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Last reviewed by: Aleksey Portnov , medical expert, on 19.06.2018

Who is a proctologist and what does he do? Proctology - a branch of medicine, dealing with the study of diseases of the large intestine (rectum and colon) and anus.

Proctologist is a doctor who is engaged in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of colon pathologies. Such diseases include hemorrhoids, an itch in the anus, cracks in the anus, ulcers, prolapse of the rectum, proctitis, paraproctitis, stool incontinence, constipation, perianal pain and other problems. Since the diseases of this sphere are quite intimate, they also seek help from a doctor in case of emergency, often in the advanced stage of the disease.

The reasons for the emergence of proctologic diseases are many, including the abuse of certain types of medications (laxative, oral contraceptives), immobile lifestyle, low mobility, eating disorders, alcohol problems, anal sex, pregnancy. All these factors lead to a violation of blood circulation and stagnation of blood in the small pelvis, and as a consequence - a violation of blood circulation in the rectum. And under the condition of several risk factors, the probability of developing pathologies of the large intestine and rectum increases several fold.

When should I go to the proctologist?

When should I go to the proctologist to avoid serious complications? First of all, you need to pay attention to the first signals, indicating the problems of the large intestine. The problem is that the symptoms in the early stages of the disease are almost not expressed. There are signs of intestinal discomfort: frequent bowel movements or vice versa, constipation, unpleasant sensations in the abdomen - pulling pains, bloating, feeling of foreign body in the rectum, feeling pressure on the belly of the belt. These are the first signs of a developing pathological process in the large intestine. Later the symptoms are supplemented with constant pains in the lower abdomen, diarrhea or prolonged constipation, secretion of mucus, blood or purulent exudate, itching of the anal passage, burning, fever, exhaustion, symptoms of intoxication.

Immediately seek qualified help when you have these symptoms: 

  • pain in the abdomen and in the anus; 
  • discharge of mucus or pus from the anus; 
  • bleeding or veins of blood on the stool surface; 
  • constipation; 
  • colonic obstruction; 
  • bloating; 
  • false desires for defecation; 
  • diarrhea
  • incontinence of stool and gases; 
  • bleeding or veins of blood on the stool surface; 
  • pain or discomfort during defecation; 
  • constipation.

What tests should I take when I go to a proctologist?

What tests you need to take when you contact a proctologist depends on which preliminary analysis will be established. After all, timely diagnosis and detection of the pathology of the large intestine is the key to effective treatment.

When hemorrhoids are prescribed a general clinical blood test to determine the presence of anemia that occurs with frequent bleeding.

Analysis of feces for latent blood. Analysis is necessary to identify bleeding zones in the upper intestine.

If there is a suspicion of dysbacteriosis, irritable bowel syndrome and other diseases, the proctologist prescribes a special analysis - sowing feces on the nutrient medium to determine the presence of pathogenic microflora in the intestine and to determine sensitivity to antibacterial drugs and bacteriophages.

When suspected of helminthiasis, an analysis of feces for eggs of the worm is prescribed .

If a suspected fungal disease of the perianal zone or anogenital herpes is prescribed a smear from the perianal area.

If suspected of polyps of the intestine, DNA-diagnostics are performed to determine the presence of mutations in the genes. The presence of polyps is a predetermining factor in the development of colon cancer, so timely diagnosis and treatment can prevent this disease.

What diagnostic methods does the proctologist use?

What methods of diagnosis the proctologist uses depends on the preliminary diagnosis. Reception at the proctologist lasts on the average from 30 to 60 minutes, for this period of time the doctor can carry out diagnostics including methods of anoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, rectal finger examination, ultrasound diagnosis of the abdominal cavity, oncological and other examinations.

In addition, the proctologist may assign additional diagnostic methods: 

Also, the proctologist can apply the following technique and approach for treatment of proctologic diseases: 

  • sparing, non-surgical method of treating hemorrhoids;
  • complete painless diagnosis of diseases of the rectum;
  • removal of hemorrhoids without surgery, without pain, without changing the habitual way of life;
  • highly effective treatment of rectal cracks;
  • removal of polyps;
  • treatment of prolapse of rectum;
  • surgical treatment.

It is important to remember that timely treatment to a doctor and refusal of self-treatment will help prevent the development of severe complications and will accelerate the period of complete recovery of the body.

What does the proctologist do?

What does the proctologist do and what is the area of his specialization? The doctor-proctologist is engaged in measures of preventive maintenance, diagnostics and treatment of illnesses of a thick and a rectum. Among the common diseases in this area are hemorrhoids, proctitis, paraproctitis, anal anus, anal fissures, fistulas, polyps, ulcers, prolapse of rectum, incontinence.

Most of these diseases begin with a defecation disorder - there is diarrhea or constipation, there are secretions from the anus (purulent, bloody), emptying painful, in sitting position also disturb the pain in the lower abdomen. Because of the intimacy of the problems, the patients delay the visit to the doctor, and as a result, the illnesses acquire a rather severe form.

In order not to embarrass the patient, the doctor can take a patient's appointment at home, this situation will not embarrass the patient, and the doctor will be able to collect anamnesis, carry out a check-up and put forward a diagnosis version, and if necessary, specify additional diagnoses for the initial diagnosis. Plus, some of the instrumental methods of research can be carried out even at home - modern technology allows the use of portable equipment in any conditions.

What diseases does the proctologist treat?

