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What is gastroenterology?
Gastroenterology focuses on your digestive system and any related disorders. Your gastrointestinal tract includes the organs from the mouth to the anus. Your gastroenterologist at Stamford Health's GI Center of Excellence will pay close attention to the regular and irregular function of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, rectum, gallbladder, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts and liver.
Who needs to see a gastroenterologist?
Anyone experiencing digestive disorders or with a disease impacting the gastrointenstinal tract may benefit from seeing a gastroenterologist.
The American Cancer Society now recommends that everyone should see a gastroenterologist to be screened for colorectal cancer beginning at age 45 – sooner if you have a personal or family history of colon polyps or colorectal cancer. If you have general digestive challenges, your primary care doctor may suggest consulting a gastroenterologist.
What conditions do gastroenterologists treat?
Gastroenterologists treat people with the following conditions and complaints:
- Abdominal pain and discomfort
- Barrett's esophagus
- Bleeding in the digestive tract
- Cancer, including colorectal cancer, esophageal cancer, stomach/gastric cancer, pancreatic cancer or liver cancer
- Celiac disease
- Digestive upset (including stomach ache, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea)
- Diverticular disease and other diseases of the colon, such as polyps, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), colitis or Crohn's disease
- Gallbladder disease
- Heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Hiatal hernias
- Inflammation in the digestive tract (called gastritis)
- Lactose intolerance
- Liver disease, including hepatitis, jaundice and cirrhosis
- Swallowing problems
What services do Stamford Health gastroenterologists perform?
Hemorrhoids, cushions of tissue containing swollen blood vessels, located in the lower rectum or anus, are a common complaint. Causes include constipation, pregnancy, childbirth, obesity, heavy lifting, long periods of sitting, or diarrhea. We treat both internal and external hemorrhoids, surgically and non-surgically. We are specialists in the CRH O’Regan banding system, a painless and non-invasive method for treating external hemorrhoids.
During a colonoscopy, your gastroenterologist will use a tube to examine your rectum and colon. He or she may remove some polyps and collect samples of tissue or cells for to examine further. This test is recommended every 10 years or more frequently, depending on findings and risks. The American Cancer Society now recommends colorectal cancer screening begin at age 45 if you're at average risk.
Upper GI Gastroscopy
During an upper endoscopy, an endoscope is passed through the mouth and throat and into the esophagus. This allows the gastroenterologist to view the esophagus, stomach, and upper part of the small intestine.
Manometry and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Testing
The GI Center of Excellence has the latest manometry and pH testing equipment to enhance diagnosis of acid reflux disease. Manometry records pressure and motility of the swallowing process using tiny sensors within a catheter, a small, thin tube, all in just 30 minutes. With this technology, we evaluate and assess:
- Persistent gastric reflux
- Difficulty swallowing
- Non-cardiac chest pain
- The pressure and motor functions of the esophagus and the lower esophageal sphincter
- Cases in which patients are unresponsive to standard PPI management
We also offer 24 hr. PH impedance and Bravo testing to help further evaluate:
- Negative gastroscopy results
- Those who do not respond to acid reflux medications
- Cough, belch, or voice disorders
- Regurgitation and pediatric reflux
Our Pelvic Floor Physiology Program evaluates pelvic floor dysfunction, including incontinence. Certain testing methods may help those with:
- Chronic constipation
- Fecal incontinence
- Rectal prolapse
- Hirschprung Disease
- Assessing sphincter function before rectal or anal surgery