A Visit to the Proctologist

Oh No.  I Need To See The Proctologist.

Sometimes, when you develop symptoms related to your colon, rectum or anus, you need to visit the proctologist, also known as a coloproctologist or colon and rectal surgeon.  Even without symptoms, your family doctor may recommend that you see the proctologist for a routine check up.  No matter why you go for an appointment, there will always be that first visit.  Fear?  Apprehension?  Confusion?  All of these?  You may have no idea what you will be experiencing. 

With a little bit of education and advice from family or friends who have “been there” before you, you will sail through the visit and will be glad that you made it through.

Do I really Need The Visit?

First, why would you visit the proctologist?  Because you have:

  • Been advised to have a colonoscopy since you are now 50 years old
  • Rectal bleeding
  • A change in bowel habits
  • Anal itching
  • A rectal discharge
  • Rectal protrusion
  • A painful anal lump
  • An STD (sexually transmitted disease)
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal pain
  • A family history of polyps or colorectal cancer

A Long List OF Reasons For The Appointment.

What are the diagnoses that you might be worried about or be told that you have?

  • A hemorrhoid
  • A fissure
  • An abscess or a fistula
  • Erosions, or raw areas around the anus
  • A sexually transmitted disease
  • A colon polyp
  • A malignant colon or rectal tumor (colon or rectal cancer)
  • Anal cancer
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
  • Diverticulitis or diverticulosis
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Abdominal pain
  • Many other possible diagnoses

Once you have arrived at the doctor’s office, you will see the physician.

What Will Happen During The Visit?

Your doctor will spend time talking with you.  You will be able to tell your doctor exactly what you are experiencing, when it began and how it presents.  You will be asked a series of questions about all aspects of your health and many specific questions about your problem.  Your answers will be held in complete confidentiality.  Your answers will usually give your proctologist a strong idea as to the nature of your problem.

A nurse will take you into an exam room and help you lie down on your left side, in a comfortable manner.

The doctor will first look at your anal area, looking for any abnormalities, protrusions or painful areas.

The doctor will then perform some or all of the next set of exams.

A digital exam will be performed (unless the area is too tender to permit an exam).  The doctor will insert a finger into your rectum to assess the tone of your anal sphincter (muscle), and check for any lumps or masses in your anus and rectum.

The doctor may then insert a small anoscope.  This will allow a visualization of the anal area to look for hemorrhoids.

A proctoscopy may be performed, whereby the proctologists places a scope (a hollow tube with a light at the end) into the rectum to look at the lining of the rectum and anus.

Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates

And, that’s it.  In Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, the specialists of Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates, all of whom are board certified, will take you through the examination in a professional, confidential manner, helping you to diagnose and treat your problem.  A little education, a lot of peace of mind.  (310)273-2310.