We accept Telehealth appointments. Please schedule a virtual visit here.

Do I need a Colorectal Surgeon or a Gastroenterologist?

What is the difference between a colorectal surgeon and a gastroenterologist? This is a very common question that we receive and often patients are unsure of which field is appropriate for their needs. Although these fields overlap in some areas, the specialties are actually very different in the conditions they treat and their method of training. In order to address this issue, we have added some useful information to decide which type of physician treats your condition.

A Colorectal Surgeon, formerly known as a proctologist, is a general surgeon who has undergone further training in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the colon, rectum and anus. Colon and rectal surgeons are experts in the surgical and non-surgical treatment of colon and rectal problems. Colon and rectal surgeons treat benign and malignant conditions, perform routine colon screening examinations and surgically treat problems when necessary.

A colorectal surgeon will evaluate, diagnose and treat the following symptoms and conditions:

Anal Abscess/Fistula Anal Cancer Anal Fissure
Anal Pain Anal Warts Bowel Incontinence
Colorectal Cancer Constipation Crohn’s Disease
Diverticular Disease Hemorrhoids Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Pilonidal Disease Pruritus Ani
Rectal Prolapse Rectocele Ulcerative Colitis

A gastroenterologist is a doctor who has completed initial training in internal medicine and further training in gastroenterology. Gastroenterologists do not operate on patients. A gastroenterologist specializes in diseases of the digestive system (gastrointestinal (GI) tract). Gastroenterologists diagnose and treat many conditions that affect the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine (colon), and biliary system (e.g., liver, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts).

You Might Also Enjoy...

How Your Diet Can Help Prevent Hemorrhoids

Many patients are hesitant to discuss or seek help for hemorrhoids and their related symptoms. Rest assured that hemorrhoids are incredibly common, and with treatment you can say goodbye to bothersome symptoms.

Anal Itching: Causes and Self-Care Tips

Anal itching is not only bothersome, but may also be a topic you’re uncomfortable talking about. Rest assured that it’s common and treatable. A colon and rectal specialist is your best resource.

Causes and Prevention of Anal Fissures

Anal fissures often heal within a few weeks if you take the right steps. If your symptoms are severe, or don’t improve, see a colon and rectal specialist for an evaluation.

Who’s At Risk for Colon Cancer?

With the rise in colon cancer cases each year, everyone should be concerned about their colon health. Learn about steps you can take to reduce your risk and protect your colon.

Why Am I So Itchy Back There?

Anal itching can strike out of nowhere and escalate into an irresistible urge to scratch. An evaluation can help you get answers, treatment, and relief from persistent itching.