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A proctologist (a doctor who specializes in proctology) deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases related to the last section of the gastrointestinal tract, i.e. the large intestine, rectum, anal canal and anus. Patients in the advanced stage of the disease often report to the proctologist, because the first symptoms of this type of disease are often underestimated by patients.

Proctology: what is it?

Proctologyis a branch of medicine dealing with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases related to the last section of the gastrointestinal tract, that is:

  • large intestine
  • rectum
  • anal canal
  • with anus.

The final stretch of the digestive system has many important functions. In the large intestine, which consists of the cecum (caecum), colon and rectum, ending with an anus, many important processes take place, important for the proper functioning of the entire body. Food debris is converted into faeces, and water, vitamins, electrolytes and amino acids are absorbed. There is also production of, among others vitamins B12 and K by symbiotic bacteria.

Proctologist: who is this?

A doctor who specializes in proctology is a proctologist. The most common diseases that proctologists deal with include:

  • hemorrhoids
  • perianal abscess
  • anal fissure
  • fecal incontinence
  • ulcerative colitis
  • colonic diverticula
  • colon cancer
  • anal thrombosis
  • genital warts
  • prolapse of the rectal mucosa.

Proctologist: what does he do?

The patients who complain about problems related to the digestive system most often report to the proctologist. They have, among others

  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • gases
  • feeling bloated
  • pains (sharp, prickly, colic, throbbing, rushing) in the abdominal cavity
  • irregular or painful bowel movements
  • feeling of incomplete bowel movement

Another group of sick people, those who notice mucus or blood in their stools, complain of burning, irritation or itching around the anus.

Proctologist: proctological examination

Proctologistwill conduct a detailed interview with the patient, while the results of the tests performed so far should be brought to the visit. He will ask about previous diseases or conditions in the family and about the patient's lifestyle, because some diseases related to the large intestine, rectum, anal canal and anus are the result of improper diet, e.g. an improperly balanced daily menu, eating too large portions, irregular meals and eating them in a hurry.

The cause of some diseases may also be a sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise, because you have to remember that even the smallest, but regular physical activity improves intestinal peristalsis, and thus - decaying food residues and the toxins released from them do not lingering in the body. Some doctors also indicate everyday stress as the cause of some diseases that proctology deals with.

During the visit, the doctor may perform a rectal examination (with a finger through the anus). Although many people feel embarrassed or embarrassed by the very thought of this type of examination, the fact is that it allows an assessment of the condition of the anus, anal canal and rectum. An experienced doctor can thus make an initial diagnosis of many pathological changes (including rectal cancer), which most often occur in the anal canal.

What other tests can a proctologist order? The most frequently used are:

  • anoscopy - it is performed with the use of a special speculum, thanks to which the doctor can assess the condition of the anal canal and the end of the rectum),
  • rectoscopy - colonoscopy of the intestine takes place deeper than in the case of anoscopy, besides, the doctor may take tissue samples for examination,
  • colonoscopy - allows you to see the inside of the entire colon with a flexible endoscope, called a colonoscope, the doctor can also take samples for histopathological examination and remove polyps, widen intestinal strictures, stop bleeding from the end of the digestive system.

A proctologistmay also order X-rays of the large intestine, transrectal ultrasound, rectal enema, occult blood test and other histopathological, biochemical or laboratory tests (e.g. blood tests) .

Proctology: methods used in proctology

Treatment methods for proctology diseases depend on the disease and its severity. Sometimes pharmacological treatment is enough, in other cases it is necessary to perform the necessary procedures, e.g. removal of hemorrhoids, polyps, cysts or fibromas. In the case of common colorectal cancer in the early stagestreatment consists of surgical removal, in a more advanced stage, chemotherapy is required.

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