Proctology : Definition, pathology and consultation

Medical specialty focused on the treatment of anal and rectal diseases

Proctology – Specialty of gastroenterology

Proctology is a specialty of gastroenterology that is concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the anus and rectum. The proctologist uses several routine medical examinations such as rectal examination, rectoscopy, anoscopy, etc .

What are the pathologies?

Among the main pathologies identified by the proctologist are:

1. Anal cancer

Anal cancer or anal cancer rarely appears, it can be present even without the presence of major symptoms, which tends to delay the diagnosis, despite its accessibility to the examination.
In order to obtain an effective diagnosis, it is important to carry out a careful proctological examination when there is an appearance of symptoms in the anal region and with biopsy of any suspicious lesions.

2. Rectal cancer

Rectal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancerous) cells form in the tissues of the rectum. The rectum is part of the digestive system, it forms with the anal canal the last part of the large intestine.

The diagnosis of rectal cancer can be made during a colonoscopy, during which the colon and rectum will be examined.

3. Anal fissure

Located on the wall of the anal canal, anal fissure is a small crack, crevice, or superficial lesion. Cracks are often due to lesions of the lining of the anus (part located at the end of the large intestine), these lesions occur as a result of hard or large poop tearing the lining of the anal canal. There may also be less common causes like inflammatory bowel disease, anal infections, tumors, etc.

It is therefore important to consult a gastroenterologist if you think you have it.

4. Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids: dilated veins that form in the anus or lower rectum. Hemorrhoids can be internal (inside the rectum) or external (around the anus, under the skin).

5. Condyloma

Caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), these are genital warts in the form of round bumps, they are usually located on the skin outside or inside your vagina / penis and / or your anus , it is a sexually transmitted and very contagious virus. You are more likely to get it if you have had multiple sexual partners.

6. Rectal prolapse

Rectal prolapse occurs when the rectum loses its attachments inside the body and protrudes from the anus. The exact causes are unknown.

Its treatment is usually done by surgery.

When should I consult a proctologist?

Depending on the symptoms observed, a consultation with a proctologist is unavoidable, the various pathologies mentioned above can cause disorders or pain in the anus and rectum. Blood loss or fatigue associated with weight loss and the presence of lymph nodes may be an indication of possible colorectal cancer.

When you notice these symptoms, which are often associated with transit disturbances (constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain , perpetual sensation of intestinal heaviness,etc), you must seek medical advice.