Below are a selection of frequently asked questions.
A Gastroenterologist is a physician with dedicated training and unique and extensive experience in the management of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and liver.
Gastroenterology is the study of the normal function and diseases of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon and rectum, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts and liver. It involves a detailed understanding of the normal action (physiology) of the gastrointestinal organs including the movement of material through the stomach and intestine (motility), the digestion and absorption of nutrients into the body, removal of waste from the system, and the function of the liver as a digestive organ. It includes common and important conditions such as colon polyps and cancer, hepatitis, gastroesophageal reflux (heartburn), peptic ulcer disease, colitis, gallbladder and biliary tract disease, nutritional problems, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and pancreatitis. In essence, all normal activity and disease of the digestive organs are part of the study of Gastroenterology.
The unique training that Gastroenterologists complete provides them with the ability to provide high quality, comprehensive care for patients with a wide variety of gastrointestinal ailments. Gastroenterologists perform the bulk of research involving gastrointestinal endoscopic procedures as well as the interpretation of results, and are considered experts in the field. Studies have shown that Gastroenterologists perform higher quality colonoscopy examinations and comprehensive consultative services when compared to other physicians. This translates into more accurate detection of polyps and cancer by colonoscopy when performed by Gastroenterologists, fewer complications from procedures and fewer days in the hospital for many gastrointestinal conditions managed by trained gastroenterology specialists. It is this ability to provide more complete, accurate, and thorough care for patients with gastrointestinal conditions, which distinguishes Gastroenterologists from other physicians or surgeons that provide some similar services.
After an endoscopy, the patient is observed and monitored by a qualified individual in the endoscopy room or a recovery area until a significant portion of the medication has worn off. Occasionally the patient is left with a mild sore throat, which may respond to saline gargles, or chamomile tea. It may last for weeks or not happen at all. The patient may have a feeling of distention from the insufflated air that was used during the procedure. Both problems are mild and fleeting. When fully recovered, the patient will be instructed when to resume their usual diet (probably within a few hours) and will be allowed to be taken home. You may experience some irritation or discomfort in the vein area where the IV sedation was introduced. You will be alert and physically functional, but please note that sedation will affect your judgement. Because of the use of sedation, most facilities mandate that the patient be taken home by another person and that he or she not sign any legal documents, drive or handle machinery for the remainder of the day.
Interventional Endoscopy is used to diagnose and treat diseases. Interventional Endoscopy encompasses a variety of endoscopic procedures and is used when a more comprehensive or complex technical approach is needed, beyond what regular endoscopic techniques can achieve. By combining advanced imaging and device technology with technical expertise, physicians like Dr Pavey are helping patients to avoid more invasive traditional treatment approaches such as surgery. Endoscopy procedures are minimally invasive, meaning they are performed using thin flexible tubes advanced through the body’s natural orifices such as the mouth and rectum – thus avoiding the complications associated with surgery and providing faster recovery times. Interventional endoscopy is utilized in the treatment of bile duct stones, stenting of the gastrointestinal tract, treatment of gastrointestinal bleeding, and the diagnosis and treatment of tumours involving the esophagus, stomach, biliary system, pancreas, small bowel and colon.
Dr Pavey typically conducts procedures on an outpatient basis, and patients often return home the same day.
The human gastrointestinal tract, or GI tract, or GIT, is an organ system responsible for consuming and digesting foodstuffs, absorbing nutrients, and expelling waste.
The tract consists of the stomach and intestines, and is divided into the upper and lower gastrointestinal tracts. However, by the broadest definition, the GI tract includes all structures between the mouth and the anus. On the other hand, the digestive system is a broader term that includes other structures, including the digestive organs and their accessories. The tract may also be divided into foregut, midgut, and hindgut, reflecting the embryological origin of each segment.
The whole digestive tract is about nine metres (30 feet) long.
The GI tract releases hormones from enzymes to help regulate the digestive process. These hormones, including gastrin, secretin, cholecystokinin, and ghrelin, are mediated through either intracrine or autocrine mechanisms.