Colorectal surgery, formerly known as proctology, is a field of medicine that is responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the colon, rectum and anus. Procedures can be either surgical or less invasive, depending on what is being treated, however, many procedures are now carried out laparoscopically. Colorectal surgeons also treat benign and malignant conditions and carry out routine screenings for problems, such as bowel cancer screening.
What conditions does a colorectal surgeon treat?
Common conditions that are treated by colorectal surgeons include:
Which subspecialties are included under colorectal surgery?
Colorectal surgery is a subspecialty of general surgery. Therefore, colorectal surgeons have undergone training in general surgery, as well as further training in the diagnosis and treatment of colorectal diseases. Colorectal surgeons may have chosen areas of expertise over time, and some may train to become an expert in laparoscopic (minimally-invasive) colorectal surgery.
When should you see a colorectal surgeon?
You would see a colorectal surgeon if referred for any of the above colorectal conditions, or if you are undergoing screening for bowel and colorectal cancers. Colorectal surgery may also be required if a patient presents with an injury, obstruction or ischaemia to the colon, rectum or anus.