Digestive system surgeries or gastrointestinal surgeries are procedures conducted particularly in the stomach and the intestines. A Gastrointestinal surgeon specializes in the procedures of the GI tract involving the stomach, pancreas, liver, oeosphagus and the intestines. The surgeon will also treat obesity with gastric bypass and gastric banding and a whole range of conditions such as colorectal cancer, liver cancer, hernia, pancreatic cancer, Crohn’s disease, stomach cancer, peptic ulcer, ulcerative colitis and prolapsed rectum to name a few. Gastrointestinal surgeries require a comprehensive workup before surgery.
GI surgeries are divided into two:
Upper GI surgeries or upper gastrointestinal surgeries: The upper GI tract is made up of mouth, oesophagus, stomach and duodenum. Upper GI series also known as barium swallow involves the use of x-rays and fluoroscopy. The internal organs and their movements are visualized on a video monitor.
Lower GI surgeries or lower gastrointestinal surgeries: The lower GI tract consists of large intestine, small intestine and the anus. A barium enema along with an x-ray will be done to examine the problems of the large intestine.
GI series: GI series help diagnose the cause of abdominal pain, difficulty swallowing, nausea, vomiting and unexplained loss of weight. The medical history of the patient is examined before the procedure. GI series does not require anaesthesia and takes about 2 to 5 hours to complete. It is only when the barium moves slowly that it might take longer to complete.
There are two types of GI series
The standard barium where only barium is used
The double-contrast upper GI series, which uses air and barium together to view the lining of the stomach
Oeosphageal varices, abnormal growths, strictures, gastroesophageal reflux, hiatal hernia and ulcers are all detected in the upper GI series. The upper GI tract is cleared of any food and drink that is found in the lining of the organs. Upper GI surgeries may include pancreaticduodenectomy, oesophagectomy, liver resection, etc.
Lower GI series will diagnose cancerous growths, diverticula, fistula (both internal and external), swelling or inflammation of the intestine, intestinal bleeding, polyps, ulcers on the lining of the intestine. Lower GI series involves bowel cleansing where the patient is prescribed a clear liquid diet 1 – 3 days prior to the procedure. Lower GI surgeries involve colorectal surgery and surgery of the small intestine (low or ultralow rectal cancer resections).
Dr.Deepak-The best GI Surgeon conducts a systematic review of the patient’s condition before undertaking upper and lower GI surgeries.