COLORECTAL SURGERY, also known as “Colon and Rectal Surgery,” or “Proctology,” is a subspecialty of General Surgery focusing on the surgical treatment of conditions involving the colon, sigmoid, rectum, and anus. Common colorectal procedures include hemorrhoidectomy, treatment of colon cancer, and partial bowel resection for diverticulitis. Since General Surgeons may perform many of the same procedures, Colorectal specialists are often called to treat the most challenging cases and to assist other surgeons during complex intra-abdominal procedures. To become a Colorectal Surgeon, candidates must first finish four years of medical school followed by a 5-year surgical residency. They will then devote an additional one to two years of study while in an accredited Colorectal Surgery fellowship. Once completed, candidates may be eligible for Board Certification by the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery, one of the primary boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties. Colorectal Surgeons typically work in private surgical practices and perform surgery at major medical centers.
Litigation in Colorectal Surgery commonly stems from allegations of perforation, leakage, infection, or damage to nearby structures such at the ureters or urinary bladder. Colorectal Surgeons may testify on standard of care, or they may be called as experts on causation when treatment is delayed or complications occur from other surgeries.