Gastroenterology is a branch of medicine focused on the digestive system, which includes the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, esophagus, stomach and the large and small intestines. Gastroenterologists treat all disorders of the digestive system such as:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Ileitis and colitis
- Chronic diarrhea or constipation
- Cirrhosis, including assessment for liver transplantation
- Gallstones, including evaluation for laparoscopic cholecystectomy and other alternatives to conventional gallbladder surgery
- Abdominal malignancies, including colon and rectal cancer screening.
Gastroenterologists perform all currently recommended and approved diagnostic and therapeutic procedures within their specialty. These procedures include:
- Colonoscopy with the ability to remove polyps
- Evaluation of the pancreas and biliary tree and the release of trapped ductal stones.
The evaluation of the small intestine can now be accomplished by a pill that, when swallowed, can take pictures of the intestine and transmit these for physician review. Advanced evaluation of the esophagus in patients with serious reflux (GERD) is available as well.
Full endoscopy centers offering diagnosis and treatment of the intestinal tract are available at Abington Hospital – Jefferson Health’s Levy Medical Center, Ste. G23 (215-481-4943) and at Abington – Lansdale Hospital.