Hemorrhoid Questions to Ask Your Proctologist

Medically reviewed by: Gary H. Hoffman, MD

Hemorrhoids.  Ask A Good Question.

Hemorrhoids. More than one half of adults have them. But few know what hemorrhoids really are.

A proctologist. Everybody loves to laugh at the term and fit it into a joke, usually as a punch line.  But do you really know what a proctologist does or how a proctologist may help you?

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What Exactly is a Proctologist?

A proctologist, also known as a colorectal surgeon or a coloproctologist, is first and foremost, a medical doctor (M.D.).  This training required four years of intensive study in an accredited medical school.

Following medical school, the new physician studies and practices in a five year general surgery residency.  This time is devoted to learning under professors, operating with guidance, and studying about all issues dealing with the human body.  Special emphasis is placed on the surgical aspects of care.  Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, offers a 5 year general surgery residency.

What Next?

Finally, a proctologist studies for a sixth year, known as a fellowship, and learns the skills necessary to focus even further on diseases of the colon, rectum and anus.  This study is usually performed at a large medical Center such as Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, or other centers around the country, or around the world .  Professors and instructors guide the fellow through learning about all of the diseases of the colon, rectum and anus.  At the end of this year, the fellow is now ready to practice the art and craft of colon and rectal surgery.

What to Ask About Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are a normal collection of arteries, veins, nerves and connective tissue.  When they enlarge, they may cause symptoms.  The following is a brief list of questions you may wish to discuss with your proctologist:

  • Are my symptoms caused only by hemorrhoids?
  • What other diseases can mimic hemorrhoids?
  • What will you do during my examination?
  • Can I begin treatment immediately?
  • What are the non-surgical options for treatment?  Are there medications that can be used?
  • Do I need a colonoscopy?
  • If I need surgery, what are my options?
  • If I have an operation, can the hemorrhoids grow back (recur)?
  • Can my operation be performed as an outpatient, at a surgical center?
  • What will my postoperative course look like and feel like?


Educated with these questions and some basic knowledge, you should be able to approach your visit to the proctologist with a sense of calm and self assurance that will enable you to listen clearly and participate effectively in your care.

Los Angeles And Rectal Surgical Associates

The colorectal surgeons at Los Angeles And Rectal Surgical Associates are available to answer all of your questions and help you through your problems in a competent and skilled manner.  It is always best for you to become educated about hemorrhoids, or any other disease, and involve yourself in your treatment.  With offices in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, a physician is close to you and available to help.  (310)273-2310.

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