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Gastroenterology and endoscopy

Gastroenterology

Gastroenterology is the medical specialty that deals with the study and treatment of diseases affecting the entire digestive system and falls within the scope of both surgeons and gastroenterologists.

The treated conditions include functional and inflammatory diseases of both the upper (esophagus and stomach) and lower (intestines and colon-rectum) gastrointestinal tract, including: food allergies, celiac disease, colitis, diarrhea, dyspepsia, diverticulitis, hiatal hernia, esophagitis, gastritis, gastroenteritis, chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis), malabsorption, gastroesophageal reflux disease, acute and chronic liver diseases.

Gastroenterology consultation and diagnostic tests

In addition to a thorough patient history and family history, as many conditions are hereditary, the gastroenterologist will request laboratory tests and diagnostic imaging for proper assessment.

Thanks to state-of-the-art video endoscopic systems capable of delivering high-definition images, gastrointestinal endoscopic investigations now allow for increasingly accurate diagnoses of all major digestive system pathologies, including the detection and consequently prevention of gastrointestinal neoplasms.

Gastrointestinal endoscopy is performed using endoscopes—flexible tubes of varying calibers and lengths, depending on the organs to be examined—with a tiny camera at the tip that allows direct visualization of the examined organ parts on a monitor.

When exploring the upper digestive tract (esophagus, stomach, and duodenum), the endoscope is inserted through the mouth, and in this case, it is referred to as esophagogastroduodenoscopy. The upper examination typically lasts a few minutes, causing no pain but only slight discomfort during the insertion of the endoscope, which can be alleviated with a mild local anesthetic.

When examining the lower digestive tract, a colonoscopy is performed. This is a crucial and frequently requested examination used for the diagnosis of various colon-related conditions such as:

  • Diverticulosis and diverticulitis;
  • Colorectal cancer;
  • Presence of intestinal polyps;
  • Ulcers and inflammatory conditions.

The execution time (between 15 and 25 minutes) may vary based on the following variables:

  • Need for polyp removal (polypectomy);
  • Need for biopsy sampling;
  • Good visibility due to proper patient preparation;
  • Anatomical conformation of the colon;
  • Presence of restrictions, also known as stenosis.

This examination is conducted by introducing a probe equipped with a small camera that allows the doctor to visualize the inside of the colon on a monitor. It can be performed under conscious sedation or deep sedation to reduce discomfort and distress for the patient.

It’s possible to perform both esophagogastroduodenoscopy and colonoscopy in the same session under sedation. This offers the advantage of preparing for both procedures simultaneously and benefiting from sedation for both examinations.

Reference specialists

Giuseppe-Parisi
Dott.
Gastroenterologist
Salvatore-Metrangolo
Dott.
Gastroenterologist
massimo-campana
Dott.
General surgeon
Giuseppe-Mario-Luperi-1-scaled
Dott.
Proctologist and surgeon
andrea-cei
Dott.
Proctological surgeon

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