Gastrointestinal surgery is the branch of surgery that intervenes to treat or improve the prognosis of pathologies affecting one or more organs of the digestive system.

What does a gastrointestinal surgeon do?

A gastrointestinal surgeon is a specialist in surgical matters carried out on the organs of the digestive system with the aim to treat or improve the prognosis of these pathologies.

What diseases are treated by a gastrointestinal surgeon?

The disease most often treated by this surgeon are functional, inflammatory, and neoplastic diseases both of the upper tract in the esophagus and stomach, and of the lower tract in the small intestine, colon, and rectum, of the digestive system. These include in particular diverticulitis, hiatal hernia, acid reflux, intestinal polyposis syndrome, and abdominal adhesions.

What are the procedures used by a gastrointestinal surgeon?

The procedures used by the surgeon include endoscopic examinations such as gastroscopy, esophagogastroduodenoscopy, colonoscopy, and sigmoidoscopy, that allow for the internal evaluation of the organs and possible diseases. The surgeon may also conduct examinations such as X-rays of the digestive tract, barium enema, CT, and MRI. Through endoscopic examinations the surgeon can remove small samples of tissue to be analyzed histologically, and conduct minor surgeries such as laparoscopy to remove polyps. For major open surgeries the laparotomy method is used.

When should a patient visit a gastrointestinal surgeon?

A general practitioner will send a patient to a gastrointestinal surgeon if there is a pathology that requires surgical attention. A patient should also visit the surgeon in order to monitor postsurgical recovery.