Doctors are our partners to keep our bodies healthy. Not only should their knowledge, skills, expertise, and experience are crucial when finding the right fit, but the way they converse and carry themselves around their patients should be considered as well. When it comes to gut health, there are two types of doctors that can address conditions and diseases concerning this region of the body. This article will help you know how to choose the right colon doctor in Singapore. Read on.
What is the colon?
Also known as the large intestine, the colon is a part of the gastrointestinal tract found at the lower part of the abdomen, surrounding the small intestine. It is six feet in length and wider in width than the small intestine. Its role is to turn waste into stools and release them through the anus. The colon has three main parts:
There are various conditions, disorders, and diseases that can affect the colon. Some of these are:
- Anal fissures
- Colorectal polyps
- Colorectal cancer
- Crohn’s disease
- Faecal Incontinence
- Gas pain
- Irritable bowel syndrome
These can be diagnosed, managed, and treated by a colon doctor.
What is a colon doctor?
Colon doctors specialise in diagnosing and treating the colon and rectal areas. There are two types of doctors that refer to this:
- Colorectal surgeons
Gastroenterologists are medical doctors that specialise mainly in treating the conditions that affect the whole of the digestive system.
On the other hand, colorectal surgeons focus only on some parts of the GI tract, specifically:
- Small intestine
- Perianal area
When it comes to procedures and treatment, gastroenterologists and colorectal surgeons can perform some procedures on organs that overlap their specialisation. The line is drawn when your colon treatment calls for a surgical procedure. This will need the expertise of a colorectal surgeon.
Both gastroenterologists and colorectal surgeons may work hand in hand when diagnosing and treating a patient.
What are the medical procedures that colon doctors can do?
There are various medical procedures that colon doctors can do. The table below categorises some of the specific procedures that gastroenterologists and colorectal surgeons can perform:
|Medical Test / Procedure
|• Bravo PH Study
• Gastrointestinal cancer screenings
• Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
• Esophageal dilation
• Esophageal manometry
• Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)
• Flexible sigmoidoscopy
• Hemorrhoid banding
• Liver biopsy
• Small bowel capsule endoscopy (pill camera)
• Upper endoscopy
• Bowel resection surgery
• Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR)
• Endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD)
• Laparoscopic surgery
• Ostomy surgery
• Robotic surgery
• Transanal endoscopic microsurgery
How do you find the right colon doctor?
If the symptoms of your condition not only affects your colon, but also parts of the upper GI tract, then you can reach out to a gastroenterologist. For conditions affecting the lower GI tract, a colorectal surgeon can help especially if surgery is necessary for the treatment.
Below is a list of all the organs completing the digestive system:
- Upper GI tract
- Small intestine
- Bile ducts
- Lower GI tract
- Colon or large intestine
- Perianal area
Your general physician may know gastroenterologists and colorectal surgeons that can best address your colon condition. However, this does not mean that you should take their recommendations directly. You may want to consider other colon doctors in Singapore.
Here are some tips on what you can do to find the right colon doctor for you:
1 Determine your needs
Assess your condition and determine what it needs. Your GP may recommend that you see either a gastroenterologist or a colorectal surgeon depending on the symptoms that you have.
2 Get recommendations
Aside from your GP’s suggestions, you may reach out to family and friends to ask about colon doctors they have consulted or are working with if they have any conditions being treated at the moment. You can also search for colon doctors in Singapore online.
3 Do research
Your doctor’s list may be long, so try to narrow it to at least three practitioners. To do this, look them up on the internet. A lot of doctors and clinics in Singapore have websites that provide the details about a doctor’s experience and skills based on their specialisation. In addition, these websites may also have patient reviews. Look for a doctor that is, of course, accredited by the MOH and does not have any record of malpractice or violations.
4 Pay a visit
To get a feel of how a certain doctor does their practice, schedule an initial consultation. During this time, observe how the doctor deals with you as a patient:
- Is the doctor respectful when communicating with you?
- Is the doctor able to give clear answers and explanations to your queries?
- Is the doctor up to date with the latest medical procedures and treatments in their field?
- Are you comfortable with the doctor’s body language?
- Do you feel rushed with your time?
Likewise, keep an eye on how the clinic is managed and the attitude of the staff.
- Is the clinic clean?
- Are the members of the staff polite and professional?
- Are the tools and equipment used top of the line?
Remember that you may be coming back to this doctor or clinic frequently, so be sure that you receive a gold standard experience. You do not want any additional stress on top of your health condition.
5 Check on your insurance provider
Undergoing medical procedures and treatments can cause a huge blow to your finances. Medical insurances are a big advantage when it comes to minimising costs. If you have medical insurance, check if the doctors that you are considering are accredited. You will have to pay doctor and clinic fees separately if you go to one that does not work for your insurance provider. If your condition needs a long treatment plan, you should review this regularly as there may be changes between the working relationship of your doctor and insurers over time.
To know more about colon doctors, particularly gastroenterologists and the services that they can provide for your colon condition, you may visit Gastrohealth’s website or clinic in Singapore.
Gastrohealth Clinic – Dr Bhavesh Doshi | Gastroenterologist | Colonoscopy Singapore
6A Napier Rd, #03-370 Gleneagles Hospital Annexe Block, Singapore 258500
+65 6355 5773