Proctology is the science of the last 20cm of the intestinal tract. Among the most common complaints are hemorrhoids, rupture of the rectum, and rectal pain. In addition, proctological diseases include benign and malignant tumors, polyps, blood clot complaints, rectal skin lesions, abscesses, fistulas, symptoms of infectious venereal diseases, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) manifesting at this stage of the intestinal tract. Rectal pain is often caused by dysfunction of the sphincter and pelvic floor muscles.
When and with what kind of complaints is it worthwhile consulting a proctologist?
The symptoms of rectal diseases can be very varied
- Depending on their stage of development, hemorrhoids can initially cause painless, fresh, weeping rectal bleeding, later becoming rectal discharge accompanied by itchiness and skin irritation. In their final stage, hemorrhoids are associated with intolerable pain throughout the anus, which requires immediate surgical intervention.
- Ruptures of the rectum are accompanied by sharp, shooting, burning pain during defecation, accompanied by fresh bleeding.
- Patients often complain of burning, pressing, radiating pain after defecation, often lasting the whole day, owing to insufficient function or dysfunction of the sphincter and pelvic floor muscles.
- Rectal discharge can be caused by tumors, inflammatory bowel disease or polyps, but it is not uncommon for sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) to cause such symptoms.
- Tense, depressive complaints which develop suddenly and are accompanied by rectal swelling which enlarges within a couple of days, often points to an abscess or blood clot.
Despite the fact that these are diseases of a delicate, intimate area, it is essential to emphasize the importance of an early medical examination and the establishment of a correct diagnosis, after which we can tailor individualized treatment.
Neglecting diseases of the rectum can cause unforeseen complications and discomfort, not to mention the anxiety of possible fear and uncertainty.
The proctological examination
The proctological examination is performed with the patient in the supine position, with the legs pulled up to the abdomen. The first step is to examine the rectum. The proctologist then performs a palpation with their finger, from which they can deduce the presence of abnormalities and pain in the rectum, as well as the condition of the rectal and pelvic floor muscles.
We then use a device called an anoscope to examine the 8-10cm section of the lower rectum, paying particular attention to mucosal lesions, the condition of internal hemorrhoids, and tissue damage caused by sexually transmitted diseases (STIs).
The entire examination takes about 10 minutes.
How should I arrive for the examination?
The proctological examination requires no special colonic preparation, laxative or enema – it is sufficient to empty your bowel prior to the examination.
Please bring along all your earlier medical records for your first consultation.