Gastroenterologists specialize in treating conditions affecting the gastrointestinal tract, liver and other digestive organs, such as pancreatitis, irritable bowel syndrome, gallbladder disease, peptic ulcer disease and gastroesophageal reflux or heartburn, according to the American College of Gastroenterology. They also provide medical care to patients with hepatitis, colon polyps or cancer.
Gastroenterologists are knowledgeable in the proper functioning and diseases of the liver, bile ducts, gallbladder, pancreas and colon, explains the American College of Gastroenterology. They also study conditions related to the small intestine, stomach and esophagus.
Gastroenterologists undergo thorough training in colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy and upper endoscopy, which involves the use of thin, lighted tubes with video cameras to view the interior region of the intestinal tract, explains the American College of Gastroenterology. Their training also covers advanced endoscopic procedures, such as removal of colon polyps and stretching of constricted esophageal or intestinal areas. They recommend appropriate treatments and prevention measures by interpreting findings and biopsy results.
Studies reveal that gastroenterologists are capable of performing better colonoscopy examinations and providing more extensive consultation related to gastrointestinal conditions than other physicians, notes the American College of Gastroenterology. They can accurately detect polyps and cancer through colonoscopy and perform procedures with lower risks of complications. Patients who receive care from experienced gastroenterology specialists often recover more quickly and stay for a shorter period in the hospital.