What exactly is proctology?
It is a part of medicine that deals with diseases related to the final stretch of the Digestive Tract, that is, the anus and rectum. Proctology is included within the specialty of General and Digestive Surgery and is attended by surgeons with a special interest in coloproctology.
What pathologies does proctology treat?
The most frequently treated pathologies are the following:
- Anal fissure
- Anal fistulas
Especially the first two are a very frequent reason for a visit to the proctologist. However, there are other reasons for consultation such as anal incontinence, constipation, difficulty in bowel movements (defecatory dysnergia) including pelvic floor pathology, problems resulting from Human Papilloma Virus infection (HPV, condyloma acuminata) and anal or rectal cancer.
What techniques are used for the treatment of these pathologies?
The proctologic examination includes clinical history and physical examination. The history will focus on signs and symptoms related to the anal region and the examination will include inspection and digital rectal examination along with anuscopy or rigid rectoscopy if necessary.
On the other hand, it is also possible to request complementary tests such as Nuclear Magnetic Resonance of the pelvis or dynamic type, colonoscopy, colonic transit time, endoanal ultrasound or anorectal function tests depending on the findings of the history and physical examination.
When should the proctologist be consulted?
Whenever the presence of anorectal pathology is suspected: bleeding or pain with bowel movements, impossibility or great difficulty in defecation and suspicion of injury in the anal area.