If your primary care physician refers you to a gastroenterologist, you may wonder what this medical specialist does. At Austin Gastroenterology, our board-certified physicians deliver comprehensive GI care, and they want their patients fully informed on tests, medications, and overall digestive health.
Let’s look more closely at what a gastroenterologist can do for you.
What is a Gastroenterologist?
A gastroenterologist is a physician with years of education, training, and board-certification in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions of the digestive tract. Usually, physicians who pursue gastroenterology as their specialty take five to six years to complete rigorous study and hands-on experience in disease diagnosis, treatment, management, and surgery.
This physician is the go-to expert on how the human esophagus, stomach, and intestines move, process, and absorb nutrients. A gastroenterologist also understands how the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder regulate metabolic processes and remove toxins and waste from the body.
A gastroenterologist performs state-of-the-art diagnostic procedures, such as endoscopy of the upper GI tract and colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy of the lower GI tract, including the intestines, rectum, and anus. This field of medical endeavor also includes wide-ranging knowledge of gastrointestinal medications, malformations, and cancers.
Today’s colonoscopy, as performed by a board-certified gastroenterologist, is the gold standard in colon cancer screening for adults ages 50 and over. It also assesses individuals with hereditary tendencies toward this prevalent disease.
What Does A Gastroenterologist Treat?
This medical specialist treats acute diseases and chronic conditions of the GI tract. Your doctor may be referring you to a GI specialist in Austin, TX, because you have a functional problem, such as chronic diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, or difficulty swallowing. You may have an acute or ongoing disease or condition, such as cirrhosis of the liver, hepatitis in its various forms, acid reflux disease, pancreatitis, gallstones, stomach ulcers, Crohn’s disease, colon polyps, or diverticulitis.
To compile a care plan for any of these conditions (and more), a GI specialist will perform an in-office examination and ask you about your health history and symptoms. Additionally, they may require some imaging tests.
Austin Gastroenterology offers a wide range of sophisticated assessments that help physicians pinpoint a diagnosis. Also, these doctors and their team provide important patient education about diet, weight loss, exercise, medications, and ways to keep the GI tract healthy and functional.
Assessments can include:
- Endoscopies, including innovative capsule endoscopy, to evaluate the esophagus and stomach for ulcers, strictures, and more
- Colonoscopies to discover polyps, cancers, and reasons for bleeding and diarrhea
- Biopsies, including liver biopsies and tissue samples for lab analysis of cancer and other conditions
- Manometry of the esophagus to determine how well the upper GI tract swallows and moves food
- Breath tests to uncover lactose intolerance and adverse gut bacteria
Austin Gastroenterology Provides Compassionate, Comprehensive Digestive Health Care in The Austin, TX, Area
Whatever your GI concern or condition, our group of physicians and advanced care providers deliver the finest care available. We have 20 locations to serve you, including endoscopy and IV infusion therapy sites.
Choose a location and give us a call to book your appointment. Or, use our convenient appointment request form. We will be happy to serve you!