What Exactly Is Gastroenterology?

Gastroenterology is known as the branch of medicine that is primarily focused on digestive disorders and the digestive system.

What Gastroenterology Focuses On

Gastroenterology focuses on the diseases that affect one’s gastrointestinal tract. That’s right, all organs from the mouth to the anus (and all along the alimentary canal) are the primary focus of this specialty. Physicians who work in this practice are called gastroenterologists. To become a gastroenterologist, one must have at least eight years of medical and pre-medical education, an internship for one year, an internal medicine residency for at least 3 years, and a gastroenterology fellowship for another three. Gastroenterologists over a decade learning about the human body before they can be involved in such a practice.

What Gastroenterologists Do

Gastroenterologists perform a wide variety of therapeutic and diagnostic procedures. Such procedures include:
– Liver biopsy
– Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)
– Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
– Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)
– Colonoscopy

There are a few gastroenterologists who will go the extra mile for the fourth year, which allows them to perform such procedures as:
– Motility
– Inflammatory bowel disease
– Advanced interventional endoscopy
– Transplant hepatology

Gastroenterologists & Advanced Endoscopy

Also referred to as surgical or interventional endoscopy, advanced endoscopy is known as the sub-specialty in the world of gastroenterology. This procedure solely focuses on the advanced endoscopic techniques that are used for the treatment of gastrointestinal, hepatobiliary, or pancreatic disease. Gastroenterologists who specialize in this industry typically attend an additional year of training in the advanced fields of endoscopy such as endoscopic submucosal dissection, endoscopic mucosal resection, endoscopic ultrasound-guided interventional and diagnostic procedures, and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography.

Considering the information above, having a gastroenterologist who knows what he’s doing is incredibly important. Our resident professional Dr. Matt Cooley is here for all of your gastroenterology needs. Contact us today for details on how we can help you and your digestive issues.

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