What Subspecialties Do Colorectal Surgeons Have?
An expert in treating gastrointestinal and urinary tract issues is a colon and rectal surgeon.
The small intestine, colon, rectum, and anus, as well as liver, urinary tract, and female reproductive system issues linked to the gut, are all conditions that a colon and rectal surgeon addresses in patients. Colorectal surgeons are highly trained subspecialists who use a mix of medical and surgical techniques to diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions, such as infections, incontinence, inflammatory bowel disease, and colon cancer.
A colorectal surgeon typically:
- Examines a patient's medical background and provides advice on how to preserve gut health and stay healthy
- Examines the patient's blood pressure and vital signs
- Prescribes medications, places prescriptions for, and evaluates lab and imaging tests
- Diagnoses and treats gastrointestinal and rectum conditions as well as anomalies of the pelvic floor and incontinence in both acute and chronic forms.
- Direct treatment for intestinal and associated illnesses is offered in the hospital, outpatient surgery center, clinic, office, and clinic settings.
- Among the disorders that may be checked for, treated for, and monitored are colon polyps and cancer.
- Examples of procedures used to diagnose and treat intestinal problems include colonoscopy and bowel obstruction repair.
- Ccollaborates with your primary care physician, as well as other professionals and members of your healthcare team, to provide the best possible care.
Colon and rectal surgeons are referred to as proctologists, colorectal surgeons, colon specialists, and colon surgeons.
Who Qualifies For The Services Of A Colon And Rectal Surgeon?
Your primary care doctor may treat specific conditions like mild hemorrhoids and sporadic constipation or diarrhea in addition to managing your general digestive health. Many people seek out a colorectal surgeon for the first time when their primary care physician or another specialist detects or suspects a more complex condition, including colon polyps or incontinence. Colorectal surgeons are also recommended patients who may have serious sickness signs for further evaluation. For instance, rectal bleeding or unexplained, chronic diarrhea or constipation may be symptoms of intestinal obstruction or colon cancer.
The best way to reduce the possibility of long-term harm, disability, and other difficulties is to see a colorectal surgeon for early treatment or preventive therapy before serious bowel problems appear.
When Should You Consult A Colon And Rectal Surgeon?
Consult a colorectal surgeon if you suffer any of the symptoms or conditions described below.
- Anal or groin area abscess or boil.
- Bowel or bladder incontinence.
- Bleeding in the cervix or tarry, black stools.
- Unaccounted-for itchiness or burning around the anus.
- Undiagnosed or persistent diarrhea or constipation.
- Unknown or severe anal, rectal, or stomach pain.
You should seek treatment from a colon and rectal surgeon in the situations listed below:
- You need ongoing monitoring and specialized treatment because you have rectal prolapse, ulcerative colitis, or any other condition affecting your digestive, urinary, or female reproductive systems.
- It is necessary to have specialized gut testing or procedures, such a colonoscopy.
- Your primary care physician finds a problem that needs further investigation, such as blood in your stool or an abdominal tumor.
If you need knowledge of the female reproductive system, urinary tract, and digestive system, choose a skilled, board-certified colon and rectal surgeon.
Various Issues Are Dealt With By A Colon And Rectal Surgeon
Intestinal, urinary tract, and female reproductive system issues are all treated by a colorectal surgeon. Some of the ailments they treat include the ones listed below:
- Colon and rectal cancer may be brought on by polyps, which are precancerous tumors.
- Diverticulosis is a disorder where pockets form in the colon wall (diverticulae).
- Cracks in the anus.
- In the rectum and anus, hemorrhoids are protruding veins that hurt and are uncomfortable.
- The anus and rectum are infected by abscesses, fistulas, and anal warts.
- Two varieties of inflammatory bowel illness include Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis (IBD).
- It's usual for pelvic organs including the bladder and the rectal organs to prolapse.
- Examples of problems with urination and bowel movements include incontinence, prolonged constipation or diarrhea, and pee retention.
What Sorts Of Things Do Colon And Rectal Surgeons Investigate?
A colorectal surgeon is qualified to recommend or carry out a variety of diagnostic and screening procedures for conditions affecting the intestines, other digestive organs, the female and male reproductive systems, and general health issues. They also interpret the results of the following tests:
- Using a barium enema (lower GI series of X-rays), abnormalities in the colon may be found.
- Colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy are procedures used to examine the whole colon (colonoscopy) or the lower portion of the colon (sigmoidoscopy) (colonoscopy).
- Using a digital rectal examination, feel the anus and rectum for abnormalities and look for blood in the stool.
- Some of the general health and screening tests available include the complete blood count (CBC), blood coagulation tests, blood cultures, urinalysis, chest and abdominal X-rays, blood glucose (sugar) testing, electrolyte tests, liver and kidney function tests, and blood pressure monitoring.
- The rectum is examined with a proctoscope, a tiny, lighted tube.
- In a virtual colonoscopy, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) are utilized to look for intestinal abnormalities (MRI)
What Operations And Treatments Are Performed By A Colon And Rectal Surgeon?
The following medical procedures, surgeries, and treatments are provided by colorectal surgeons:
- You'll need intestinal obstruction surgery to remove the blockage and repair the colon.
- The surgical surgery known as a colectomy (also known as a colon resection) involves removing all or a portion of the colon.
- Evaluation and removal of precancerous growths throughout the colon during colonoscopy with polypectomy (polyps).
- The surgical operation known as a colostomy enables excrement to pass from the large intestine into the abdomen.
- Perianal and pilonidal abscesses, for example, are surgically incised and drained.
- Hemorrhoids that are large, painful, or bleed may need to be removed and treated further.
- Medicines include antibiotics and anti-inflammatories.
- Numerous problems with the female reproductive system, the colon, and the urinary tract are diagnosed and treated using pelvic laparoscopy.
Training And Certification In Colon And Rectal Surgery
Your primary care physician or another specialist could suggest that you have specialized treatment or surgery from a colon and rectal surgeon. Regardless of whether you get a referral or not, choose a surgeon who is board certified in colon and rectal surgery. Board certification raises a doctor's degree of expertise. It verifies that the doctor has completed specialty-specific resident training and has all required credentials.
The American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery certifies qualified MDs and DOs who have finished specialized training in colon and rectal surgery (ABCRS). The Board must demand general surgery certification (from the American Board of Surgery).
To maintain board certification in colon and rectal surgery, a physician must finish an ongoing certification program.
Remember that doing colon and rectal surgery does not need board certification for doctors. General surgeons and surgical oncologists, for instance, conduct several different kinds of colon and rectum procedures. Additionally, surgeons certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Proctology have a speciality in colon and rectal surgery. Most of these experts refer to themselves as "colon and rectal surgeons" rather than "proctologists."
To find out which kind of expert could be most helpful to you, speak with your doctor. It's probable that it will depend on how complicated the needed operation is. When choose a colon and rectal surgeon, ask about their education and expertise with the treatment you need. Think on the surgical care quality at the surgeon's hospital.