Why Should You Consider Seeing a Proctologist?
Pain in the anorectal area can result from a wide range of conditions. Proctologists are surgeons that diagnose and treat disorders of the anus, rectum, and entire gastrointestinal tract. However, the term ‘proctologist’ is relatively outdated. Today, the preferred term is colorectal surgeon. If you are experiencing anal itching, pain, and other related symptoms, proctology Astoria offers personalized diagnosis and treatment. Here is a look at who a proctologist is, the disorders they treat, and when you should see one.
What Type of Conditions Do Proctologists Treat?
Colorectal surgeons specialize in diseases of the intestinal tract. The intestinal tract consists of the rectum, colon, anal colon, and perianal area. A proctologist treats the conditions that affect the intestinal tract. These include;
Hemorrhoids occur when your rectum and anus veins become swollen and enlarged. If you are experiencing hemorrhoids, you might see bright red blood in the toilet in your stool. External hemorrhoids cause itching, pain, and skin irritation.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
This refers to intestinal symptoms such as cramping, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation.
- Anorectal Abscess
An abscess happens when anal glands become infected, resulting in a swollen, painful, pus-filled area.
- Anal Fissures and Fistulas
An anal fissure is a tear in your anal lining. On the other hand, a fistula is an abnormal tunnel that occurs between the skin and anus, normally because of an infection.
- Pruritus Ani
If you experience an itchy, irritating feeling around your anus, you might be experiencing pruritus ani. The condition is a symptom of several conditions, including incontinence, hemorrhoids, anal fissures, and anal fistulas. The itchiness might also occur without any obvious reason.
- Anal Condyloma
Commonly referred to as anal warts, anal condyloma normally occurs when infected with human papillomavirus.
- Perianal Dermatitis
Perianal dermatitis is a condition that causes a rash around your anus. Contact or allergic dermatitis, inflammatory skin conditions, cancer, infections, and poor hygiene can cause this skin problem.
- Rectal Prolapse
This condition is where the rectum begins to go from its position into the anal opening.
What Tests Do Proctologists Use?
When you visit a proctologist, your provider will start by reviewing your medical history and symptoms. The proctologist will also conduct a physical exam whose results determine whether you require extra diagnostic testing. Some of the common diagnostic tests include; ultrasound, MRI, digital rectal exam, flexible sigmoidoscopy, and anoscopy. The diagnostic imaging tests show the function and structure of the anal canal, sphincter muscles, and rectum.
When Should You See a Proctologist?
You might not realize you need to see a proctologist until another doctor refers you. However, you might want to ask for a referral if you are experiencing symptoms such as; anal or rectal pain, anal itching, fecal incontinence, rectal or anal pain, anal warts, and fecal incontinence. A proctologist needs to understand your symptoms’ severity and full extent; otherwise, they will have difficulty diagnosing and recommending the right treatments. This is why discussing this openly with your proctologist is very important.
Ultimately, problems related to your gastrointestinal tract, anus, or rectum can be sensitive areas to discuss. However, you should rest assured that this is what a proctologist specializes in and deals with daily, and they are trained to listen without judgment. If you are experiencing symptoms such as rectal or anal pain, bumps, or bleeding, your doctor can refer you to a proctologist for more evaluation and appropriate treatment.