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Gastroenterology

The medical specialty that majorly concentrates on diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the digestive system is called Gastroenterology. These disorders may affect the esophagus (swallowing tube), stomach, small intestine, large intestine (colon), rectum, liver, gallbladder, or pancreas. Your abdomen is important to your health. It’s where your liver, stomach, intestines and other vital organs live.

A Gastroenterologist is a specialist who is trained in Internal Medicine and subsequently in diagnosing and treating disease of the digestive system. Usually, a Gastroenterologist is called in cases of abdominal pain, rectal bleeding or change in bowel habits, when the diagnosis is unclear or where specialized diagnostic procedures are necessary.

The functioning of the entire digestive system, both related to the passage of food through the digestive canal to the physiological processes of food digestion, absorption and elimination come under the preview of this specialty.

It includes the medical and surgical treatment of diseases such as colon polyps, gastrointestinal cancer, jaundice, cirrhosis of the liver, gastro esophageal reflux (heartburn), peptic ulcer disease, colitis, gallbladder and biliary tract disease, nutritional problems, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), pancreatitis, etc

Common procedures that gastroenterologists perform

These specialists perform a range of nonsurgical procedures. This can include

  1. endoscopic ultrasounds to examine the upper and lower GI tract, as well as other internal organs
  2. colonoscopies to detect colon cancer or colon polyps
  3. endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography to identify gallstones, tumors, or scar tissue in the bile duct area
  4. sigmoidoscopies to evaluate blood loss or pain in the bowel
  5. liver biopsies to assess inflammation and fibrosis
  6. capsule endoscopies to examine the small intestine
  7. double balloon enteroscopies to examine the small intestine