Frequently Asked Questions

A gastroenterologist is a doctor who specialises in diagnosing and treating diseases of digestive organs. The digestive organs include the digestive tract oesophagus, stomach, small and large intestine as well as related organs the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.

Problems associated with the following areas are normally evaluated by a gastroenterologist are:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Persistent nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Heartburn
  • Swallowing trouble
  • Weight loss
  • Jaundice
  • Colorectal surgeons are experts in the surgical and nonsurgical treatment of colon and rectal problems. They have completed advanced training in the treatment of colon and rectal problems in addition to full training in general surgery.

    Yes, a colonoscopy may detect polyps (small growths on the lining of the colon). Your gastroenterologist will remove these polyps during the colonoscopy. Removal of polyps will result in a major reduction in the likelihood of developing colorectal cancer in the future.

    If you are 45 years or older, have a family history of GI cancer, or if you have complained to your family doctor about digestive problem such as frequent abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, or heartburn, something is affecting your digestive system.

    No. Gastroenterologists perform endoscopic procedures, but do not perform surgery. When necessary, they work closely with surgeons.

    If your doctor thinks an area needs further evaluation, the physician might biopsy the site to be analyzed. Your GI doctor might control bleeding by injecting medications or by cauterization (sealing off bleeding vessels with heat treatment) or by small clips. Your doctor also might find polyps and the physician can remove them during the exam.

    The colon is another term for the long intestine is the lowest part of the digestive system. Colon Cancer is when there is uncontrolled cell growth in the colon area. Most colon cancers originate from small non-cancerous tumors called adenomatous polyps that form the inner walls of the large intestine. It is the third most common cancer among men and second most common among women. Certain indviduals have genetic susceptibility to develop cancer.

    There are various tests used to diagnose esophageal cancer.

  • Barium swallow – Also called esophagram, the patient swallows liquid containing barium and then conducts an X – Ray. The barium covers the affected area which is visible through an X-ray and then an endoscopy is done to check whether it is cancerous or not.
  • Upper endoscopy – Also called esophagus gastric duodenoscopy, where a thin flexible tube is passed through the throat while the patient is sedated. If there is any suspicious growth of cells, a biopsy is done to check whether it is cancerous or not.
  • Endoscopic Ultrasound – It is often done at the time of endoscopy. The sound waves is used to determine how deep the cancer has grown and whether it has grown into nearby lymph nodes or tissues.
  • Bronchoscopy – similar to endoscopy, this is done if the cancer is located in the upper part of the esophagus or if the tumor is growing in the person’s windpipe.
  • CT Scan – A CT scan helps gives a 3D picture of the inside of the body by providing a cross section computerized view of the affected area. This method also helps in determining the size of the tumor as well.