A proctologist is a surgeon who diagnoses and treats disorders related to the gastrointestinal tract. They specialize in treating diseases that occur in the rectal, anal, and colon regions, also referred to as anorectal diseases.

Over the recent years, the term proctologist is becoming outdated and now they are called colorectal surgeons. If you have any problem related to the lower digestive tract, you will have to visit a proctologist to get proper treatment.

Anorectal diseases are very common among people of all age groups. And most of these diseases have similar symptoms that make it harder for the person to self-diagnose the diseases. The different types of anorectal diseases are:

  • Abscess
  • Fistula
  • Anal skin tags
  • Fissures
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Colon and rectal cancer
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)

Among these diseases, hemorrhoids, fissures, and fistulas are the most common types of anorectal diseases. In most cases, these diseases can be treated using home remedies and over-the-counter (OTC) methods. But there will be times when a trip to the proctologist will be warranted.

Even though most anorectal diseases are not life-threatening, it is important that you know when to visit a doctor. So, here we give you a list of symptoms that require immediate attention from a proctologist.

Symptoms That Warrant a Visit to Proctologist

People often hesitate to discuss anal symptoms with the doctor. This results in a late diagnosis of anorectal disorders and impacts the health of the person. Therefore, we present a list of symptoms that are alarming enough to need a visit to specialists.

Anal Itching or Burning

Anal itching is a common symptom for a variety of anorectal disorders, including diarrhea, hemorrhoids, anal fissure, anal tumors, and sexually transmitted diseases. Along with anal itching, you will experience other symptoms such as burning sensation, soreness, visible redness, swelling, ulcers, or a rash around the anal region.
If the itchiness doesn’t disappear after a few days of trying self-care treatment methods and it starts disrupting your regular life, it is time that you visit a proctologist and get diagnosed to find the cause of anal itching.

Anal Bleeding or Discharge

Blood from the anus is a primary symptom of hemorrhoids and other conditions like anal fissures, inflammatory bowel diseases, ulcers, and colorectal cancer. This symptom is usually noticed during bowel movements. If you have an anal fistula, you will notice a foul-smelling discharge from the anus along with blood.
Sometimes, you may notice blood in the bowels if you pass a large and hard stool which should resolve when you eat fiber-rich food and drink plenty of water. However, if the bleeding lasts for more than a week, it is crucial that you don’t ignore the rectal bleeding and discharge. Consult with a proctologist to determine the accurate cause of anal bleeding. Only then, the doctor will suggest the most suitable treatment method.

Rectal Pain

Rectal pain is any kind of pain or discomfort that occurs in the anus, rectum, or the lower portion of the gastrointestinal tract. Usually, rectal pain can be caused due to muscle spasms or constipation. However, if rectal pain is accompanied by other symptoms such as itching, discharge, or bleeding, it means you need to visit a proctologist as soon as possible. It can be a sign of hemorrhoids, thrombosed hemorrhoids, anal fissures, anal fistula, IBD, fecal impaction, rectal cancer, etc.

Anal Bumps

Anal bumps can also be caused by a variety of factors such as anal fissures, hemorrhoids, anal skin tags, anal warts, and anal cancer. The bumps start to appear directly above the anus and surrounding area. If other symptoms are present, such as bleeding, burning sensation, pain, swelling, mucous discharge, or change in bowel movements, you should see a doctor immediately. Even though most causes of anal bumps can be treated, they can be more serious than you realize. Hence, you should not delay getting proper treatment.

Fecal Incontinence

Also known as bowel incontinence, this condition results in loss of bowel controls causing the infrequent involuntary passage of stools or complete loss of bowel control. It can be caused due to fecal impaction that is caused by chronic constipation, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, or damage to anal sphincter muscles. If this happens to you, visit a proctologist without any delay. If you don’t get proper treatment for fecal incontinence on time, you may have to rely on surgical procedures to restore the anal sphincter function.

