Digestive endoscopy is a modern branch of gastroenterology that allows a doctor to diagnose and treat major diseases of the digestive tract using endoscopic cutting edge instruments (from the greek Endon, "interior" and Skope, "observation"). Endoscopy is also the main tool used for early diagnosis of digestive neoplasms.

What does a digestive endoscopist do?

A digestive endoscopist is usually a gastroenterologist experienced in the use of endoscopic instruments who can diagnose and treat major diseases affecting the organs of the digestive tract including the esophagus, stomach, duodenum, colon, and rectum.

What diseases are treated by a digestive endoscopist?

The diseases that can be treated include gastroesophageal reflux disease, ulcers, diverticulitis, polyposis, and neoplasms of the stomach, esophagus, intestines, colon, and rectum. 

What are the procedures used by a digestive endoscopist?

The procedures most often used by an endoscopist include endoscopic examinations that allow internal diagnostic evaluation of the organs in order to be able to study the anatomy, functionality, and possible diseases linked with them. Through endoscopic examinations the doctor can also extract small samples of tissue to be analyzed histologically, and conduct minor surgeries under local anesthesia such as the removal of polyps. Among the main endoscopic exams are anorectoscopy that allows the doctor to see inside the anus and rectum, sigmoidoscopy that allows the doctor to see inside the sigmoid, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography that allows the study of the biliary and pancreatic tract, colonoscopy, enteroscopy examining the small intestine, gastroscopy examining the upper gastrointestinal tract, and radiologic exams including X-rays of the digestive tract, barium enema, CT, and MRI. 

When should a patient visit a digestive endoscopist?

A general practitioner will send a patient to visit a digestive endoscopist for reasons including, when laboratory tests have detected anomalies such as to suspect the presence of diseases on a gastrointestinal level, or when a patient is feeling symptoms related to the digestive tract such as stomach or epigastric pain, heartburn, prolonged constipation, and diarrhea that do not regress within a couple of days.