Gastroenterology Overview:
Gastroenterology is a medical specialty primarily focused on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases affecting the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. This includes organs such as the stomach, pancreas, gallbladder, esophagus, small intestine, and large intestine. Gastroenterologists specialize in diagnosing and treating a wide range of digestive disorders.

Indications for Gastroenterology Surgery:
Individuals experiencing symptoms such as weight loss, changes in bowel habits, constipation, abdominal pain, diarrhea, blood in the stool, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) should consider consulting a gastroenterologist. Various gastroenterology disorders that may require specialized care include bowel and colon cancers, biliary tract disease, peptic ulcer disease, irritable bowel syndrome, hepatitis, pancreatic cancer, and more.

Types of Gastrointestinal Surgery:
Gastrointestinal surgery becomes necessary for certain conditions, aiming to improve patients’ quality of life. Procedures address issues like mediastinal masses, achalasia, hernias, reflux disease, stomach tumors, esophageal diseases, anorectal diseases, gallbladder disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and more. The choice of surgery depends on the location and size of the cancer or condition.

Common Gastrointestinal Surgeries:

  • Gallbladder Cancer: Surgery is employed for treating early-stage gallbladder cancers, often involving the removal of the gallbladder.
  • Stomach Cancer: Gastrectomy, which involves the removal of a part of the stomach, is a common procedure for treating stomach cancer.
  • Liver Cancer: Hepatectomy, a surgical procedure for removing parts of the liver, is performed when healthy liver tissue remains.
  • Pancreatic Cancer: Whipple procedure is used to remove parts of the pancreas, stomach, bile duct, and small intestine for treating pancreatic cancer.
  • Esophageal Cancer: Esophagectomy involves the removal of part or the entire esophagus for treating esophageal cancer.
  • Colorectal Cancer: Procedures like colectomy may involve removing the rectum or a segment of the colon, and reconnecting the remaining ends for treating colorectal cancer.
  • Gastroenterology Diseases and Treatments: Diseases affecting various parts of the digestive system are addressed through gastroenterology treatments. Some common diseases and their treatments include obscure bleeding, diverticulosis, malabsorption syndrome, ulcers, gallbladder stones, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, cirrhosis, and more.

Advanced Diagnostic Procedures: 

  • Capsule Endoscopy: A vitamin-sized capsule with a tiny wireless camera for imaging the digestive tract.
  • Colonoscopy: A test to examine the large intestine and rectum using a long, flexible tube with a camera.
  • Endoscopy: Used for upper gastrointestinal tract examination, involving the insertion of a long, flexible pipe through the mouth.
  • ERCP (Diagnostic): Combining endoscopy and fluoroscopy to examine gall bladder, pancreatic ducts, and bile.
  • Sigmoidoscopy: A procedure to view the inside of the rectum and lower colon using a sigmoidoscope.
  • Whipple Procedure: The Whipple procedure is a surgical operation for removing tumors from the pancreas. It involves the removal of the head of the pancreas, gall bladder, first part of the small intestine, and part of the bile duct. Organs are then reconnected to allow normal digestion after surgery.

Choosing gastroenterology surgery depends on the specific condition, and advancements in diagnostic and surgical techniques contribute to better outcomes for patients seeking gastrointestinal care.

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