A hemorrhoid specialist is a physician who specializes in treating, managing, and preventing hemorrhoids, inflammations around the anus and rectum. General practitioners, internal medicine specialists, gastroenterologists, and proctologists can all choose to pursue careers as hemorrhoid specialists. People who experience recurrent hemorrhoids may find it helpful to see a hemorrhoid specialist for more in-depth care than a regular doctor can provide.
These specialists usually handle other medical issues as well, but have received some special training in hemorrhoids and pursue continuing education to keep up with the latest advances in treatment and management. When a patient goes to a hemorrhoid specialist, the doctor will take a complete patient history, review the patient's chart for more information, and conduct a physical exam. This will be used to develop a treatment plan.
During a flareup, the focus is on reducing the inflammation and making the patient feel more comfortable. The doctor can prescribe medications, along with treatments like sitting in a bath of warm water. Once the inflammation is under control, the hemorrhoid specialist can discuss measures for preventing future outbreaks of hemorrhoids and may work with the patient on modifying the diet to address the issue. Hemorrhoid specialists can also provide their patients with tips and tricks on identifying outbreaks early so they can be treated rapidly, before they develop into a serious problem.
To become a hemorrhoid specialist, it is necessary to attend medical school, successfully pass a licensing exam, and take a medical residency to receive medical training in a clinical setting. Once qualified, additional training can be pursued in the form of fellowships, conferences of physicians interested in hemorrhoid care, and professional journals. Patients curious about the level of training their physicians have received can ask about where the doctor trained and what kind of continuing education the physician pursues. It is advisable to seek membership in a professional organization of physicians, as this demonstrates a commitment to high quality care and the pursuit of advanced medical training.
Visits to a hemorrhoid specialists are usually covered by insurance and other health care programs, as these doctors are fully qualified. A referral from a general practitioner may be necessary in some cases, depending on how a health care plan is structured. People concerned about cost can contact a representative of the plan to get information about how to make sure visits will be appropriately covered. A patient's regular physician can usually provide information about practicing specialists in the area, giving patients a list of potential specialists to visit.