People suffer from digestive complications from time to time. This is why gastroenterologists are important. They help us fight gallbladder disease, intestinal issues, and abdominal pain. Most of them do this by gastrointestinal surgery. If you don’t know what it is read on, having knowledge about it is very important.

What is gastrointestinal surgery?

Gastrointestinal surgery is the treatment for the parts of the body involved indigestion. It involves operations conducted to treat diseases that are found in the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. A medical practitioner who specializes in gastrointestinal surgery is called a gastroenterologist or a GI doctor. A gastroenterologist diagnoses, provide treatment and prevention and performs surgeries to cure gastrointestinal problems.

Gastrointestinal Disorders: Functional and Structural

There are various types of gastrointestinal diseases. Some can be cured by medication and a proper lifestyle, gastrointestinal problems remedied by these are called functional gastrointestinal disorders. This means that the gastrointestinal structures within the body are healthy but are not working properly due to stress, lifestyle, etc. The following are some examples of functional gastrointestinal disorders

  • Globus 
  • Functional Chest Pain 
  • Functional Dyspepsia 
  • Functional Constipation 
  • Functional Diarrhea 
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Structural gastrointestinal disorders, on the other hand, are caused by tumors and other complications that exist in the digestive structures of the body. This means that structural GI disorders are intestine issues that can only be treated with surgery. The most common symptom is abdominal pain. There are many structural GI disorders known to doctors. GERD and appendicitis are the most common for patients.

GI Disorders that Require Surgery: Description, Symptoms, and Treatment

The following are GI disorders that require surgery to be treated. Also to give 

more detail, their description, symptoms, and treatment are included.

  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) – Also called acid reflux or heartburn, this is a condition where stomach acids climb up from the stomach to the esophagus every time it occurs. During the duration of its occurrence stomach acids frequently flow back into the tube connecting the mouth and stomach. The result is a harsh burning sensation in the chest area or the area where the heart is located. burning sensation in the chest, chest chest pain, difficulty swallowing, regurgitation of food or sour liquid, asthma, laryngitis, and chronic cough.
  • Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication or TIF  is the latest method of treating GERD. It is a surgery that reconstructs the anti-reflux valve at the entrance of the esophagus into the stomach to stop reflux. It is an incision-less treatment which uses a special device to perform delicate procedures in treating GERD
  • Barett’s Esophagus Barett’s esophagus is the worst aftermath of GERD when left untreated. GERD when left untreated causes the normal esophageal cells to be replaced by abnormal cells. This can lead to worsening the symptoms brought by GERD and can even lead to esophageal cancer. Frequent heartburn, difficulty swallowing, and in some cases chest pain.

     Ablation is a commonly used method of treatment. This method is performed exposing the abnormal growth of         cells to heat by surgery.

Advances in GI Surgery

Compared with the past, GI surgeons nowadays enjoy the innovation that technology has to offer for medical practitioners. As of now, gastroenterologists can cure GI problems even before they can occur, especially those which have a high risk of resulting in cancer. The technology of the present age now allows the doctor to treat benign cancers easily in digestive mechanisms of the body before they go active. Also, endoscopy and robotics now prove to be the new stepping stones for GI surgery.

  • Bleeding from the rectum or anus 
  • The feeling of a lump or mass at the anal opening 
  • Pain in the anal area 
  • Persistent or recurrent itching
  • Change in bowel habits (having more or fewer bowel movements) or increased straining during a bowel movement
  • Narrowing of the stools 
  • Discharge (mucous or pus) from the anus 
  • Swollen lymph nodes (glands) in the anal or groin areas.

Options for GI surgery

There are two ways that doctors may perform GI surgery to a patient using the technology available today

  • Endoscopic Surgery – an endoscope is inserted in order to reach the areas which need treatment
  • Laparoscopic Surgery– a surgeon inserts a laparoscopy, a thin tube with an attached camera, to see the areas of treatment. Other medical instruments are then inserted in other incisions in order to remove or remedy a confirmed complication
  • Robotic Surgery – this is an advanced form of laparoscopic surgery using a computer system that allows the surgeon to control mechanical arms. Mechanical arms have greater flexibility and stability than human arms and are far more superior when it comes to accessing hard to reach areas for treatment.
  • Gastrointestinal surgery helps us fight, various digestive complications. Still, the best method to fight one is prevention. Don’t rely on surgeries alone, lead a healthy lifestyle and keep your body away from sickness.

Cancer Care