Gastroenterology is the study of the normal function and diseases of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon and rectum, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts and liver. It involves a detailed understanding of the normal action (physiology) of the gastrointestinal organs including the movement of material through the stomach and intestine (motility), the digestion and absorption of nutrients into the body, removal of waste from the system, and the function of the liver as a digestive organ.
It includes common and important conditions such as colon polyps and cancer, hepatitis, gastroesophageal reflux (heartburn), peptic ulcer disease, colitis, gallbladder and biliary tract disease, nutritional problems, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and pancreatitis.
Gastroenterologists carry out several procedures to diagnose, treat, and manage conditions.
These procedures include:
During an endoscopy, a gastroenterologist uses a camera that attaches to a long, thin tube called an endoscope to look inside the body.
They insert the endoscope through the mouth, down the throat, and into the esophagus. It sends images back to a screen for monitoring.
A gastroenterologist might perform an endoscopy to investigate symptoms such as: