How Do You Go About Becoming A Colon & Rectal Surgeon?


A board-certified colon and rectal surgeon has completed at least a five-year general surgery residency program and one year in an ACGME-accredited colon and rectal surgery fellowship. The candidate has then passed the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery’s written (qualifying) and oral (certifying) examinations. Before taking the ABCRS Certification (Part II) Examination, all applicants must be certified by the American Board of Surgery.

Colon and rectal surgeons have specialized skills and expertise in the medical and surgical management of illnesses of the gastrointestinal system, colon and rectum, anal canal, and perianal area, in addition to general surgery knowledge. Colon and rectal surgeons are also experts in performing rectum and colon endoscopic procedures, as well as evaluating the anal sphincter and pelvic floor using anorectal physiology techniques. Minimally invasive abdominal surgery involving the colon and rectum, including robotic surgery, is also taught at colon and rectal surgical residency programs.

Colon and rectal cancer, polyps, inflammatory bowel disease, diverticulitis, pelvic floor abnormalities, and anal disorders like hemorrhoids, fissures, abscesses, and fistulae are all conditions that a colon and rectal surgeon is trained to treat. Colon and rectal surgery training also gives the specialist with a thorough understanding of intestinal and anorectal physiology, which is necessary for treating disorders like constipation and incontinence. Board-certified colon and rectal surgeons are dedicated to providing the finest level of treatment to patients suffering from digestive illnesses.

A colon and rectal surgeon addresses illnesses of the small intestine, colon, rectum, anal canal, and perianal area, as well as the organs and tissues associated with primary intestinal diseases (liver, urinary and female reproductive system). Hemorrhoids, fissures (painful tears in the anal lining), abscesses, and fistulae are among the problems they address (infections located around the anus and rectum). Cancer, polyps (precancerous growths), and inflammatory disorders of the bowel and colon are also diagnosed and treated by them.

What is the function of a colon and rectal surgeon?

Colon and rectal surgeons are skilled at treating colon and rectal disorders surgically and nonsurgically. In addition to extensive training in general surgery, they have completed specialized training in the treatment of colon and rectal issues. Colon and rectal surgeons treat benign and malignant disorders of the large and small intestines, as well as the anorectal region, as well as perform routine screening checks and, when necessary, surgically treat abnormalities.

Colon and rectal surgery has a narrow enough scope to allow a surgeon to specialize while remaining broad enough to keep a surgeon interested with its diverse procedures and patients. It covers a wide range of procedures, from large abdominal operations to outpatient anorectal surgeries and endoscopy using open or minimally invasive techniques. It also provides a great way of life, with options in both academia and private practice. Colon and rectal surgeons deal with a small number of emergency cases and do the majority of their work during daylight hours.

What is the role of a colon and rectal surgeon?

Colon and rectal surgeons have showed expertise in the following areas after specialized training:

  • Sphincter-sparing surgery, such as total mesorectal excision, Transanal Endoscopic Microsurgery (TEM), laparoscopic, and robotic resections, are used to treat colon and rectal malignancies
  • Inflammatory bowel illnesses, including ulcerative colitis with ileoanal pouches, and Crohn’s disease surgical management
  • Complex anorectal problems: diagnosis and therapy
  • Rectoceles and obstructed defecation are diagnosed and treated as pelvic floor illnesses
  • Treatment of complex diverticular illness with surgery
  • Rectal prolapse surgical procedures
  • Common anorectal problems are treated in the office and surgically
  • Sphincter repairs, the prosthetic intestinal sphincter, and Sacral Nerve Stimulation are examples of specialized incontinence procedures
  • Abdominal and pelvic surgery re-operations
  • Most of the conditions listed above can be treated with laparoscopic or other minimally invasive surgery

Colon and rectal surgeons undergo further training in colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, anoscopy, and endorectal ultrasound to supplement their office and operating room practices. A well-balanced practice and lifestyle are achieved by combining intra-abdominal cases, anorectal cases, and endoscopy.