Gastroenterology is the study of the function of the entire gastrointestinal (GI) tract and the diseases that affect it. The GI tract is made up of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, pancreas, rectum, gallbladder, bile ducts, and liver. It covers conditions such as colon polyps, colon cancer, acid reflux, ulcers, colitis, gallbladder disease, biliary tract disease, hepatitis, GERD, and much more. Gastroenterology also studies the movement of the entire GI tract, digestion, liver function, waste removal from the body, and absorption of nutrients into the body.
Due to the extensive training that gastroenterologists receive in education and in the field, they provide patients with a high level of comprehensive care. Not only are they able to consult with patients in the clinic, but they also perform a majority of procedures themselves. Common procedures performed by a gastroenterologist include colonoscopy, Esophagogastroduodenoscopy/EGD, hemorrhoid banding, enteroscopy, ERCP, Flexible Sigmoidoscopy, and many more. Gastroenterologists also participate in innovative research to improve care for patients across the world.