Gastrointestinal surgery : Specialists

What does gastrointestinal mean?

Gastrointestinal refers to the digestive system, in particular the stomach (gastro) and the intestines (intestinal). It can be divided into two areas, the upper gastrointestinal tract and the lower gastrointestinal tract.

The upper gastrointestinal tract consists of the stomach, mouth, oesophagus and duodenum.

The lower gastrointestinal tract consists of the small intestine, large intestine and anus.

What is a gastrointestinal surgeon?

Also known as a ‘GI surgeon’, this is a surgical professional who specialises in surgery on the stomach, liver, pancreas, oesophagus and intestines.

What does a gastrointestinal surgeon do?

They perform surgery on the gastrointestinal tract: some surgeons operate on both the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract but others choose either:

  • Upper gastrointestinal or ‘upper GI’surgery
  • Lower gastrointestinal or ‘lower GI’ surgery

They can undertake obesity surgery, i.e. gastric bypass or gastric banding as well as treating a whole range of conditions. These include:

  • Hernia surgery
  • Colorectalcancer
  • Diverticulitis
  • Cancer of the oesophagus
  • Liver cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Prolapsed rectum
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