Gastroenterology is a discipline that studies the structure, functions and diseases of the digestive system organs. Digestive system consists of esophagus, stomach, small intestines and large intestines, as well as liver, gall bladder and pancreas.
Some of the diseases diagnosed and treated in gastroenterology are as follows:
- Reflux Disease (Gastroesophageal reflux disease)
- Gastric Ulcer, Gastric Bleeding
- Constipation, Hemorrhoids
- Treatment of nutritional disorders due to gastrointestinal diseases
- Pancreatic diseases (Acute and chronic pancreatitis, hereditary pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, pancreatic cysts, adult cystic fibrosis etc.)
- Esophagus diseases and cancers
- Gastrointestinal cancers (Anus, colon, rectum, stomach)
- Liver and biliary tract diseases (including liver transplant evaluation and post-surgical care)
- Inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis)
- Nutrition and absorption disorders (Malabsorption and malnutrition)
- Diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopic procedures (Enteral stent, biliary stent, band application to esophagus varicose veins, small intestine enteroscopy, endoscopic treatment of gastrointestinal bleeding, endoscopic ultrasonography etc.)
Gastroenterologists use special examination methods for the diagnosis and treatment of esophagus, stomach, intestines, liver and pancreas.
The devices used for these examinations are as such;
Gastroscopy is a method of imaging that allows direct observation of esophagus and duodenal intestines. This procedure is carried out by means of a thin, soft and flexible tubular device with light and micro camera at its tip. It is usually performed under sedation.
Colonoscopy is the complete examination of the large intestine and the examination of the last part of the small intestine with a soft, flexible 8-9mm thick camera device entering from anus. This procedure is usually performed under sedation and anesthesia.
With these devices used during gastroscopy and colonoscopy procedures, interventions can be made for diagnosis and treatment such as taking a tissue sample (biopsy), removing and cleaning the tissue growths called polyps (polypectomy), interfering with bleeding in a hemorrhagic patient. In these procedures, you do not feel pain because of the special structure of the digestive system. The use of anesthesia to provide sleep and relaxation in endoscopic procedures has made these examinations very comfortable for the patient.
ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography)
ERCP is an endoscopic application used during the diagnosis and treatment of gallbladder and pancreas occlusive diseases. This process is also performed under anesthesia. The physician places an endoscopic tube through the oral tract to duodenum and visualizes the complications in liver, gallbladder, bile ducts and pancreas, diagnoses and applies the operation for treatment within the same session. ERCP is mainly used to treat the occlusion of bile and pancreatic ducts.
MRCP (Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography)
It is the imaging of bile ducts, gallbladder and pancreas ducts with a MRI scanner. MRCP is not an interventional procedure and does not have the risks of narcotizing, pancreatitis or perforation as in ERCP. MRCP is used for diagnostic purposes only, it has no therapeutic aspect.