Gastroenterology

Gastroenterology[1] is the branch of medicine focused on the digestive system and its disorders.

Gastroenterology
Illustration of the stomach, colon and rectum.
SystemGastrointestinal
Significant diseasesGastrointestinal cancers, Gastrointestinal bleeding, Liver cirrhosis, Gallstones, Gastroenteritis, Inflammatory bowel disease
Significant testsColonoscopy, Stool test, Barium swallows, Endoscopy
SpecialistGastroenterologist
GlossaryGlossary of medicine
Gastroenterologist
Occupation
Names
  • Physician
  • Surgeon
Occupation type
Specialty
Activity sectors
Medicine, Surgery
Description
Education required
Fields of
employment
Hospitals, Clinics

Diseases affecting the gastrointestinal tract, which include the organs from mouth into anus, along the alimentary canal, are the focus of this speciality. Physicians practicing in this field are called gastroenterologists. They have usually completed about eight years of pre-medical and medical education, a year-long internship (if this is not a part of the residency), three years of an internal medicine residency, and three years in the gastroenterology fellowship. Gastroenterologists perform a number of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures including colonoscopy, esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), and liver biopsy.[2] Some gastroenterology trainees will complete a "fourth-year" (although this is often their seventh year of graduate medical education) in transplant hepatology, advanced interventional endoscopy, inflammatory bowel disease, motility, or other topics.

Advanced endoscopy, sometimes called interventional or surgical endoscopy, is a sub-specialty of gastroenterology that focuses on advanced endoscopic techniques for the treatment of pancreatic, hepatobiliary, and gastrointestinal disease. Interventional gastroenterologists typically undergo an additional year of rigorous training in advanced endoscopic techniques including endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, endoscopic ultrasound-guided diagnostic and interventional procedures, and advanced resection techniques including endoscopic mucosal resection and endoscopic submucosal dissection. Additionally, the performance of endoscopic bariatric procedures is also performed by some advanced endoscopists.

Hepatology, or hepatobiliary medicine, encompasses the study of the liver, pancreas, and biliary tree, and is traditionally considered a sub-specialty of gastroenterology, while proctology encompasses disorders of the anus, rectum, and colon and is considered a sub-specialty of general surgery.


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