July 20, 2024

What is a Colorectal Surgeon?

Colorectal surgeons, or proctologists, are medical professionals who specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions that affect your large intestine, such as your colon, rectum and anus.

They have the training and expertise necessary to perform complex surgical procedures, as well as the knowledge to prescribe medications, prescribe lifestyle changes and recommend preventive treatments.

Colorectal surgeons are specially trained to diagnose and treat problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, hemorrhoids or piles, anal fissures, rectal prolapse, diverticular disease or diverticulitis, anal cancer and warts and other conditions of the colon and rectum. Such specialists also perform endoscopy like gastroscopy and colonoscopy and perform surgeries like minimally invasive surgeries and robotic surgeries.

A colorectal surgeon is a board-certified doctor who has completed a residency in general surgery and has also completed training in advanced colorectal surgery.  This special training allows them to provide an even higher level of specialised care to their patients.

Differences Between a Colorectal Surgeon and a Proctologist

The main difference between the two is that a proctologist specifically deals with conditions of the rectum and anus, while a colorectal surgeon deals with the entire large intestine. The term “proctologist” is also more outdated and is not used as often anymore.

If you have any questions about what a colorectal surgeon can do for you, or if you need to schedule an appointment with one, your primary care doctor can refer you to the proper specialist.

Additionally, you may want to look up reviews of colorectal surgeons in your area before you make a decision. When it comes to your health, it’s important to seek the right help. A colorectal surgeon can diagnose and treat a variety of conditions that affect the large intestine, giving you the relief and peace of mind you need.

Reasons to Visit a Colorectal Surgeon

Colorectal surgeons are surgical specialists with expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, conditions and disorders of the lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract.  They are trained to perform a wide range of procedures to address these issues, including colonoscopies, endoscopic resection, laparoscopic and open surgery, and complex reconstructive surgeries.

The main reason to see a colorectal surgeon is if you have a condition that requires surgical management. If a general physician or gastroenterologist suspects you may have a condition that requires surgery, they will likely refer you to a colorectal surgeon for further evaluation and treatment.

Common conditions that may require referral to a colorectal surgeon include:

  • Colorectal Cancer and polyposis
  • Hemorrhoid or piles.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Ischemia (loss of blood supply)
  • Structural defects, such as anal fistulas and hernias
  • Perianal abscesses, diverticulitis and other infections
  • Rectal prolapse
  • Fecal incontinence

Colorectal surgeons are also qualified to perform preventive surgery, such as the removal of polyps and other tissue that could lead to cancer if left untreated.  They may also provide advice and recommendations to help you reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer and other diseases.

The benefit of seeing a colorectal surgeon is that they understand the physiology of the lower GI tract. They also have the necessary skills and experience to diagnose and treat conditions that require surgical intervention. Seeing a colorectal surgeon also means that you will have access to the most advanced treatments and surgical techniques.

If you experience symptoms involving your lower gastrointestinal tract, your first step should be to visit your general physician or a specialist. If your condition requires surgery, the doctor will refer you to a colorectal surgeon who can evaluate your condition and determine the best course of action.

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