A gastroenterologist is a doctor who specializes in diseases affecting the digestive system's organs and tissues. Gastroenterologists diagnose, treat, and care for patients suffering from a variety of gut-related diseases. Long-term illnesses such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and celiac disease fall under this category. A gastroenterologist may collaborate with hepatologists (liver specialists), radiologists (imaging specialists), and oncologists (cancer specialists).
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When should you see a gastroenterologist?
In some situations, doctors must refer patients to medical experts who have specialized knowledge. If a doctor suspects that a digestive system disease is causing the person's symptoms, he or she may send the person to a gastroenterologist. The symptoms of such problems might vary, however, they may include the following:
nausea and vomiting
The gastroenterologist will examine the patient and, if required, will prescribe therapy and care. Gastroenterologists are involved in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of patients suffering from diseases such as:
heartburn, or gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
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Procedures performed by a gastroenterologist
Gastroenterologists use a variety of operations to diagnose, treat, and manage diseases. These processes are as follows:
Endoscopy: A gastroenterologist uses an endoscope, a long, thin tube with a camera attached to it, to examine inside the body during an endoscopy. The endoscope is inserted via the mouth, down the neck, and into the esophagus. It transmits pictures to a monitor for monitoring. An endoscopy may be performed by a gastroenterologist to evaluate symptoms such as:
heartburn that persists
vomiting and nausea
the unexplained weight reduction
Colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy: These procedures are similar to endoscopies, except the gastroenterologist must introduce the tube through the rectum rather than the mouth. During a colonoscopy, a gastroenterologist may observe the whole colon and rectum. They can only inspect the rectum and lower colon using a sigmoidoscopy. Gastroenterologists may be searching for the following during these procedures:
Early indications of colon or rectal cancer
Changes in bowel habits can be caused by a variety of factors.
Particular causes of symptoms such as stomach discomfort, rectal bleeding, or unexplained weight loss
Polypectomy: A gastroenterologist will remove one or more polyps from the intestinal lining during a polypectomy. Polyps are benign growths that can appear on the colon. They are quite prevalent, affecting 30% of those over the age of 50. During a colonoscopy, the gastroenterologist will either remove the polyps with wire loop forceps or utilize an electric current to burn them out.
Esophageal dilation: A gastroenterologist will stretch out a constricted region of the esophagus during esophageal dilatation. Acid reflux can scar this muscle tube, narrowing it and making swallowing difficult. Excess tissue, esophageal cancer, and scarring from radiation treatment can all contribute to the same problems. The gastroenterologist extends the tube by inflating a balloon or using a plastic dilator. This is often done during an endoscopy. For the procedure, the gastroenterologist may sedate the patient. Alternatively, a topical anesthetic spray may be applied to the back of the person's throat.
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Surgery is not performed by a gastroenterologist. His job is restricted to medical diagnosis and therapy. Gastroenterologists do, however, conduct operations such as liver biopsy and endoscopic ("scope") inspections of the esophagus, stomach, small and large bowel within the wide category of surgery.
Gastroenterologists are doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal (GI) and liver disorders.
Although it is prudent to consult a specialist if you encounter any of the more frequent and milder symptoms, you should seek emergency attention from a gastroenterologist if signs of more complicated and significant problems are discovered.
A HIDA scan evaluates the gallbladder or liver's function. A radioactive fluid (marker) is injected into the patient's body. This signal may be detected on a scan as it passes through the liver, gallbladder, and intestine. The marker can detect whether bile ducts are missing or obstructed, as well as other issues.
Itching caused by liver disease is usually severe in the late evening and at night. Some people have itchiness in a specific region, such as a limb, the soles of their feet, or the palms of their hands, while others have an all-over itch.
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