Gastroenterology is a special branch of medicine that deals with the treatment of conditions that affect our small intestine, large intestine or colon, esophagus and the entire biliary system, which include the liver, pancreas, bile ducts and gallbladder. It is precisely a subspecialty of internal medicine.
Essential Gastroenterology Tests
In the following paragraphs, we will discuss some of the essential gastroenterology tests and procedures, as explained by an experienced gastroenterology surgeon.
- Abdominal angiogram: Angiogram is an imaging test, using X-ray. It is used to look into your blood vessels. As the name suggests, an abdominal angiogram allows looking into the blood vessels in your abdomen or belly. Doctors prescribe this test for various reasons. It can be used to look at the blood flow to your abdominal organs, like the liver and the spleen. It can also be used to treat abdominal cancer and other serious medical conditions.
- Abdominal ultrasound: It is a medical procedure to assess both the organs and their structures inside the abdomen. The scope of this test covers the organs like pancreas, gallbladder, liver, spleen, kidney, bile duct and the abdominal aorta. The test also reveals information about blood flow to these organs.
- Abdominal X-ray: This test is very useful to diagnose the area inside your abdomen to detect the cause of abdominal pain. Moreover, it can also expose intestinal holes, blockages and to trace an object, which has been accidentally swallowed.
- Appendectomy: It is the surgery to remove an infected appendix. The medical condition is called appendicitis and appendectomy is a common surgery performed on an emergency basis. Previously, it was performed as an open surgery. Nowadays, it’s done as a laparoscopic surgery.
- Barium Enema: In plain and simple words, it is an imaging test, using X-ray. The test is done to diagnose the lower gastrointestinal tract or the GI tract. This track covers the large intestine and the rectum.
- Barium Swallow: This one’s also an imaging test, using the X-ray. Unlike Barium Enema, it is used to diagnose your upper GI tract. The upper gastrointestinal tract covers the back of your mouth, the throat or pharynx and the esophagus.
- Belt Lipectomy: This is a surgical procedure, used to remove the loose skin and the fat deposition from your waist or belt line. The procedure is also known by many other names, like a tummy tuck, abdominal lipectomy and others. It is usually performed after a weight-loss surgery.
- Body contouring is a special type of surgery that boosts your aesthetic appeal. It is done to shed off excess fat. It also removes the extra skin folds and makes you appear slimmer.
- BPS/DS weight-loss surgery: It is usually recommended for people, who’re severely obese and other treatments have failed to trim down their body weight.
- Cholecystectomy: It is the surgery to remove the gallbladder from the abdomen.
- Colectomy: This involves a surgical procedure to cure colon diseases. Patients suffering from inflammatory diseases, cancer and diverticulitis undergo this treatment. A part of the colon is removed by the surgery.
- Colonoscopy: It is a medical procedure through which, your doctor checks the inside of your colon or the large intestine.
- Colostomy: This is a surgical procedure to create an opening in the colon or the large intestine. This opening can be temporary or permanent in nature.
- Computed tomography scan or CT/CAT scan of the abdomen: It is an imaging test using X-ray and a computer system to get detailed images of your body. It shows the bones, fats, muscles, organs, soft tissues and blood vessels in greater details as compared to X-rays.
- CT Enterography: This is too an imaging test, using CT imagery and a contrast material. The test reveals the condition of the small intestine. It is frequently prescribed to patients suffering from Crohn’s disease.
- ERCP or Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography: Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography is the procedure to diagnose the liver, bile ducts, gallbladder and the pancreas. The test combines X-ray and endoscope, which is a flexible, long, lighted tube.
- Esophageal Stent Procedure: There’re many medical conditions that block a part of the esophagus. This procedure is useful to open up a blocked area. The tube also helps to swallow liquid and solid foods.
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, or ERCP: This is a procedure to diagnose and treat problems in the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, and pancreas. It makes use of X-ray and an endoscope — a long, flexible, lighted tube.
- Gallbladder scan: This is an imaging test for the gallbladder to assess its performance. Sometimes, it is also referred to as the liver biliary scan because doctors also asssess the liver at the same time through this test.
- Laparoscopy: This test is conducted with a thin lighted tube with a video camera attached to it. The tube itself is called a laparoscope. It is inserted into your belly through a tiny incision or surgical cut. The images captured on the video camera is seen on a computer screen.
The top gastro surgeons rely on these pathological tests to treat and cure patients.