• Surgical Specialists

Guide to Colon Surgery in Gainesville, Northern Virginia?

Updated: Feb 18


If you think you may need to see a specialist to determine if you need surgery, you have probably searched the term "Colon surgery Gainesville Northern Virginia."


Let us help guide you to the type of specialist that can best help you, as both a gastroenterologist and colorectal surgeon treat colon conditions.



What Is the Difference Between A Gastroenterologist and A Colorectal Surgeon?

The two specialists treat many of the same conditions, but knowing the difference between the two will guide you to the right one.



What Does A Colorectal Surgeon Do?

To become a colorectal surgeon, also known as a proctologist, you must first become a general surgeon. An extra year of specialty training in colon and rectal surgery will allow a surgeon to become an expert in surgery for the colon, rectum and anus.


These surgeons treat hemorrhoids, anal fistulas, colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, diverticulitis, and pelvic floor disorders. They can also learn to perform colonoscopy and endoluminal procedures. You will get a referral to a colorectal surgeon if you have colon cancer.


Many colorectal surgeons practice both general surgery and colorectal surgery, but some choose to specialize only in colorectal surgery.


[Related Article: Types of Colon Surgeries]


What Does A Gastroenterologist Do?

Gastroenterologists learn to care for all medical conditions from diabetes and heart disease to pneumonia and rheumatoid arthritis after 3 years of medical residency. They then do another 3 years of specialty training in the medical management of gastrointestinal diseases where they learn to do colonoscopy and endoscopy. GIs do not operate on patients.



How Do Treatments Differ?

Conditions that colorectal surgeons and gastroenterologists treat may overlap, but there are some differences in treatment. Colorectal surgeons generally don’t treat stomach, pancreas, or liver disease, but gastroenterologists do.


You may be referred to a colorectal surgeon that is a specialist in those areas if surgery is necessary. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is not a surgical condition, so it is treated by a gastroenterologist. Inflammatory bowel disease is generally done by GI as well.


Do Colorectal Surgeons Do More Than Surgery?

Colorectal Surgeons offer non-surgical approaches to hemorrhoids and anal fissure and only require surgery if the condition gets serious enough. There is an array of treatments that are solely based on the condition so that the best approach can be chosen for you.



Schedule a Consultation for Colon Surgery in Gainesville, Northern Virginia

Call us today at Northern Virginia Surgical Specialists to set up a consultation. We can help you learn more about your coverage and payment options as well, 540-347-2805.

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