What is Gastroenterology?

Video: Dr. Jonathan Cohen of the Concorde Medical Group discusses Gastroenterology. Gastroenterology is a specialized field of medicine that focuses on the digestive tract - from the mouth to the anus. Gastroenterolgy studies the functioning and disorders of the esophagus, stomach and intestines, as well as its associated organs such as the liver, pancreas and gall bladder. There is documented evidence that some forms of Gastroenterolgy were practiced in ancient Egypt. Greek, Roman and Arab practitioners studied the digestive tracts of the human body with specially designed spatula and mirrors illuminated by candles or oil lamps. More complex tools for examining the rectum with dilating specula were found in the ruins of Pompeii.

The development of modern Gastroentorolgy, like most forms of medicine, was dependent on new modes of perception - creating the technologies that allowed physicians to examine the digestive tract of a living patient. It wasn't until the 18th and 19th century the modern major breakthroughs came in the study of field.

Gastroenterolgy covers a wide ranges or medical conditions and diseases. The most common include: Anal fissure, Fistula and Abscess Barrett's Esophagus Colon Polyps/Cancer Constipation Crohn's Disease Diarrhea Diverticulosis/Diverticulitis Eosinophilic Esophagitis Esophagitis and Stricture Gallstones Gas Gastritis Gastroparesis GERD Heartburn and Reflux Helicobacter Pylori Hemorrhoids Hiatus Hernia Irritable Bowel Syndrome Lactose Intolerance Ostomy Pancreatic Disease Peptic Ulcer Disease Prevention of Colon Polyps/Cancer Rectal Bleeding Ulcerative Colitis Hepatology, the study of the liver is considered a sub-specialty of Gastroenterology.

Autoimmune Hepatitis Cirrhosis Fatty Liver Hemochromatosis Hepatitis Hepatitis B Hepatitis C Primary Biliary Cirrhosis Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis Typical Gastroenterolgy procedures include: Upper GI Endoscopy (EGD) Colonoscopy Flexible Sigmoidoscopy ERCP Esophageal Dilatation Esophageal Manometry Esophageal pH Liver Biopsy Liver Transplant Correction of Acid Reflux by Laparoscopy Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy


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