Proctology is a branch of medicine that studies diseases of the colon, anus and pararectal cavity. In Russia, since 1997, the specialty was officially renamed coloproctology, and doctors, accordingly, became coloproctologists. According to statistics, there are 350 patients in the coloproctology department for every 1,000 adults worldwide. What you need to know about the referral, what symptoms should you visit a coloproctologist, how is the diagnosis and treatment?

General characteristics of the direction

Diseases of the rectum were tried to be treated in ancient times. The "father of medicine" Hippocrates paid special attention to coloproctological pathologies, as they affected the quality of life of a huge number of the population. Methods of cauterization or clipping of hemorrhoids are still popular, but in a more modern and improved form.

Diseases of the rectum were studied not only by Greek, but also by Eastern scientists. For example, Abu Ali Ibn Sina studied coloproctological pathologies in detail, shared the secrets of drug and surgical therapy.

Despite the impressive theoretical base, coloproctology became an independent discipline only by the middle of the 20th century. Prior to this, the direction was part of surgery. The modern industry continues to develop, based on related disciplines - therapy, surgery and gastroenterology.

What is included in the list of duties of a doctor

The first thing a coloproctologist makes is a plan for diagnosing a patient. It depends on the age, the nature of the diseases and the purpose of the treatment (treatment / prevention / examination). The specialist determines the clinical picture, informs the patient about his condition and decides on further manipulations. The coloproctologist guides the patient at all stages of treatment - from diagnosis to recovery after surgery.

A practicing coloproctologist performs surgical and elective interventions on the large intestine, pelvic organs, rectum, perineum, retroperitoneal tissue. Also, the doctor is engaged in postoperative rehabilitation of patients on an outpatient basis or in a hospital. After rehabilitation, the doctor draws up a preventive course that will help avoid relapse.

Coloproctologists-surgeons and therapists are distinguished into a separate category. The surgeon makes decisions about emergency medical care (for example, for rectal veins or bleeding) and deals with the surgical aspects of treatment.

The therapist specializes in the treatment of colitis of infectious/non-infectious etiology, intoxication provoked by diseases of the large intestine, helminthic invasion.

An incomplete list of pathologies that the doctor works with:

  1. Hemorrhoids. Violation of the functionality of the hemorrhoidal veins, which form knots around the rectum. Primary symptoms are constipation, itching in the anus, heaviness, episodic pain. With untimely access to a doctor, bleeding, thrombosis and necrosis of the hemorrhoidal node are possible.
  2. Rectocele. Pathological protrusion of the rectum. Most often, pathology develops in women (due to anatomical features), and the rectum protrudes towards the vagina.
  3. Fissure of the anus. This is a spontaneously occurring longitudinal rupture, wound or ulcer of the anal mucosa. It is fraught with painful sensations during defecation, bleeding.
  4. Colitis. Inflammation of the mucous membrane of the colon. The disease affects men aged 40 to 60 years and women aged 20 to 60 years. Inflammation can become chronic.
  5. Gallstone disease. Formation of stones (calculi) in the gallbladder and ducts of the organ. In the early stages, the disease can be corrected with medication. In advanced cases, surgery is indicated.
  6. Paraproctitis. Acute inflammation of the pararectal tissue. In the absence of therapy, the process can take a chronic form. Paraproctitis is considered one of the most common coloproctological diseases (from 20 to 40% of all pathologies of the rectum).
  7. Oncological diseases. Rectal cancer ranks third among all cases of malignant tumors. It is very important to identify the tumor at the first stage of development. Be attentive to your own body. Even minor symptoms such as loose stools can indicate major internal changes.
  8. Diffuse polyposis. It is characterized by the growth of polyps in the large intestine. In especially severe cases, polyps affect the entire gastrointestinal tract. The disease is genetic and manifests itself at a young age. The only way to get rid of polyposis is through surgery.

What symptoms should seek help for?

A visit to the coloproctologist is one of the mandatory events of the annual comprehensive examination. But there are emergency cases when the visit needs to be rescheduled for the near future. Seek immediate medical attention if you notice blood on your clothes or toilet paper.

Itching, unusual discharge (pus, blood, mucus), discomfort, sensation of a foreign body, feeling of incomplete emptying during bowel movements also indicate coloproctological problems.

Even minimal episodic pain should alert the patient, since all processes occurring in the body have a cause and effect. All these symptoms may indicate hemorrhoids, an inflammatory process, or any other pathology.

Don't wait too long to see a doctor if you don't want to be taken to an appointment by an ambulance after a prolapsed hemorrhoid. There are certain categories of patients who need to visit a proctologist regularly. These include women in labor in the last weeks of pregnancy, women who have given birth and women who have reached menopause.

Regular examinations are indicated for overweight people, office workers, all people over 40 years of age and patients who have undergone surgery on the organs of the perineum or colon/rectum.

Diagnostic methods

The arsenal of coloproctological diagnostics includes both instrumental and visual, X-ray, bacteriological methods of research.

Remember - early diagnosis greatly increases the chances of a quick cure and minimal consequences for the body. Visit specialized doctors regularly to monitor your own health and prevent diseases in a timely manner.

First of all, the coloproctologist finds out the patient's complaints, conducts a general examination, and collects an anamnesis. If the state of the body is suspicious, the doctor writes out a referral for diagnosis or conducts it on his own. Most often, this is ultrasound, a biochemical / microbiological study of feces.


Additional anoscopy, gastroscopy, sigmoidoscopy, or biopsy may be needed.

Features of therapy

Therapy can be divided into 3 categories - general, local and operative. Under the general treatment means the use of antibiotics, vitamins, laxatives, painkillers, sedatives.

In addition, the doctor prescribes a special medicinal diet and exercise to improve the body's performance.

Local treatment is used to heal wounds in the perineum, relieve pain, irritation, itching, swelling and eliminate complications. The therapeutic course, in addition to medicines, includes baths, cleansing / medicinal enemas, various hygiene measures. Surgical treatment includes laser, radio wave surgery, cryosurgery, electrocoagulation and other modern techniques.

The prescription of one or another drug course depends on the basic indicators of health and the degree of damage to the body. Regardless of the prescribed treatment, its completion is followed by a recovery period. Some patients are treated as outpatients, while others are inpatients. The coloproctologist should monitor the person's condition, help the body return to its usual rhythm and prevent a possible relapse.

Strictly follow the doctor's prescriptions and be healthy.