Medical Gastroenterology is a specialized branch of medicine dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of disorders and diseases related to the digestive system. This vital field encompasses a wide range of conditions affecting organs like the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, and more. Let us learn its significance, common conditions, diagnostic methods, and treatment approaches.
Common Conditions Treated By Medical Gastroenterology Department
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): This chronic condition occurs when stomach acid consistently flows back into the esophagus, leading to symptoms like heartburn, chest pain, and regurgitation.
- Peptic Ulcers: These are open sores that develop on the lining of the stomach or the first part of the small intestine. They can cause abdominal pain, nausea, and in some cases, bleeding.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): IBS is a common disorder characterized by abdominal pain, bloating, changes in bowel habits, and discomfort.
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): This term encompasses conditions like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, which involve chronic inflammation of the digestive tract, leading to symptoms like abdominal pain, diarrhoea, and weight loss.
- Celiac Disease: This autoimmune disorder is triggered by the consumption of gluten and leads to damage in the small intestine, resulting in malabsorption of nutrients.
- Chronic Liver Disease: Conditions like hepatitis, cirrhosis, and fatty liver disease can lead to significant liver damage, impacting its vital functions.
- Pancreatitis: This inflammatory condition affects the pancreas, causing symptoms like abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.
- Gallstones: These are solid particles that form in the gallbladder and can lead to pain, jaundice, and digestive problems.
Common Procedure & Diagnostic Techniques
- Upper Endoscopy (Esophagogastroduodenoscopy or EGD): A procedure where a flexible tube with a camera (endoscope) is passed through the mouth to examine the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. It's used for diagnosing and sometimes treating conditions like ulcers, gastritis, and celiac disease.
- Colonoscopy: An endoscopic examination of the large intestine and the distal part of the small bowel. It's crucial for colorectal cancer screening and can also diagnose inflammatory bowel diseases (like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), diverticulosis, and other intestinal issues.
- Capsule Endoscopy: Involves swallowing a small, pill-sized camera that takes pictures of the small intestine, useful in diagnosing conditions like Crohn's disease, celiac disease, and obscure gastrointestinal bleeding.
- ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography): A specialized endoscopic technique used to study the bile ducts, pancreatic ducts, and gallbladder. It can diagnose and treat conditions like gallstones, strictures, and tumors of the biliary or pancreatic duct systems.
- Liver Biopsy: Removal of a small piece of liver tissue for examination, typically done to diagnose liver diseases, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or liver cancer.
- Sigmoidoscopy: A procedure similar to colonoscopy, but it only examines the rectum and the lower part of the colon.
- Esophageal Manometry: Measures the rhythmic muscle contractions in the esophagus when swallowing, useful in diagnosing conditions like achalasia or other motility disorders.
- 24-Hour pH Monitoring: A test that measures esophageal acid exposure over 24 hours, often used to diagnose gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
- Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS): Combines endoscopy and ultrasound to obtain images and information about the digestive tract and the surrounding tissue and organs. It’s particularly useful in evaluating pancreatic diseases and staging gastrointestinal cancers.
Advantages Of The Department
- Comprehensive Diagnosis and Treatment: Gastroenterologists specialize in diagnosing and treating a wide range of gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, including those affecting the esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. This comprehensive approach ensures that patients receive targeted treatment for their specific conditions.
- Minimally Invasive Procedures: Many gastroenterological procedures are minimally invasive, such as endoscopic examinations and biopsies, reducing recovery time and the risk of complications compared to traditional surgery.
- Preventive Care and Early Detection: Regular screenings, such as colonoscopies, play a crucial role in the early detection and prevention of serious conditions like colorectal cancer.
- Management of Chronic Conditions: Gastroenterologists are adept at managing chronic GI conditions like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), improving patients' quality of life.
- Focus on Long-term Health: The speciality not only addresses immediate health concerns but also focuses on long-term health and well-being, guiding patients in lifestyle changes and preventive measures to maintain a healthy digestive system.
Call 011-42888888 to book an appointment with a specialist at Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute.