Who are Gastroenterologists and Proctologists, when to seek their help

When it comes to the intricate realm of gastrointestinal health, two professionals stand out for their expertise – Gastroenterologists and Proctologists. In India, these medical specialists play a vital role in diagnosing and treating various conditions that affect the digestive system. Let’s explore who they are, what they do, and when it becomes necessary to seek their guidance

Who are Proctologists and Gastroenterologists

Who are Proctologists:

Proctologists, also known as colorectal surgeons, are experts specializing in conditions affecting the rectum and anus. They are proficient in the diagnosis, management, and surgical treatment of disorders like hemorrhoids, anal fissures, abscesses, and Rectal prolapse. Proctologists possess profound knowledge in both conservative treatments and advanced surgical techniques to address rectal and anal issues efficiently.

Who are Gastroenterologists:

Gastroenterologists are highly skilled medical specialists who focus on the diagnosis and management of disorders affecting the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. This expansive domain includes the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine (colon), liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and other related organs. These adept experts undergo extensive training, both in general internal medicine and specialized gastroenterology, to provide comprehensive care for patients with various GI ailments.

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Conditions treated by Gastroenterologists in India

Gastroenterologists possess specialized expertise in managing a wide range of gastrointestinal diseases. Some of the notable conditions they treat include:

Crohn’s Disease:

A type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) characterized by chronic inflammation that can affect any part of the digestive tract, from the mouth to the anus. Gastroenterologists employ a multi-faceted approach to control inflammation and manage symptoms, aiming to achieve remission and improve the patient’s quality of life.

Ulcerative Colitis:

Another form of inflammatory bowel disease, which primarily affects the colon and rectum. Gastroenterologists work diligently to control inflammation, prevent complications, and promote long-term remission to enhance the patient’s well-being.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD):

A chronic condition in which stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, leading to symptoms like heartburn, regurgitation, and chest pain. Gastroenterologists employ lifestyle modifications, and medication, to alleviate symptoms and prevent esophageal damage.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS):

A functional gastrointestinal disorder characterized by abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel habits. Gastroenterologists focus on symptom management, dietary adjustments, and stress reduction techniques to enhance the patient’s quality of life.

Peptic Ulcers:

Sores that develop on the lining of the stomach, small intestine, or esophagus due to the erosion caused by stomach acid. Gastroenterologists employ medication and lifestyle changes to promote healing and prevent ulcer recurrence.

Celiac Disease:

An autoimmune disorder triggered by the ingestion of gluten-containing foods. Gastroenterologists play a crucial role in diagnosing and managing this condition, which involves adopting a strict gluten-free diet.

Liver Diseases:

Gastroenterologists manage various liver conditions, including hepatitis (viral and non-viral), fatty liver disease, cirrhosis, and liver tumors.
Pancreatic Disorders: Such as acute and chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic cysts, and pancreatic tumours. Gastroenterologists work closely with other specialists to diagnose and manage these complex conditions.

Gastrointestinal Cancers:

Gastroenterologists are involved in the early detection, diagnosis, and treatment planning for GI cancers, such as colon cancer, esophageal cancer, and pancreatic cancer.
Gastrointestinal Bleeding: Gastroenterologists address cases of acute or chronic gastrointestinal bleeding, determining the source of bleeding and providing appropriate intervention

When to Seek a help of Gastrointestinal Surgeon or Proctologist?

While Gastroenterologists primarily manage GI conditions with non-surgical interventions, there are instances when consultation with a Gastrointestinal Surgeon becomes necessary.

These situations include:

Severe Gastrointestinal Bleeding:

If you experience persistent or severe rectal bleeding, it requires immediate attention.

Gallstones or Appendix Removal:

Surgical intervention might be necessary for acute conditions like gallbladder inflammation (cholecystitis), Gallbladder stone or appendix inflammation (appendicitis).

Colorectal Cancer:

For the diagnosis and surgical treatment of colon or rectal cancer.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD):

Colorectal Surgeons may perform surgery to manage complications of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, such as strictures, fistulas, or abscesses.

Anal Conditions:

Colorectal Surgeons address anal fissures, hemorrhoids, anal abscesses, and rectal prolapse through surgical interventions.

Diverticular Disease:

Colorectal Surgeons manage diverticulitis and its complications, including abscesses or perforations.

Bowel Obstructions:

Colorectal Surgeons perform surgeries to relieve obstructions in the colon or rectum caused by tumors, adhesions, or strictures.

Perforated Ulcers:

GI Surgeons perform emergency surgery to repair perforated ulcers, preventing complications like peritonitis.

Benign GI Conditions:

GI Surgeons may address various benign conditions like gastrointestinal polyps, strictures, and diverticulitis when conservative approaches are not effective.


Gastroenterologists and Proctologists play pivotal roles in maintaining gastrointestinal health. From managing a plethora of GI conditions to providing expert surgical solutions when required, their expertise ensures a healthier and more comfortable life for individuals facing digestive challenges. If you encounter any gastrointestinal issues, don’t hesitate to seek their professional guidance of a Proctologist or Gastrointestinal Surgeon and experience the relief you deserve