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Gastroenterology is a medical branch that studies the gastrointestinal tract and the diseases related to it. A gastroenterologist diagnoses and treats severe digestive conditions such as colon polyps, colon cancer, colonitis, hepatitis, gallbladder disease, irritable bowel syndrome, pancreatitis, peptic ulcer disease, etc. A gastroenterologist uses various techniques to cure these diseases, the most prominent of which is endoscopy. This involves entering a small camera with a light through a long thin tube, which helps to examine the problem so that a diagnosis can be done.
Gastroenterologists are intensely trained by recognised experts in the field and develop a detailed understanding of gastrointestinal diseases. Gastroenterologists also learn how to perform advanced endoscopic procedures such as polypectomy (removal of colon polyps), oesophageal and intestinal dilation (stretching of narrowed areas), and haemostasis (injection or cautery to stop bleeding). Some Gastroenterologists also receive directed training in advanced procedures using endoscopes such as endoscopic biliary examination, removal of tumours without surgery etc.
A gastroenterologist is trained medical professional who diagnoses and treats diseases of the gastrointestinal tract in both men and women.
The medical field of gastroenterology involves the study, research, diagnosis, and management of health conditions that may affect the digestive system or the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. A GI tract includes the mouth, pharynx, oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, salivary glands, tongue, epiglottis, rectum and anus.
In order to become a gastroenterologist, one must complete seven or more years of medical school and post-graduate training and become board certified in Internal Medicine. After that, two to three years of study related to gastrointestinal tract to be certified in the subspecialty is necessary. A gastroenterologist may work in private practice or within a team setting at a gastroenterology clinic or a hospital.
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