A Detailed Description of the Specialisation
Gastroenterologists and hepatologists treat patients who have abnormalities of the gastrointestinal system, liver, pancreas, and gall bladder that are either benign or malignant in nature. Many gastroenterologists also do general internal medicine in addition to gastroenterology (GIM). In order to keep this section as concise as possible, the word “gastroenterology” is used to refer to both gastroenterology and hepatology wherever applicable.
Over the last 30 years, the field of gastroenterology has grown and progressed at a faster pace than any other major medical speciality. This is especially true as a consequence of a rise in demand for both diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopic procedures in recent years.
- Gastrointestinal symptoms and illness are responsible for the following:
- Primary care consultations account for 10% of all consultations.
More than a quarter of all cancers are caused by viruses. The great majority of these malignancies are diagnosed and/or treated by gastroenterologists, who are also engaged in the prevention of cancer.
The push for early cancer detection, as well as the advent of screening tests, produces a large amount of work for gastroenterology and hepatology services. Because of this, there has been a rise in the number of consultants, as well as an increase in the number of radiologists, pathologists, nurse endoscopists, speciality nurses, and nutritionists working.
Services that Have Been Provided
Due to the increasing demand for a dependable, sustainable specialist service, an increasing number of gastroenterologists are stepping away from acute general medicine to concentrate on providing a comprehensive gastroenterology service to patients, which includes a comprehensive out-of-hours emergency endoscope service. It will be necessary to increase the number of gastroenterologists working in the future in order to provide a comprehensive and safe emergency service in all acute hospitals seven days a week, as well as to accommodate the additional workload associated with flexible sigmoidoscopic screening for colorectal cancer in people over the age of 55. (see below).
Aside from diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy, gastroenterologists undertake a variety of procedures.
- Sigmoidoscopy using a flexible sigmoidoscopy
- ERCP is an abbreviation for endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
- Endoscopic capsule endoscopy with a wireless connection (WCE)
- The use of endoscopic ultrasonography is becoming more popular (EUS)
Conditions are under control
Gastroenterologists are doctors who specialize in the treatment of digestive disorders. These are disorders that are widespread in the population, such as:
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a digestive disorder that affects the bowels.
- Patients with very complicated conditions, such as the following:
- IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) is a medical condition that affects the digestive system (IBD)
- Insufficiency of the liver
- Comprehensive nutritional assistance, including parenteral nourishment administered at home
- Treatment of hepatitis C virus infection
- Treatment of hepatobiliary illness that is complicated
- Small intestine and liver transplantation are both evaluated, and the results are monitored.
Colorectal, pancreatic, hepatobiliary, stomach and oesophagal cancers are among the malignancies that may be diagnosed quickly and effectively, and this is frequently done in an outpatient environment.
Gastroenterologists are trained to undertake a variety of specialized operations, including:
- Cancerous tumors are removed using endoscopic techniques.
- Colonic polypectomy (removal of polyps), which is performed both in normal treatment and as part of the bowel cancer screening program
Gastroenterologists also treat patients who have several general medical concerns, such as the following:
- A reduction in body weight
They offer acute and emergency inpatient care for a wide range of common ailments, including:
- gastrointestinal bleeding that occurs suddenly
- IBD that is acute
- Decompensated liver disease is a medical condition in which the liver has been unable to function properly (particularly due to alcohol).
Gastroenterologists are also involved in the admission and urgent management of patients who are suffering from general medicine emergency (the acute medical take). There are a variety of models in place throughout the NHS that demonstrate how this contributes to the acute take is linked with the delivery of out-of-hours emergency gastroenterological, hepatological, and endoscopic care. More and more evidence is being discovered that the provision of an expanded acute emergency specialist gastrointestinal and hepatological service contributes significantly to the general medical take in terms of patient safety and throughput as well as quality of treatment.