Gastroenterology is a sub speciality of internal medicine that deals with the functioning and disorders of the digestive system. Thus, gastroenterologists deal with diseases of the esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, intestines, bile ducts, colon and rectum. Some of the common conditions treated by a gastroenterologist include stomach ulcers, gallbladder disease, heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome, pancreatitis and nutritional problems. Gastroenterologists usually do not perform surgeries.
You should consult a gastroenterologist if you have problems with your digestion such as constipation, diarrhoea, chronic heartburn, abdominal bloating and pain, rectal bleeding, unexplained weight loss or a change in appetite. Gastroenterologists can also perform screenings for cancers of the digestive system such as intestinal cancer and colorectal cancer. People over the age of 50 years should also consult a gastroenterologist at least once every 5 years for a colonoscopy.
Some gastroenterologists may specialize in Hepatology. This deals with the functioning of the liver and the treatment of conditions such as liver disease.
Consultations usually start at Rs 500 and can go up to Rs 1500.
Endoscopy Rs 2500- Rs 6000
Colonoscopy Rs 6000- Rs 18000
Biliary Stone Removal Rs 75000 – Rs 3,40,000
Capsule Endoscopy Rs 45,000- Rs 75,000
An endoscopy involves threading a thin, flexible tube through the mouth and esophagus into the stomach and small intestines. The tube is fitted with a light and a camera that allows the doctor to look into the internal organs.
A colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure that allows the doctor to look into the colon and rectum in order to detect ulcers, inflammation and abnormal growths. The doctor may also remove polyps and take tissue samples for a biopsy during this procedure.
A stone in the bile duct or gallbladder may be removed endoscopically or through a minimally invasive surgery. Large stones may need to be broken down and then taken out piece by piece.
This procedure is used to remove polyps from the inside of the large intestine or colon during a colonoscopy. A polypectomy can help prevent colon cancer.
Haemorrhoids are swollen veins around the rectum that can be very painful. A gastroenterologist may treat this condition with medication, topical ointments and in some cases, a minimally invasive surgical procedure.