Surgeons are doctors who have trained to operate on patients to treat illnesses, injuries and deformities. Modern surgery has become so specialised that almost a dozen surgical sub-specialities are recognised by the Royal Australian College of Surgeons. You can find out more about the qualifications and primary responsibilities of a surgeon here.
A colorectal surgeon specialises in diagnosing and treating various diseases of the intestinal tract, colon, rectum, and anal area using both medical and surgical means. This specialist also deals with other organs and tissues involved with intestinal disease. Colon and rectal surgeons have the expertise to diagnose and manage anorectal conditions such as hemorrhoids, fissures, abscesses, and fistulae (infections located around the anus and rectum) in the office setting. They also have knowledge of intestinal and anorectal physiology for treatment of problems such as constipation and incontinence. Colorectal surgeons also work with problems of the intestine and colon, and frequently undertake endoscopic procedures to evaluate/treat problems such as cancer, polyps, and inflammations.
Most colorectal surgeons are experts at endoscopy and colonoscopy. Minimally invasive colon and rectal surgery have been developed in the last few years, improving the diagnosis and success rates for treating IBD, Crohn’s disease, colon cancer, and other conditions.