What is Gastroenterology?
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, 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. In essence, all normal activity and disease of the digestive organs are part of the study of gastroenterology.
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Introduction – The Digestive System
Common Digestive Ailments
Meet our Specialists
Both gastroenterologists and general surgeons have a role in the journey of a patient with a GI tract issue. A gastroenterologist is a physician with dedicated training and unique experience in the management of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and liver. They are experts in the field, providing high-quality colonoscopy examinations, endoscopy procedures, and comprehensive consultative services. Medical management of a disease such as IBD or Crohn's would be within the scope of a GI specialist.
General surgeons also routinely perform colonoscopies and endoscopy procedures. They partner with primary care physicians and gastroenterologists to offer surgical care when other treatments fail or will not be aggressive enough for the patient.
If you need a colonoscopy or specialty care, please consult with your primary care physician about which type of doctor is right for you.