Proctology is a special section of gastroenterology dealing with preventive and therapeutic diagnostic issues of diseases of the large intestine, anus and pararectal space. The most common in proctological practice are inflammatory diseases of the large intestine and disorders of its motor function. Benign neoplasms are not uncommon, as well as malignant oncological diseases of the large intestine. A feature of the course of many proctological diseases is the presence of a rather long latent low-symptom period.
The total length of the large intestine is from 1.5 to 2 meters. Food residues, mucus, microbes, dead cells of the mucous membrane accumulate in it and the formation of fecal masses occurs. The large intestine includes the blind, colon (ascending, transverse and descending), sigmoid and rectum. The final part of the rectum ends with an anal opening, which is surrounded by pararectal fiber. Various lesions of this vast area of the digestive tract constitute a large group of diseases that are treated by proctologists.
The most common causes of proctological problems are constipation, sedentary lifestyle, dietary habits (abuse of spicy, flour, fatty foods, alcohol), pregnancy and childbirth, stress, congenital malformations, injuries. They lead to inflammation of the intestine, disruption of its motor function and microflora, traumatization of the mucous membrane, dilation of the veins of the distal intestine. This is how diseases of the colon and rectum, the anus arise: colitis, cryptitis, papillitis, paraproctitis, anal fissures, hemorrhoids, dysbiosis, polyps and condylomatosis of the rectum and anal canal, epithelial coccygeal course, etc.
Common manifestations of proctological diseases are abdominal pain, discomfort and itching of the anus, diarrhea or constipation, proctalgia, the presence of blood in the feces, mucopurulent discharge from the anus.
The delicacy of the problem and the feeling of shyness leads to the fact that many patients prefer to endure for a long time and do not seek medical help. Meanwhile, proctological diseases cause physical and psychological discomfort and can lead to serious damage to the body as a whole. The most dangerous consequences of diseases of the colon, rectum and anus are involvement in the pathological process of the organs of the genitourinary system and upper digestive tract, purulent-septic complications. Many proctological diseases serve as a background for the development of malignant neoplasms. Therefore, a visit to the proctologist should be made when the first suspicious symptoms appear.
Modern proctology uses high-precision and safe diagnostic techniques that allow the doctor to make the correct diagnosis: finger examination of the rectum, instrumental endoscopic methods (colonoscopy, rectoromanoscopy, anoscopy), X-ray examination (irrigoscopy), clinical and bacteriological laboratory methods (blood tests, coprogram, biopsy of neoplasms and tissues), computer and magnetic resonance imaging. Many diagnostic methods require special preparation of the large intestine, freeing it from feces by setting a cleansing enema or taking a laxative.
Treatment of proctological diseases is based on a comprehensive basis. It includes therapeutic nutrition, physiotherapy, psychotherapeutic procedures, antibacterial therapy, according to indications – surgical intervention.