Gastroenterologist: why and when to consult this specialist in the digestive system?

The gastroenterologist is a doctor. specialized in dysfunctions of the digestive system. What pathologies can be treated? When to consult? What exams to take? Point.

What does a gastroenterologist do?

The gastroenterologist doctor specializes in gastroenterology: deals with the diseases related to the digestive systemi.e. the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, rectum and anus, and colon (large intestine), but also to the digestive glands : pancreas, liver and bile ducts. Daily detects, prevents and treats digestive diseases in patients of all ages. It is particularly acclaimed for detecting possible colorectal cancers.

What are the differences with a hepatologist or a proctologist?

The gastroenterologist can be divided into two subspecialties:

  • hepatologyrelated to liver diseases
  • and proctologywhich deals with pathologies of the anus and rectum.

Some gastroenterologists deal only with the digestive tract (gastroenterologists), while others choose to specialize: hepatologists and proctologists. But since most of these specialists take care of everything, sometimes we talk abouthepato-gastroenterology.

When and why should I consult a gastroenterologist?

Most patients consult after heartburn, regular episodes of constipation or diarrhoea, bloating, abdominal pains, etc. They first consult their general practitioner, who refers them to a gastroenterologist when deemed necessary. A certain number also consult in case of a family history of diseases that affect the digestive system.

What pathologies are treated?

The digestive system specialist can treat many dysfunctions, including:

  • gallstones,
  • a intestinal obstruction,
  • Crohn’s disease,
  • a gastric ulcer,
  • a cirrhosis,
  • intestinal polyps,
  • hemorrhoids,
  • a irritable bowel syndrome,
  • Celiac Disease,
  • inflammation of the rectum (proctitis),
  • inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis),
  • inflammation of the appendix (appendicitis),
  • inflammation of the liver (hepatitis),
  • including certain tumors of the stomach, liver, esophagus, or colon,
  • etc.

When is an emergency?

If the pain is sharp and persists, if you vomit red bloodor black stoolsconsult without delay, or go to the nearest emergency room, it may be a digestive hemorrhage, an obstruction or an intestinal perforation.

Who can see a gastroenterologist?

Pathologies of the digestive tract can affect anyone. However, some factors favor its appearance:

  • the of smoking,
  • excessive alcohol consumption,
  • age (for some types of cancer, such as cancer of the small intestine);
  • or a diet that is too high in fat.

What exams can you take?

After the clinical examination, the gastroenterologist can perform different types of examinations depending on the suspected pathologies:

  • a colonoscopy,
  • a gastroscopy,
  • an endoscopy of the esophagus, stomach or small intestine,
  • a liver biopsy,
  • endoscopic examination of the capsule,
  • to Ph-independencemetry,
  • etc.

Gastroenterology doctor exercises in the city (in practice, at home or in a health center) and in the hospital Where University Hospital. Ask your doctor for advice, who can guide you, or contact the places concerned directly. Find out about the specialization of each doctor, their consultation methods, etc.

What documents for your first consultation?

For your first consultation with a gastroenterologist, remember to bring:

  • of your previous exams (latest biological analyzes and latest assessments),
  • your latest drug prescriptions,
  • and all information regarding your medical and family history (digestive antecedents, but also cardiac, pulmonary, neurological, etc.).

Gastroenterologist: do you need a prescription?

Yes, a prescription is essential to consult a gastroenterologist. The query is usually prescribed by the treating physician Thus, you will be covered according to the rates defined by the Health Insurance.

The first consultation lasts an average of thirty minutes. allows the touchdown : The doctor and the patient together trace the history of the symptoms, the history (personal and family) and the habits of life to determine the cause. comes next Clinical examinationguided by the abdominal area: palpation of the liver, spleen, stomach in case of lumps or hernias, etc.

Depending on the diagnosis, the doctor then prescribes additional treatments or tests.

The gastroenterologist is also responsible for explaining to the patient the main hygienic and dietary measures to protect against digestive diseases, namely: stop smoking, avoid alcohol and adopt a balanced diet, combined with regular physical activity

Price and reimbursement of a gastroenterology consultation

The price of a first consultation with a gastroenterologist is 25 euros if he practices in sector 1. For a follow-up consultation, the cost of a consultation in sector 1 is 28 euros. If the patient has completed the course of treatment by first consulting their treating physician, then a gastroenterologist, then the Health Insurance will reimburse 70% of each consultation. However, some doctors may charge extra costs. In this case, the patient will only be reimbursed the amount initially provided by the health insurance fund (ie, 70% of the 25 or 28 euros).

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