What is a Gastroenterologist?

Simply put, gastroenterologists are physicians . These physicians focus solely on diseases regarding the gastrointestinal tract, and nearby organs such as the liver. In order to understand the importance of a gastroenterologist, it is important to understand what they do first.

What Is Gastroenterology?

Gastroenterology concentrates on the normal function, as well as complications of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon and rectum, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts, and liver. The normal function of the GI tract is to move material through the stomach and intestine, as well as digest content, absorb nutrients, and then remove waste.

What Do Gastroenterologists Do?

Gastroenterologists help patients with GI discomfort feel better. They achieve this by assessing symptoms through consultation and endoscopic procedures .

As a rule, GI doctors help patients experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Pain or discomfort in the abdomen
  • Blood in stools or internal bleeding in the digestive tract
  • Celiac disease
  • Colon and colorectal cancer, as well as cancer of the stomach, pancreas, and liver
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Trouble swallowing, or Dysphagia
  • Diseases and conditions of the colon, such as polyps, IBS, IBD, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s disease, and Diverticulitis
  • Gallbladder issues
  • Heartburn, acid reflux, and GERD
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Hiatal hernias
  • Inflammation, lactose intolerance, and other issues with digestion
  • Liver disease such as hepatitis
  • Ulcers
  • Upset stomach, nausea, vomiting
  • Unexplained weight loss

Along with diagnosing conditions and symptoms, a GI physician regularly conduct preventive colorectal cancer screenings through a procedure known as a colonoscopy.

In addition to their traditional role, many gastroenterologists also partake in clinical research , either by leading the trial or by consulting other physicians. San Antonio Gastroenterology Centers also helps patients achieve health through weight loss solutions. Learn more about the conditions and symptoms that SAGA treats, as well as the services and procedures conducted at one of the three local outpatient centers.

What Training and Qualifications Are Required for a GI Doctor?

A physician has to complete at least 13 years of education and extensive training in order to become a gastroenterologist. This experience includes a minimum of an undergraduate degree and grad school. Most GI physicians attend 4 years of medical school as well. In order to become a SAGA or SAGEC GI doctor, a physician must become board certified in the field of gastroenterology.

Where Can I Visit a GI Physician?

Gastroenterologists typically work in an office, hospital, or an outpatient facility such as San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates and Endoscopy Centers. 

How Can I Find the Right Gastroenterologist?

SAGA is home to the best gastroenterologists in San Antonio, Texas. San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates has maintained the highest level of care, technology, and service for over three decades. SAGA continuously outperforms national standards for quality gastroenterology care, earning special accreditation from GI Quality Improvement Consortium, Association for Ambulatory Health Care, as well as Healthcare Bluebook. Not only is SAGA highly recommended on a national level, but also by those that matter most, their patients. A recent survey revealed that 88.9% of patients would recommend SAGA to their family and friends. Find the right gastroenterologist for you. Get to know the expert gastroenterologists at San Antonio Gastroenterology and Endoscopy Centers.