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1. Who is a gastroenterologist?
A gastroenterologist is a doctor who specializes in analysis as well as treatment of disorders of gastrointestinal tract and liver. Gastroenterology is basically a branch of medicine which deals with diseases which affect the gastrointestinal tract, which encompasses organs from your mouth till the anus.
2. Disorders of which body parts are treated by a Gastroenterologist?
Disorders of your stomach, liver, entire digestive tract, oesophagus, small intestine, rectum, colon, pancreas, gall bladder and bile ducts are treated by a gastroenterologist
3. Can a Gastroenterologist perform colonoscopy?
Yes, a gastroenterologist can perform colonoscopy. As a gastroenterologist receives special training in treating gastrointestinal diseases, he or she can easily perform colonoscopy.
4. Is endoscopy safe?
Yes, endoscopy is a totally safe procedure. In only very rare cases, complications crop up and these include bleeding. The risk of bleeding complications after an endoscopy is increased if the process involves the removal of a piece of tissue for the purpose of testing (this is known as biopsy) or treatment of any kind of digestive system disease.
5. When should one consult a Gastroenterologist immediately?
You should consult a gastroenterologist immediately if you experience diarrhoea or are suffering from constant heartburn, you suspect gall stones, your diet is leading to bloating in the body, ulcer in stomach, constipation or you have to get a colonoscopy done. Cancer screening is also done by gastroenterologists.
Gastroenterologists are specialised doctors who study the organs of the digestive system or the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of the human beings. They focus mainly on the infections and anomalies in the oesophagus, stomach, pancreas, gallbladder, and intestines. The specialists observe the structure of these internal organs by performing endoscopy, where they introduce a long pipe with attached lenses. Nowadays, the doctors use many state-of-the-art endoscopic procedures like sigmoidoscopies (detection of blood loss in the bowel), capsule endoscopies (viewing the organisation of small intestine), and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) for identifying gallstones and tumours.
Complications which can arise in the gastrointestinal tract like acid reflux, blood in stool, stones in the gallbladder, pancreatitis (infection in the pancreas), peptic ulcers, and polyps in the intestines can be treated by specialists. Gastroenterologists perform a physical examination of the patients and ask for a detailed medical history. If they have any doubts on the medical condition of the patient, then they may prescribe additional diagnostic tests like complete hemogram, ultrasound examination of the abdomen, or endoscopic study of the GI tract for the detection and treatment of the diseases.
There are many sub-specialisations under the core group Gastroenterology like specialists in pancreatic disease, transplantation, inflammatory bowel disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease, or endoscopic surveillance.
The consultation fee of the Gastroenterologists in Pune depends on the hospital with which the specialists are attached, and their experience. Dr Harshal P Gadhikar in D P Road, Aundh, with 24 years of experience charges INR 600/- as consultation fee. Dr Kiran Bhise Clinic, in Nigdi-Pimpri Chinchwad, charges INR 400/- during the initial visit.
Detailed below are the top five treatment procedures performed by the Gastroenterologists
Endoscopic Ultrasound Examination
It is a minimally invasive medical procedure where the doctors use a specific endoscope with high-frequency sound waves for high-quality images of the walls of organs of the GI tract.
This diagnostic test helps to find out the causes of rectal bleeding and changes in bowel habits.
Gastroenterologists remove a few cells or part of the tissue from stomach for further cytological study.
It is a specialised endoscopy which consists of a tiny, wireless camera for clicking pictures of the organs of the digestive system.
Double Balloon Endoscopy
This procedure involves examination for detection and treatment of disorders of the small intestine.