A colorectal surgeon is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating anorectal and colorectal problems (conditions of the colon, rectum and anus). They are known as “proctologists” because they have additional training in colorectal surgery and can treat patients surgically if necessary.
Hemorrhoids, anal fissures, fistulas, anal itching, anal cancer, rectal cancer, colon cancer, diverticulitis, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, rectal prolapse, pilonidal cysts, anal condyloma, fecal incontinence, and chronic constipation are all disorders treated by colorectal surgeons.
Patients frequently express their uncertainty about which specialist they should consult for their condition: The response is usually determined by the patient’s individual ailment and the stage of that condition.
The following is a brief comparison of Colorectal Surgeons and other specialists:
- Gastroenterologists are trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology, whereas colorectal surgeons are trained in general surgery and colon and rectal surgery.
- Colorectal surgeons specialize in problems with the colon, rectum, and anus, whereas gastroenterologists manage problems with any part of the digestive tract.
- Gastroenterologists do not do surgery, whereas colorectal surgeons do.
- Gastroenterologists send patients to colorectal surgeons once they have exhausted all medicinal alternatives and need surgery.
- Colorectal surgeons are referred to Gastroenterology patients once a colonoscopy has revealed malignancy and the tumor needs to be surgically removed (s)
- Compared to general surgeons and surgical oncologists, colorectal surgeons are particularly educated to handle disorders of the colon, rectum, and anus.
If you think you may need a colorectal surgeon, speak with your primary care doctor or search for one online.