What Is a Proctologist, and What Do They Treat

What Is A Proctologist?

A proctologist is someone who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, disorders or other problems of the urinary tract. Most commonly, these are conditions such as cystitis (inflammation of the bladder), urethritis (inflammation of the urethra) and pyelonephritis (inflammation of the kidney). Other common diagnoses include endometriosis, neoplasms, tumors and infections.

Proctologists have a wide range of specialties. Some specialize in just one type of disease; others may work on multiple types. They may perform many different kinds of tests, including urine and blood testing, x-rays, ultrasound examinations and even surgery. Many also take part in research projects involving new treatments for various diseases.

The term “proctologist” comes from the Greek word meaning “to cut.” These doctors are usually physicians, but not all are. There are also dentists, podiatrists and veterinarians among others.

What Types Of Conditions Does A Proctologist Treat?

There is no single list of conditions that a proctologist will treat. However, there are some general categories of diseases that most proctologists would likely treat:

Kidney stones Kidney stone patients often complain of pain when urinating or having sexual relations. The pain can become so severe that it interferes with daily life. A proctologist can provide extensive tests to determine both the location and size of stones, as well as possible treatments to make the patient feel better.

Inflammation of the bladder and urethra Inflammation of these organs, usually caused by infection, is common, but can become very painful. Proctologists can perform various tests to determine the cause, such as urine testing and blood tests. They can also provide treatment to make the patient feel better.

Anal fissures Anal fissures are small tears or cuts in the lining of the rectum. They cause sharp pains when taking a bowel movement, and some patients may notice a small amount of bright red blood on the toilet paper or in the toilet after a bowel movement. A proctologist can provide treatment to help the patient feel better. Treatment may include pain medications or, in severe cases, surgery.

Colorectal cancer If a patient experiences digestive tract bleeding, persistent diarrhea, constipation or a change in bowel habits that lasts longer than eight weeks, they should see a proctologist to get tested for colorectal cancer and other conditions. A proctologist can perform a colonoscopy to take a look inside the large intestine and rectum and check for signs of cancer or other problems.

Recurrent hemorrhoids Many people experience hemorrhoid flare-ups that cause discomfort and pain. However, proctologists don’t treat these conditions; instead, they refer patients to a general physician or surgeon who can provide treatment. This may include medicated creams, rubber band ligation or other procedures.

Anal fistula These are small tunnels that connect an abscess (pus-filled pocket) to the skin outside the body. They often develop after an injury or surgery. In addition to physical exams, proctologists can provide extensive tests to determine if a patient has an abscess or fistula, such as CT scans and MRIs. If they determine that a patient has an abscess or fistula, they can refer the patient to a general surgeon or specialist for proper treatment.

Sources & references used in this article:

The AEtiology and Treatment of Fibrous Stricture of the Rectum (including Lymphogranuloma Inguinale):(Section of Surgery: Sub-Section of Proctology) by R Bensaude, A Lambling – Proceedings of the Royal Society of …, 1936 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

The role of quacks in the practice of proctology by PJ Gupta – Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci, 2010 – europeanreview.org

Treatment of complex fistula-in-ano with a nitinol proctology clip by A Nordholm-Carstensen, PM Krarup… – Diseases of the Colon …, 2017 – ingentaconnect.com

The Treatment of Disease in TCM: Diseases of the Urogenital System and Proctology by P Sionneau, L Gang – 1999 – books.google.com

Ambulatory surgery in proctology by P Kosorok – Acta chirurgica Iugoslavica, 2004 – doiserbia.nb.rs

Clinical applications of radiofrequency in proctology: a review by V Filingeri, G Gravante… – European review for …, 2006 – europeanreview.org