What Doctor Do I Go to for Hemorrhoids?
When you suffer from a painful medical condition, you want relief as quickly as possible. If your medical condition is affecting extra private parts of your body, you’re also going to want to visit a specific type of doctor that specializes in your condition.
But it’s not always obvious which doctor is the best choice for you. That goes extra if you suffer from hemorrhoids or require anal fissure treatment. In this important post, we go over the two types of doctors you should consult for hemorrhoids and anal fissure treatment, gastroenterologists and proctologists.
Check With Your Family Physician First
Your family physician is likely not extremely well versed when it comes to hemorrhoids or anal fissure treatment, but they can certainly help you get on the right path. Your family doctor will be familiar with gastroenterologists and proctologists in your area and will likely provide you with a referral, especially if your case is severe.
Visiting your family doctor to ask about hemorrhoids or anal fissure treatment is one thing; you’ve probably built up a trusting report with your doctor over the years. But disclosing information to a new doctor can be a little bit daunting and goes double for medical conditions that many people find embarrassing, like hemorrhoids.
But you shouldn’t worry about that. Gastroenterologists and proctologists have spent years studying and treating patients with problems just like yours.
The first type of doctor that can help with hemorrhoids is gastroenterologists. Gastroenterologists are medical doctors who specialize in health problems in the gut, liver, gallbladder, bile ducts and pancreas. That may not sound like they could help with hemorrhoids, but they certainly can.
Not only can gastroenterologists diagnose your hemorrhoids. They can also get you the medications you need and give you advice on changing your lifestyle to limit the effects of your condition.
On top of that, they can perform endoscopies and hemorrhoid banding. Endoscopies involve inserting a very small camera into the gut to provide an accurate diagnosis. Hemorrhoid banding is a treatment that cuts off the blood supply to hemorrhoids by placing a special kind of rubber band around the base of hemorrhoids. By cutting off the blood flow, the hemorrhoids will eventually die.
The second kind of doctor you might go to for hemorrhoids or anal fissure treatment is a proctologist. Instead of focusing on the gut as gastroenterologists do, proctologists specialize in the structure and diseases of the anus, rectum, and colon. That gives them the capability to not only diagnose hemorrhoids but also offer surgical treatment options.
Surgical treatments are certainly more invasive than medications and hemorrhoid banding, but sometimes they are necessary in more severe cases. If you have large, prolapsed hemorrhoids, you might need a hemorrhoidectomy which proctologists can do. Hemorrhoidectomies are surgeries that will get rid of large external and prolapsed hemorrhoids.
When To See A Doctor
Part of the problem with hemorrhoids is that it’s hard to know when you should see a doctor, mostly because they are usually internal. You might not even know you have them until they become too severe for simple lifestyle changes to be an effective treatment. It’s time for you to visit a doctor if you experience the following symptoms:
- Hard, tender lumps felt at the anus.
- Anal pain while sitting.
- Bleeding from the rectum on toilet paper or in the toilet bowl.
- Prolapsed hemorrhoid (bulging or protruding from the anal opening)
Hemorrhoids are scary and can seriously lower your quality of life due to pain and discomfort. But there are solutions. If your case is severe enough, you may need to get treatment from a gastroenterologist or proctologist to get the relief you seek. Still, luckily for you, recovery from treatments is usually fairly short, and you will be able to get back to your normal, pain-free life in a relatively short period of time.
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