Of late, if you have been hearing about conditions like haemorrhoids or piles a lot, then you are not alone. The prevalence of proctological diseases such as fissures, anal fistula, pilonidal sinus diseases – and, especially, haemorrhoids – are on the rise world over.
For the unaware, haemorrhoids refer to a medical condition in which the blockage of the anal opening occurs due to swelling of blood vessels in your anus. Like haemorrhoids, many conditions affect the lower digestive tract, such as abscesses and fistulae, fissures, constipation, IBD, polyps, etc. To treat them properly, who is the right medical specialist to consult with?
This is where the field of proctology and specialists, called proctologists, come into the picture. With unhealthy lifestyles wreaking havoc on the colorectal region of our bodies at an alarming rate, proctologists and innovative proctology procedures have emerged as life-savers. Proctology is now a super-speciality in certain hospitals as well, giving patients access to state-of-the-art healthcare and services in an unprecedented manner.
Without further ado, let us dive deep into:
- • What do proctologists treat?
- • When should you consult a proctologist?
- • What are some of the most advanced proctology procedures and services?
What types of conditions do proctologists treat?
Now that we know what proctology is and what proctologists do, let us glance at the common conditions that proctologists specialise in treating.
- Abscesses and fistulae
Abscesses and fistulae broadly constitute the typical infections near the anus and rectum. Abscesses are defined as pus-filled cavities near the anus or the rectum. On the other hand, an anal fistula is a tunnel or track between the outside anal/buttock skin and the inside anal canal area. Anal fistulae often develop a few weeks or months after the formation of an abscess. So, it is important to treat them both together.
- Anal skin tags
Any non-cancerous, harmless growth of small bumps of skin around the anus is referred to as anal skin tags. These are caused due to the excess growth of skin around the anus, are often darker in colour than your skin, and can develop itchiness or discomfort in certain cases.
As the name suggests, anal fissures are small tears caused in the delicate, moist tissue, and mucosa lining of the anus. Anal fissures often cause anal bleeding and pain during bowel movements. They are caused by the passage of unusually large or hard stool.
Constipation is medically defined as a condition wherein a patient has less than three or highly difficult bowel movements in a week. While constipation itself is not a huge issue, it can be an indicator of an underlying colorectal condition – especially if it occurs frequently.
- Haemorrhoids or piles
Haemorrhoids or piles is a very common condition that is caused due to swelling or inflammation of veins around the rectum or the anus – either internally or externally. This results in pain and bleeding from time to time. Excessive straining during bowel movements, pregnancy or obesity often is the number one cause of haemorrhoids.
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
The chronic inflammation of various parts of the digestive tract is termed Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD. It comprises common inflammatory disorders such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. While ulcerative colitis only affects the colon, Crohn’s disease targets both the colon and the ileum.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS, as the name suggests, comprises a group of intestinal symptoms that affect the stomach, the large intestine and the abdomen. Bloating, cramping, wind, constipation, and diarrhoea are all symptoms of IBS. It is often a chronic condition.
Any small clump of cells or precancerous growths that occur along the inner lining of the colon or the rectum is termed colorectal polyps. While most polyps are benign, they can turn into colorectal cancer. As per research, it takes almost 10 years for a polyp to become cancerous.
- Rectal prolapse
Rectal prolapse is a condition in which the rectum slips from its regular position in the pelvic area to outside the anus. Common symptoms of rectal prolapse include the inability to control bowel movement, stool leakage, etc. It often occurs due to the weakening of the rectum-supporting muscles.
When should you consult with a proctologist?
Due to a lack of awareness around colorectal issues or the taboo of speaking about them, it is easy to brush symptoms under the carpet. However, given the huge list of health conditions we have listed above, it is prudent to realise that doing so poses a health risk.
In India, most patients are often referred to a proctologist by other doctors. However, you can be vigilant about certain symptoms which should be reason enough to pay a visit to a super speciality proctology hospital near you.
Most importantly, be open and frank with your proctologist and do not hesitate from talking about all the issues that you are experiencing. Not doing so can lengthen and complicate your diagnosis and will often require more tests for the proctologist to determine the true nature of your issues.
Here is when to consult with an experienced proctologist:
- • Severe constipation
- • Inability to control or regulate your bowel movement, i.e., faecal incontinence
- • The sensation of pain or discomfort around the anus or the rectum
- • Any form of blood in stools
- • Any form of bloody or unusual discharge from the anus
- • Itching or burning sensation near the anal region
- • Presence of warts, bumps or a foreign body near the anal area
World-class proctology services – now within your reach
Nowadays, gaining access to advanced proctology services and procedures is becoming easier with many super-speciality hospitals providing excellent treatment and infrastructure for the same. Experienced proctologists and colorectal surgeons have expertise in a wide range of diagnostic procedures, tests and surgeries to accurately assess patients and treat them for quick and holistic recovery.
Some of the procedures they specialise in include:
- • Colonoscopy
- • Anoscopy
- • Proctoscopy
- • Sigmoidoscopy
- • Digital rectal exams
- • Endorectal ultrasound
- • Bowel obstruction repair
- • Haemorrhoid removal
- • Laser surgeries
At our Proctology super-speciality, we comprise a team of highly experienced and accomplished specialists who rely upon the latest diagnostics and high-calibre technology procedures to treat a wide spectrum of colorectal disorders. We have expertise in:
- Inguinal and Abdominal Hernias with Laparoscopic Treatment
- Advanced surgery for haemorrhoids such as
- • Stapler Hemorrhoidopexy
- • HAL +RAR (RBL)/THD & Banding etc.
- • Piles, Perianal abscess & fistulectomy/fistulotomy (High & Low)
- • Anal Fissure & sphincterotomy
- • Pilonidal surgery
If you are suffering from common colorectal issues, book an appointment with our expert proctologists today. At the end of the day, only a specialist can make a world of difference to your colorectal health and treat the conditions that you might otherwise ignore or consider untreatable. Remember, a healthy gut means a healthy and happy life.