Proctology is the study of medical disorders associated to the colon, rectum and anus. In more modern medical circles, the field is more commonly referred to as Colorectal Surgery. Accordingly, proctologists, or colorectal surgeons, are medical specialists in the field of proctology.
Your proctologist or colorectal surgeon may diagnose a variety of different conditions, but, in general, the scope of proctology is quite focused and limited. Some common disorders include:
Many proctology procedures involve surgery, such as in the case of a colectomy (re-sectioning of the colon), polypectomy (polyp removal), hemorrhoid banding or colostomy (providing an alternative opening for patients to pass stool). In terms of diagnostics, colonoscopy is the most important procedure because it allows doctors to examine the whole colon who signs of defects.
Reviewed 12/12/2011 by David M. Nolan, M.D.
Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine, 2011
Currently a Fellow of Gastroenterology, at UCI 2011-2014