Colorectal surgery is a medical specialty that deals with the treatment of conditions of the anus, colon and rectum. People may be more familiar with the term “proctology,” however, because that term is derived from the Greek word meaning “anus,” it didn’t really describe the other conditions that proctologists treat. Colorectal surgery is more inclusive to the myriad services colorectal surgeons provide, so if you aren’t familiar with colorectal surgery, take heart. Here’s what you need to know.
Conditions Treated by Colorectal Surgeons
Colorectal surgeons are primarily sought after to treat colorectal and anal cancers. However, they treat all sorts of colorectal conditions – to include hemorrhoids, constipation, severe colic disorders such as Crohn’s disease, and anal fissures. They also treat irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, pouchitis, diverticulitis, colon polyps, GI bleeding, and rectal prolapse – pretty much any and all conditions that can occur in that particular region of the body.
Colorectal surgeons are commonly seen for routine and prescribed diagnostic testing and screenings. Depending on symptoms and/or medical or family history, your colorectal surgeon may conduct a proctoscopy, sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy to check for irregularities, obstructions or signs of disease.
Should your colorectal surgeon determine the presence of a medical condition or irregularity, he will work with you and your primary care physician and other specialists – when required – to develop a treatment plan. Treatment may be as simple as monitoring your diet and returning annually for screenings to monitor risk; or surgery to remove polyps and hemorrhoids or repair fissures. They may perform strictureplasty to widen sections of the intestine that has narrowed due to scarring; they may also remove part of a damaged colon.
Colorectal surgeons work closely with gastroenterologists, oncologists, urologists and any other specialists to treat to solve a particular problem a patient has. In rare cases, patients may develop a form of colorectal cancer. Less common is anal cancer, which is also treated by a colorectal surgeon. Treatment for these cancers may include chemotherapy, surgery, radiation or a combination of the three. Many, but not all, colorectal cancers are due to age and lifestyle factors, to include poor diet, obesity, smoking, and lack of exercise. However, certain colorectal diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease or a genetic disorder or family history can place you at higher risk of developing colorectal cancers.
Colorectal Specialist as Part of Intercoastal Medical Group
Most colorectal cancers start simply enough as a benign polyp which, over time, can grow to become cancerous. Early detection is key, and that is where your colorectal surgeon plays a big part. Intercoastal Medical Group is a professional association of more than 100 highly credentialed physicians encompassing an array of medical specialties, and is proud to include Dr. Richard Golub, a nationally known and highly regarded colorectal surgeon. In fact, Dr. Golub is the only board-certified colorectal surgeon in the Sarasota area and has been named one of America’s Top Doctors. When was the last time you saw a colorectal specialist? Remember, early screening is key! If you are in Sarasota or Manatee County, call Intercoastal Medical Group today for colorectal care or any other medical specialty you need. With convenient locations and even weekend hours, we have the perfect provider for you.