata – an uncommon and unusually severe form of acne characterized by burrowing, interconnecting abscesses and pustules, causing cystic inflammation.

Dr. Lee demonstrates different methods for treating Brittany’s chronic acne.

Treating hormonal acne.

Earlobe Reconstruction
Denisse, 22, used to wear one-and-a-half-inch gauges in her ears, causing her earlobes to stretch out over time. She no longer wears the gauges but has been left with drooping earlobes with gaping holes in the middle.

Denisse explains why she stretched out her ears and the regret she has today.

Denisse visits Dr. Lee and undergoes an earlobe reconstruction procedure.

Rapidly-Aging Hands
Joya, 24, has bulging veins and premature wrinkles on her hands. “If people look at my hands, they think I’m 86 years old. My hands kill my confidence,” she says. She visits plastic surgeon Dr. Leif Rogers for a solution to her embarrassing problem.

“Your skin is young; it just has the appearance of [premature aging], just because the skin is thin [and] the veins [and] tendons are prominent,” Dr. Rogers explains.

Dr. Rogers uses dermatological fillers and a fractional CO2 laser to camouflage the appearance of veins and creases, as well as resurface the skin on Joya’s hands.

Frequent Bowel Movements
Madison, 24, began experiencing frequent and painful bouts of diarrhea after suffering from the flu a few months prior. “I go to the bathroom as many as six times a day [and] the pain in my stomach can be so excruciating that it causes me to double over,” she says.

Madison consults gastroenterologist Dr. Jorge Rodriguez, who recommends a colonoscopy to determine the causes of her abnormal bowel movements.

Dr. Rodriguez performs a colonoscopy on Madison and takes samples of cells so they can be biopsied.

Dr. Rodriguez reveals the results of Madison’s biopsies taken from her colon and small intestine.


Keloid Scars
Luke, 23, used to suffer from chronic acne and was prescribed Accutane, or isotretinoin -- a medicinal form of vitamin A that unclogs skin pores and shrinks sebaceous glands that produce oil. The medicine helped clear up the acne on Luke’s face but the breakouts on his chest, shoulders and back developed into keloid scars.

A keloid is a firm, rubbery growth that usually arises after a trauma, such as a cut or burn, but can also result from acne. The body’s natural healing cells get revved up and reproduce excessively, producing keloids that are often itchy, tender and studded with blood vessels.

“[The keloids] always seem to itch before I go to bed, which always keeps me awake,” Luke says. “I often itch them so much that it causes them to bleed.”

Luke visits Dr. Lee, who uses a laser treatment, in combination with intralesional steroids, to combat his chronic skin condition.

Gross Anatomy Updates
Watch updates on how previous Gross Anatomy guests are doing today!