A gastroenterologist is a physician who diagnoses and treats acute and chronic conditions of the gastrointestinal(GI) tract. They prescribe medications, run specialized assessments, and perform surgeries to improve the health and function of major GI organs. If your primary care physician believes you should see a gastroenterologist, here’s what you should know about these doctors and where you can find a gastroenterologist near you that is best for your health needs.
What Do Gastroenterologists Do?
Gastroenterologists are physicians who have additional training and experience in diseases, malformations, and chronic conditions involving the digestive tract and organs that assist digestion. The main digestive organs include the esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines (colon), rectum, and anus. They also assess and treat the biliary organs, which produce bile and assist digestion. These include the liver, bile ducts, gallbladder, and pancreas.
To develop care plans customized to each patient’s complaints and possible conditions, a gastroenterologist may perform any number of diagnostic assessments. These can include:
- Blood work and other kinds of lab testing
- Endoscopy and colonoscopy to examine the interior of the GI tract in real time
- GI X-rays
- Ultrasound examination of organs, such as the gallbladder
- Polypectomy and biopsy to determine the presence of cancer
With findings from these tests, physical examination, and review of your symptoms, your gastroenterologist may treat the acute or chronic conditions with a focused combination of:
- Nutritional counseling, including supplements and weight-loss techniques
- Surgery, including the latest minimally invasive techniques
- Cancer treatments to include operative and non-operative interventions
What Do Gastroenterologists Treat?
Gastrointestinal specialists treat a wide range of digestive system issues, including:
- Stomach conditions – e.g., stomach ulcers, acid reflux
- Esophageal conditions – e.g., hiatal hernia, Barrett’s esophagus
- Intestinal conditions – e.g., diverticulitis, appendicitis
- Inflammatory conditions– e.g., Crohn’s disease and inflammatory bowel disease
- Chronic and acute liver diseases– e.g., cirrhosis, hepatitis
- Biliary tract issues – e.g., gallstones, pancreatitis
- Cancer of the gastrointestinal organs (typically in consultation with a cancer specialist)
Gastroenterologists are experts in discovering the many reasons why people have uncomfortable symptoms associated with their digestive systems. Some symptoms are mechanical–such as chronic constipation. Others are biochemical–such as the lack of enzymes needed to break down food and absorb nutrients.
Whatever the case, these specialty physicians understand the complexities of the GI tract and associated organs and have many effective tools to treat patients of all ages. They work closely with primary care physicians, nutritionists, and other professionals to help people achieve their best digestive and overall health.
inSite Digestive Health Care
At inSite Digestive Health Care, we have 30 offices across California and 65 board-certified and experienced gastroenterologists. Most are also fellowship-trained, meaning they have additional education and expertise in a specific area of the digestive tract or in highly focused treatments.
For instance, Dr. Eduardo Da Silveira serves patients in San Jose, Los Gatos, and Mountain View, CA. He is fellowship-trained in biliary endoscopy and endoscopic ultrasound. You may reach his office team at (408) 471-2222.
To find the best fit for your GI needs, select a convenient location, and call us today to schedule an appointment. Additionally, you can use our simple appointment request form. We look forward to serving you!
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