Proctologists treat a variety of gastrointestinal diseases. They are often overlooked by patients who may not realize when they should visit the doctor. The first step is to make sure that the doctor you choose has experience with the condition you're suffering from. These specialists treat patients of all ages. Proctologists usually recommend less invasive treatments first. For example, you can try avoiding certain foods or making certain lifestyle changes. This type of treatment will often eliminate the need for medication or surgery. Sometimes, however, patients will need surgery to correct bowel obstruction. Often, these procedures don't even require sedation. Proctologists are highly skilled physicians that specialize in treating disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. Some of the procedures that these professionals perform are endorectal ultrasound, digital rectal examination, and proctoscopy. These procedures will help determine whether you have any colorectal cancer. Proctologists also perform procedures to detect and treat polyps, which are benign growths of the colon that can turn cancerous. Diagnosing and treating rectal polyps can be an uncomfortable process. Many people are ashamed to discuss the condition, but if you suffer from this condition, a proctologist may be able to help. The procedure typically involves dilating your anus and undercutting the polyp. A proctologist's practice starts with a patient history and external and instrumental examination.