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Proctology

What does proctology mean exactly?

When we hear the word proctology, we most likely associate it with an unpleasant, painful examination. Only few people know however, what this word exactly means. Proctology originates from a Greek word “proctos” which means anus. The ending of this term “Logy” means reason, cause. The word tells you itself that this discipline examines and treats the rectum and the anus. Proctology is a subarea under general surgery.

In what diseases is proctology specialized?

At a proctological consultation you will meet a specialist doctor called proctologist who is also a general surgeon. They – as we mentioned – deal with the problems of the rectum, anus. Rectum is the last part of your colon.

It’s quite common to experience symptoms and various issues in this area, these are however most often easily treatable if diagnosed early.

Proctologists diagnose and treat:

  • Hemorrhoids (internal, external)
  • Different inflammatory diseases
  • Anal fissure
  • Rectal fistula
  • Rectal prolapse
  • Benign tumors around anus
  • Rectal cancer

If you experience any worrying, unusual symptom (which you can read below) it’s highly recommended to book and visit an appointment where specialists can examine, diagnose and most importantly treat you.

Anal disorders
Anal disorders

When should you visit a proctology consultation?

If you experience these symptoms you should seriously consider visiting a proctological consultation:

  • Wart-like lesions around the anus
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloody mucus from the rectum
  • Itching and/or pain around the anus or the rectum
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Foreign body sensation in the anus
  • Bloody stool
  • Fever, pain, discharge from anus in case of anal fistula which requires immediate medical attention

Besides these symptoms, if you experience anything out of ordinary, unusual which you don’t have an obvious explanation you should consult a specialist to find out the cause.

What risk factors can lead to proctological diseases?

Even though most often your doctor won’t be able to pinpoint the exact cause of your disease, a healthy lifestyle can help a lot in avoiding these problems. There are however certain risk factors, which can lead to proctological diseases. These risk factors are:

  • Sitting too often (for example having a desk job)
  • Low-fiber diet
  • Being overweight
  • Old age
  • Being pregnant
  • Frequent constipation
  • Recurring diarrhea
  • Stress

What kind of examinations are done in our Medicover Hospital?

When you visit our consultation, our experienced, highly professional specialist will ask you about the symptoms you’re experiencing, their duration, and intensity. Often you will need to tell a bit about your family’s medical history, your lifestyle choices and eating habits. The examination always starts with a physical exam. Then, if necessary, rectoscopy may follow.

If these examinations don’t provide sufficient information, your doctor might order a colonoscopy, an x-ray or a biopsy. These are all take place at a different time, during another consultation so you’ll have time to prepare both mentally and physically.

Even though rectoscopy sounds frightening even painful, it’s actually a harmless, quick (it only lasts for a few minutes) and totally painless method to examine your bottom.

The only thing you might feel is a little inconvenience, as this exam and the situation is probably new and weird for you. However if you relax as much as possible, this too can be avoidable.

During a rectoscopy a 3-4 centimeter long metal device, a rectoscope enters the rectum. This rectoscope has a light source as well, so the area will be easily and efficiently examined by your doctor.

How can your doctor treat the diagnosed problems?

The chosen therapy and treatment always depends on the diagnosis. Most of the time these diagnosed problems are mild, easily treatable ones. Medications, rectal suppositories, creams can treat these issues.

When there is a more serious illness going on, you might need an outpatient or even inpatient treatment, surgery, to cure the problem and eliminate your symptoms.

Is there any preparation necessary before the consultation?

You don’t have to prepare for the proctological consultation. It’s a common misconception that you need to fast or even clean your colon before the examination. Patients often try to take laxatives to reach this.

These are however all wrong. As the examination might put you under stress, your low blood sugar levels (due to fasting or having diarrhea) could cause you more trouble than good.

For the examination there’s absolutely no need for a complete colon cleanse. As your rectum will be examined, only this 15 centimeter long part of your intestines needs to be emptied. This can be done by your doctor, right there in the examination room – if necessary.

Please have breakfast and drink fluids before the consultation in order to help yourself and your doctor.

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