What diseases does the proctologist treat? The proctologist (coloproctologist) specializes in the diagnosis, prevention of pathologies of the rectum, colon and anus. Previously, the proctologist's specialization included diseases of the rectum alone, and the coloproctologist deals with pathologies of the two parts of the large intestine (direct and colon).

In 1997, the "proctology" branch of medicine was officially renamed "coloproctology", therefore, in fact, proctology and coloproctology are one area. Separate the two sections of the proctology - surgical and therapeutic.

Surgical proctology specializes in urgent conditions of the rectum - bleeding from a torn hemorrhoidal node, etc.

Therapeutic proctology specializes in the treatment of intestinal intoxications, parasitic infections, colitis.

Diseases, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of which the proctologist is engaged:

  • polyps; 
  • injuries; 
  • foreign bodies; 
  • tumors; 
  • anal fissures
  • prolapse of the intestine; 
  • helminthic invasions; 
  • proctitis; 
  • paraproctitis
  • colitis; 
  • epithelial coccygeal passage; 
  • papillitis; 
  • polyps of the rectum
  • diverticula of the large intestine; 
  • anaecopic pain syndrome.

Advices of the doctor of the proctologist

The advice of a doctor of the proctologist is reduced to the prevention of diseases of the colon and rectum and the refusal of self-treatment with the appearance of the first signs of impaired bowel function.

Preventing the appearance of hemorrhoids: 

  • treatment of constipation and diarrhea (diarrhea), normalization of the digestive tract, regular and balanced nutrition. 
  • full or partial refusal to drink alcohol, strongly spicy, smoked and salty foods. 
  • observance of personal hygiene after visiting the toilet. Careful observance of the purity of the anal area after each defecation. If necessary, the refusal to use toilet paper and the transition to washing with water at room temperature with soap after visiting the toilet, in order to prevent exacerbations, cool manganese baths (pale pink solution) should be made 1,5-2 minutes after each stool. 
  • When there are initial signs of hemorrhoids, you must abandon any physical activity. 
  • pregnant women, to reduce venous congestion in the pelvic organs recommend daily gymnastics, walking, a diet with a lot of laxative products, a ban on wearing tight belts. 
  • those who lead a sedentary lifestyle, you need to do gymnastics, swimming, walking more.

Prophylaxis of rectal cancer primarily affects patients at risk - with polyps of the rectum, chronic inflammation of the capsule of the rectum, cracks in the anus. Patients with diagnosed pathologies are registered with a proctologist and must visit the doctor at least once a year. When visiting a doctor, the patient is given an analysis of feces for latent blood, rectosigmoscopy, colonoscopy or irrigoscopy.

Prevention of constipation takes place in several stages: 

  • Normalization of nutrition. From the menu it is necessary to exclude foods that inhibit intestinal peristalsis - meat products, sugar, sweet, eggs, white bread, various pastries, chocolate. You need as often as possible to eat fruits, vegetables, cereals, food, rich in fiber. Fiber stimulates the work of the intestines, facilitates the act of defecation. 
  • Also need to drink the required amount of liquid - about 2 liters of total body weight. 
  • Eating large quantities of vegetables and fruits in raw form, boiled, stewed, steamed. 
  • There are small, small portions to prevent overeating. 
  • Do not tolerate, do not hold back the act of defecation. 
  • Use laxatives and antibacterial drugs with extreme caution, in case of emergency. 
  • Also, an important aspect of prevention of constipation is the maintenance of physical activity, for example, walking regularly - this will help keep the intestines and the whole body toned.

Prevention of polyps of the large intestine is as follows: 

  • Timely address to the doctor, early diagnosis and treatment of chronic colitis, constipation, dysbiosis. 
  • Diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. 
  • Compliance with a diet rich in fiber and sour-milk products. Restriction of fatty, spicy, canned, meat, fried foods. 
  • Admission of vitamin complexes, rich in beta-carotene (provitamin A). 
  • Admission of special drugs after the oncological diseases transferred - photostim, prolongin. 
  • Annual immunochemical testing of patients over 40 years of latent blood in feces. 
  • Endoscopic examination of the large intestine (sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy).

Prevention of anal fissures does not require compliance with complex rules, enough: 

  • Eat mostly foods that contain more fiber to avoid constipation. 
  • Do not tolerate, do not interfere with defecation. 
  • Wash the area of the anus with cool water after going to the toilet. 
  • Maintain the tone of the body, lead a mobile lifestyle.

Prophylaxis proctitis, inflammation of the rectal mucosa, can be reduced to adherence to several simple rules: 

  • Compliance with a healthy lifestyle, this includes a balanced diet, physical activity, rejection of bad habits. 
  • Refusal of doubtful sexual relations. 
  • Observance of personal hygiene. 
  • At casual, not checked up sexual contacts it is necessary to use a condom.

Prophylaxis of fistula formation of the rectum consists only in the speedy diagnosis and competent treatment of paraproctitis, excluding the traumatization of the rectum.

Also, it is important to remember that with the appearance of the first signs of dysfunction of the large intestine, you should immediately seek qualified help from a doctor for a proctologist and not engage in self-medication.

It is important to know!

Cryptite is an inflammation of the anal sinuses (Morgenian crypts), which are indentations in the very distal part of the rectum. The crypts are located between the anal (blink) rollers and are covered from the side of the luminal cavity by the semilunar flaps.

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