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Common Gastroenterology Procedures

digestive problem treatments

Digestive Disease Diagnostic Procedures and Treatments

There are several procedures that a gastroenterologist will make a patient undergo in order to determine what is causing digestive problems or to identify specific diseases and disorders. The following are among the most common.

Scans and Tests

An abdominal angiogram views the blood vessels in the abdomen. It checks blood flow in the stomach, liver and the spleen. It is used to treat stomach bleeding and some cancers. An ultrasound of the abdomen views the liver, pancreas, gallbladder, spleen, and kidneys to check the blood flow and to find any abnormalities in these organs.

X-rays are also sometimes used to check the intestines or the stomach and nearby tissues to find out causes of pain and discomfort. They are used if objects are suspected of having been swallowed or to find holes in the intestines.

A gastroenterologist will use barium enemas as tests to view the lower GI or gastrointestinal tract. This enema is used in conjunction with X-rays to view the entire large intestine and the rectum. The small intestines can be looked at using a procedure called magnetic resonance enterography. This imaging test can find problems like bleeding and inflammation.

A pancreas scan also looks for problems like tumors in the pancreas with the help of nuclear radiology.

A sigmoidoscopy is a test that is done to check the lower part of the colon or the sigmoid colon. This is the part of the colon that is near the rectum and the anus and it is done to find diseases and other issues in this part of the intestinal tract.

The upper gastrointestinal region is checked with the help of X-rays that are taken following the consumption of a special contrasting beverage. It will look at the esophagus, the stomach, and the small intestine. The upper GI endoscopy checks, diagnoses and treats any problems that are occurring in the upper GI tract.

A CT colonography or virtual colonoscopy is done to find polyps or other growths inside the colon. Polyps can sometimes develop into colon cancers so they are often removed after being detected.

Many of these procedures are routinely done to check intestinal health. Problems and other illnesses or diseases can be identified afterward and can be effectively treated.

Procedures and Surgeries

One of the most common gastroenterology procedures is the appendectomy. This is a form of surgery that removes an infected appendix. It treats appendicitis and is usually emergency surgery as the appendix is left alone at the right side of the abdomen unless it is the cause of severe pain and discomfort. A pediatric appendectomy is this same procedure done to a child.

A pediatric appendectomy is this same procedure done to a child.

A protectomy is a procedure that takes out some or all of the rectum.

A procedure that removes part of the stomach to reduce its size is called Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass surgery. This is done to limit the amount of food that an individual can consume and digest in the hopes of allowing them to lose large amounts of weight in a relatively short time.