What Do Gastroenterologists Do?

If you’re looking for a gastroenterologist, you’ll take the time to search for the ”best gastroenterologist near me.” But what is a gastroenterologist, what do they do, and why might you need to find one?

Gastroenterologists are physicians who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and rectum, as well as the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas.

Gastroenterologists perform a variety of tests and procedures to diagnose and treat digestive system conditions. These tests and procedures may include:


Endoscopy is a type of medical procedure that uses an endoscope to examine the inside of the body. An endoscope is a thin, flexible tube with a light and a camera at one end. It is inserted through a small incision in the skin and passed into the body. The endoscope transmits images of the internal organs to a video monitor.


A colonoscopy is a medical procedure that allows a physician to view the interior of the large intestine and rectum. A colonoscope is inserted into the rectum, and advanced into the colon. Images are displayed on a monitor, which allows the physician to detect abnormalities, such as tumors or polyps.

Rectal Examination

Rectal examinations are a common part of the physical examination. They are used to check for problems with the anus and rectum. The patient is usually asked to empty their bladder and bowels before the examination. They may also be asked to drink fluids to help them empty their bowels. If the doctor suspects that the patient has a problem, they may order further tests, such as a colonoscopy.

Liver Biopsy

A liver biopsy is a medical procedure in which a small piece of liver tissue is removed for examination. The tissue is typically examined under a microscope to look for signs of damage or disease. A liver biopsy is generally performed to help diagnose or monitor a condition that affects the liver, such as cirrhosis, hepatitis, or cancer. It may also be used to determine the cause of unexplained cirrhosis, hepatitis, or liver failure.

Pancreatic Function Test

A pancreatic function test is a blood or urine test that measures the amount of digestive enzymes produced by the pancreas. These enzymes help break down food in the gut. A pancreatic function test is used to diagnose pancreatitis, a condition in which the pancreas becomes inflamed. The test may also be used to diagnose other conditions that affect the pancreas, such as cystic fibrosis and pancreatic cancer.

Stool Analysis

A stool analysis can help to diagnose conditions such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and ulcerative colitis, as well as more common problems like diarrhea and constipation. The results of the analysis can also help to determine the best course of treatment for you.

Esophageal Manometry

Esophageal manometry is a diagnostic test that measures the pressure and movement of food and liquid through the esophagus and into the stomach. This test is used to diagnose problems such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), achalasia, and scleroderma.The esophagus is a long, thin tube that extends from the throat to the stomach. The muscles in the esophagus contract and relax to push food and liquid down the throat and into the stomach. Esophageal manometry measures the pressure and movement of food and liquid through the esophagus. This test is used to diagnose problems such as GERD, achalasia, and scleroderma.

Pancreatic Ductal Drainage

Pancreatic ductal drainage is the process by which the pancreatic duct empties into the bile duct. The pancreatic duct carries digestive enzymes from the pancreas to the small intestine. These enzymes help to break down food in the small intestine. The bile duct carries bile from the liver to the small intestine. Bile helps to digest fats in the small intestine.

Gastroenterologists may also prescribe medications to treat digestive system diseases or recommend lifestyle changes to help reduce the risk of gastrointestinal disorders.

If you are experiencing symptoms that may indicate a problem with your gastrointestinal tract, such as diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting, you should see a gastroenterologist for diagnosis and treatment.


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