Proctologist vs. Gastroenterologist: Who Should You Consult for Colorectal Issues?

Proctologist vs Gastroenterologists

There are several differences between proctologists and gastroenterologists. These are the ways in which they differ:

  • What they do:

Proctologists are surgeons who diagnose and treat conditions that affect the rectum, anus, and entire gastrointestinal tract.

Gastroenterologists are doctors who specialize in disorders of the digestive system.

  • What they treat:

Proctologists treat the following disorders; polyps, anal skin tags, fissures and inflammatory bowel diseases along with others.

Gastroenterologists treat constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diarrhea, strictures, and hemorrhoids and many more illnesses.

  • What procedures they do:

Proctologists perform diagnostic and treatment procedures and also surgeries. Some common procedures performed by proctologists include colonoscopies, hemorrhoidectomies and fecal incontinence treatments.

Gastroenterologists perform a wide range of procedures to help diagnose and manage various gastrointestinal conditions. Some common procedures performed by gastroenterologists include colonoscopy, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography and endoscopic ultrasound.

What are Colorectal Issues?

Colorectal issues refer to a wide range of medical conditions and disorders that affect the colon (large intestine) and rectum, collectively known as the colorectal region. Some common colorectal issues include:

  • Colorectal Cancer:

Colorectal cancer occurs when abnormal cells grow uncontrollably in the colon or rectum.

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD):

IBD is a group of chronic inflammatory conditions that affect the gastrointestinal tract.

  • Diverticulitis:

Diverticula are small pouches that can form in the colon wall. When these pouches become inflamed or infected, it is called diverticulitis.

  • Hemorrhoids:

Hemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed veins in the rectum or anus. They can cause symptoms such as rectal bleeding, itching, discomfort, and pain.

  • Anal Fissures:

Anal fissures are small tears or cracks in the lining of the anus. They can cause pain, bleeding, and discomfort during bowel movements.

  • Anal Fistulas:

An anal fistula is an abnormal tunnel-like connection between the anal canal and the skin around the anus. It often develops as a result of an untreated anal abscess.

  • Constipation and Diarrhea:

Chronic constipation or diarrhea can be symptoms of underlying colorectal issues such as IBD, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or functional bowel disorders.

  • Rectal Prolapse:

Rectal prolapse occurs when the rectum protrudes through the anus. It can be partial or complete and may cause symptoms such as fecal incontinence, rectal bleeding, and discomfort.

Colorectal issues encompass a broad spectrum of conditions affecting the colon and rectum, ranging from benign to malignant. These conditions can significantly impact an individual's quality of life and may require medical intervention ranging from lifestyle modifications and medications to surgical procedures.

Do Proctologists or Gastroenterologists Treat Colorectal Issues?

Both proctologists and gastroenterologists are trained to diagnose and treat colorectal issues, but they may approach them from slightly different perspectives.

Proctologists, also known as colorectal surgeons or colorectal specialists, specifically focus on disorders affecting the colon, rectum, and anus. They have specialized training in surgical interventions related to these areas and may perform procedures such as hemorrhoidectomy, anal fistulotomy, and rectal prolapse surgery.

Gastroenterologists specialize in diagnosing and treating disorders of the entire digestive system, including the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, rectum, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts, and liver. They have expertise in performing procedures that can aid in the diagnosis and management of colorectal issues.

Ultimately, the choice between consulting a proctologist or a gastroenterologist may depend on factors such as the nature of the colorectal issue, the patient's symptoms and medical history, and the availability of specialists in the area.

Laser Gastroenterology Clinic - Your Trusted Partners in Digestive Health

At the Chennai Laser Gastro, we have both proctologists and gastroenterologists who are experts in treating many butt and tummy problems. We work together to make sure each person gets the right care they need. Our goal is to help you feel better and stay healthy by using the best and easiest treatments available. You can count on us to support you and guide you through getting better.

Dr. Karthik Gunasekaran