Gastrointestinal Surgeon – Health Care Professionals Treating Gastrointestinal Diseases

Gastrointestinal Surgery: An Introduction

Gastrointestinal Surgery is a field of surgery that deals with body parts included in the process of digestion. This includes the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and rectum. The process of digestion also includes the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. Gastrointestinal surgery is used to remove both cancerous and non-cancerous growth or diseased part of the gastrointestinal tract such as the intestine. It may also be used to repair a condition or disease like a hernia. Some digestive system surgery procedures may also be used in diagnosing and treating the problems of the digestive system.

Reasons to Visit a Gastrointestinal Surgeon

  • Appendicitis:
    When the appendix is infected and inflamed, it is removed by a surgical procedure known as appendectomy.
  • Colon Cancer and Other Gastrointestinal Cancers:
    Digestive system surgery is performed to remove cancerous tumors present in the digestive system. A surgeon may remove a tumor as well as part of the pancreas, intestine, or any other part affected with cancer.
  • Diverticular Disease:
    A diverticulum is a small pocket or pouch present in the colon. Sometimes these get inflamed and cause pain, known as diverticulitis. This is often treated without surgery but if someone has a lot of diverticula that gets inflamed often, the doctor may recommend bowel resection surgery in order to remove that part of the intestine.
  • Gallbladder Disease:
    When there is a problem with the gallbladder, caused usually by gallstones, the gall bladder has to be removed. The surgery required to remove the gallbladder is known as a cholecystectomy.
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and Hiatal Hernia:
    GERD, also known as acid reflux is when the acid from the stomach backups in the esophagus and causes heartburn. This is when the stomach pushes through the diaphragm, a muscle that separates the chest and the abdomen. A surgery known as fundoplication is performed to treat this disease. The surgeon fixes the hernia and wraps the top of the stomach around the bottom of the esophagus to strengthen the sphincter. This keeps the acid out and prevents the recurrence of the disease.
  • Hernia:
    A hernia is a part of the intestine that comes through a hole or weak spot in the wall of the muscle or connective tissue that is supposed to protect it. It can be very painful and gastrointestinal surgeons can repair it with the help of a surgical procedure.

What are the other diseases treated by Gastrointestinal Surgeon?

  • Abdominal Abscess
  • Abdominal Hernias
  • Abdominal Stab Wound
  • Bile Duct Cancer (Cholangiocarcinoma)
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Gallstones
  • Hepatocellular Carcinoma
  • Intestinal Perforation
  • Abdominal Trauma
  • Small Intestine Cancer
  • Stomach (Gastric) Cancer
  • Anal Cancer
  • Anal Fissure
  • Anorectal Abscess
  • Appendicitis
  • Bile Duct Tumors
  • Cholecystitis
  • Gallbladder Cancer
  • Gastric Cancer
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Mesenteric Tumors
  • Obesity
  • Rectal Cancer

Risks of Undergoing a Digestive System Surgery

  • Infection:
    Anytime the body is opened up for any surgical procedure, infections can get it. Surgeons are very careful about keeping things sterile and clean during the surgical procedure. But, there is always a chance of infection.
  • Pain:
    Pain depends on the surgery. A patient can suffer from soreness and pain during the recovery process.
  • Bleeding and Blood Clots:
    Sometimes the body forms a blood clot where the surgery was performed, and the clot blocks some important blood vessels to the lungs, heart, or the brain and sometimes cuts from the surgery continue to bleed. This can make the recovery process longer.
  • Reaction to Anesthesia:
    Although rare, but some people don't react well to anesthesia and may suffer from nausea and vomiting, and side effects.

Common Procedures done by Gastrointestinal Surgeon

  • Excision of Fistula in Ano (Fistulectomy)
  • Exploratory Laparotomy
  • Laparoscopic/Open Appendicectomy
  • Laparoscopic / Open Cholecystectomy
  • Laparoscopic / Open Epigastric Hernia Repair
  • Pilonidal Sinus Excision
  • Total Gastrectomy
  • Whipple Procedure
  • Splenectomy
  • Abdomino-Perineal Excision of Rectum

Education and Training

Doctors have to spend five & a half years in graduation as M.B.B.S. from a medical college followed by another three years in post-graduation in general surgery to qualify for surgery and training. Furthermore, they also have to complete a super specialization course in Gastrointestinal surgery which is again of three years. It is only after completing this entire process, they are allowed to diagnose and treat patients suffering from gastrointestinal conditions.

Dr. Rishab Sharma

Dr. Rishab Sharma MBBS, MD (Internal Medicine) He is associated with Fortis Escorts Hospital, Jaipur. Dr. Rishab has wide experience in managing a variety of diseases, as well as managing critical care units in large government and corporate hospitals.

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