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About "Surgical Gastroenterology"

The surgical treatment for the diseases of the gastrointestinal (digestive) tract and organs involved in digestion is called gastrointestinal surgery. These organs include the esophagus, small intestine, large intestine, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and rectum. Through a series of tests, a gastroenterologist will decide if you need medical or surgical treatment. The gastroenterologist will not perform these surgeries but will refer you to a surgeon.

The gastrointestinal conditions that might require surgical intervention are appendicitis, colon or other cancer, diverticulitis, gallbladder stones, hernia, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, rectal prolapse, Barret’s esophagus, etc. Surgery may be necessary to remove any growth or damaged part of the digestive tract or to diagnose any problem. Bariatric surgery is done to treat obesity, which is achieved by surgically reducing the size of the stomach.

These surgeries are carried out either as open surgery or laparoscopic surgery. In open surgery, the surgeon opens up the body part with a single large cut. In laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon makes few small cuts and inserts a camera in one cut and surgical instruments through others. As the cuts are smaller in laparoscopic surgery, it heals faster than the large cut of open surgery.

If you are suffering from any gastrointestinal symptoms like blood in stools, abdominal pain, heartburn, vomiting, unexplained weight loss, etc., consult a gastroenterologist at the earliest.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.What is surgical gastroenterology?

The medical specialty that deals with the surgical treatment for diseases affecting the digestive or food tract is called surgical gastroenterology.

Q.What is the role of a surgical gastroenterologist?

Surgeons who are trained to perform surgeries to treat conditions affecting the gastrointestinal tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach, small and large intestine, and rectum, are called surgical gastroenterologists.

Q.What are the common surgical procedures that gastroenterologists do?

Appendectomy for appendicitis, bowel resection surgery for diverticulitis, surgery to remove gallbladder stone, removal of colon cancer, hernia repair, etc., are some of the most common surgical procedures performed by a gastroenterologist.

Q.Do surgical gastroenterologist perform weight loss surgeries?

Some gastroenterologists who are trained in bariatric surgery or weight loss surgery do perform them.

Q.What does upper gastro surgery mean?

Upper gastro or gastrointestinal surgery includes surgery on the esophagus, stomach, liver, gall bladder, pancreas, and small intestine.

Q.Is endoscopy a surgical procedure?

Endoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure, where a flexible tube is inserted through the patient’s mouth or anus to look at the lining of the gastrointestinal tract.

Q.Is acid reflux surgery successful?

Laparoscopic fundoplication is one of the most common surgeries done to treat acid reflux and has a success rate of about 95 %. There are many other surgical options available for acid reflux.

Q.Is fundoplication major surgery?

Yes, fundoplication that is done to treat heartburn is major surgery. It takes around 4 to 6 weeks for the patient to heal and get back to their normal routine and work.

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