What will the proctologist do to resolve these symptoms?

Not everyone is aware of these symptoms, let alone the diseases that can cause them. That’s why it is critical that you consult a proctologist. He/she will recommend some tests, such as colonoscopy, anoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, imaging tests, etc. to determine the accurate cause of the symptoms and the severity of the disease.
The ideal solution for the anorectal disease is also determined as per the severity of the condition. If the symptoms are mild, the doctor will suggest using home remedies or over-the-counter treatment methods. However, if the symptoms are at a chronic stage, they may require surgical treatment that can be performed by a proctologist or a general surgeon.

Find a Proctologist with Piles-doctor

Piles-doctor has a dedicated proctology department that consists of expert proctologists and general surgeons. All of our doctors specialize in the treatment of different kinds of anorectal diseases, including hemorrhoids, fissures, and fistulas. Get in touch with us and consult the specialists to explore your treatment options and resolve the symptoms permanently.

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Oftentimes, patients are so afraid of the word "surgery" that they refuse to undergo any kind of treatment, and their condition keeps worsening. However, surgical procedures for most anorectal conditions, such as piles, fissure, and fistula, are relatively simple, and thanks to advancements in medical science, they have also become increasingly less invasive. So if you are struggling with any anorectal condition, I hope this blog has helped you with relevant information that will encourage you to seek medical help as soon as possible.

I had piles for quite some time and the condition didn’t improve after trying many home remedies. When I consulted Dr. Pankaj, I was stressed after knowing that I needed surgical treatment. Fortunately, the doctor briefed me before the procedure and told me that there won’t be any cuts or stitches as they use laser technology. I trusted my doctor and had the surgery the next day. There were no cuts, stitches, or scars involved in the surgery. Now I am recuperating well and don’t feel any pain during bowel movements thanks to Dr. Pankaj

– Rohit Mehra

I had grade 2 piles which became grade 4 within a few weeks. It was very difficult for me to cope with the pain. When I consulted with my primary care provider, he referred me to Dr. Piyush Sharma Regardless of my concerns, I visited the doctor and he recommended laser surgery. At first, I was afraid, but after he explained the entire procedure, I knew that it was the best option to get rid of piles. I had my surgery a few days later which was successful. It’s been two weeks and I have recovered well after the surgery.

– Dharmesh Singh

Piles was becoming a very serious problem for me after lockdown. My physical activities were restricted and the condition became worse within a month. I came across Dr. Pankaj Sareen through Practo and booked a consultation with him. He explained the laser treatment procedure to me and described all its benefits. I had the surgery on the next day and now my condition is resolved. I am able to pass stools without any pain or discomfort thanks team

– Gaurav sinsinwar

I had heard that laser surgery was the best treatment for piles. After consulting with Dr. Rakesh Mittal, I was convinced that it is the right method for me. The doctor had more than 10 years of experience in performing laser surgery. I trusted him and had the surgery without any delay. The doctor even provided post-surgery care tips and stayed in touch with me to ensure that I recovered well.

– Vaibhav Gupta

After having laser surgery for piles myself, I would like to recommend it for people who want to get rid of piles permanently. The procedure is simple, safe, and effective. The doctor uses a laser probe that emits light energy and shrinks the swollen and inflamed tissues. The surgery took only 30 minutes and I was able to go back home on the same day. Thanks to the whole team helping me in this seamless surgical journey, I am now free from piles and can eat my favorite foods without worrying about the pain.

– Rekha Yadav

Dr. Ravi was recommended to me by my primary care physician when I told him about the symptoms. He asked me to consult a specialist immediately. So, I talked to Dr. Ravi and after diagnosis, he told me I had grade 3 internal piles. I trusted him and had the surgery a few days later. The surgery was non-invasive and there were no stitches or scars. I was able to get back to work after two days and recovered completely within a week. My overall experience of laser surgery was good and I recommend this method to anyone who needs piles treatment.

– Neeti Verma

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