What is a Colorectal Surgeon?
A colorectal surgeon is a medical professional who is experienced with the colon and rectum and is capable of diagnosing and treating diseases that affect these parts of the body. They treat illnesses and diseases that range from mild to severe, and they sometimes work with other specialists and doctors to determine how to treat their patients properly. They are sometimes referred to as proctologists.
How does a doctor become a Colorectal Surgeon?
To become a colorectal surgeon, a person must first complete an accredited undergraduate program. Next, they must attend at least 4 years of medical school. They must also attend 4-5 years of specialist education as a surgeon as well as a residency or fellowship wherein they will train under an experienced surgeon. Next, they must undergo specialty colorectal surgery training. They must also become certified and licensed.
What diseases do Colorectal Surgeons treat?
Colorectal surgeons treat illnesses and diseases that affect the colon and the rectum. They have been trained to diagnose these illnesses and treat them with various methods. These diseases may be severe or simple issues that can easily be corrected. Some of the most common diseases treated by a colorectal surgeon include:
- Colorectal cancer
- Ulcerative colitis
- Crohn's disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Diverticular disease
- Anal fissure
- Bowel incontinence
What types of diagnostic tests and procedures do Colorectal Surgeons use?
Colorectal doctors will not be able to treat diseases or illnesses if they don’t know how to diagnose them. They use a variety of different tests to help determine the cause of a disease and the exact disease they are dealing with. Once they have a proper diagnosis, they can determine the right treatment. Some types of diagnostic tests and procedures used by colorectal surgeons include:
- Fecal occult blood test (FOBT)
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy
- Double contrast barium enema (DCBE)
- Digital rectal exam
- Virtual colonoscopy
- Pathology tests
How do Colorectal Surgeons treat their patients?
Colorectal surgeons use a variety of different treatments to help their patients. They do not always opt for surgery and will likely suggest other treatment options before surgery. The treatment options depend on the cause of the disease, the severity of the disease, and the overall health of the patient. Some common treatments include:
When to see a Colorectal Surgeon?
Most people only see a colorectal surgeon once referred by their general physician or another specialist. Many of them have already been diagnosed with a colorectal disease or problem by the time they meet with a colorectal surgeon. Some common reasons to see a colorectal surgeon include: