The Medical Gastroenterology Department of Aster Whitefield is committed to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders related to the gastrointestinal tract. This essential discipline in medicine focuses on the health of the digestive system, or the gastrointestinal (GI) system, which includes organs such as the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon and rectum, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts, liver, and spleen.
We provide procedures such as endoscopy, colonoscopy, and capsule endoscopy to diagnose and treat these conditions. These procedures help to diagnose issues such as gastric reflux, ulcers, colitis, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, diverticulitis, gallstones and bile duct stones, pancreatic cancer, and other gastrointestinal conditions.
The department also offers a wide range of therapeutic procedures, including endoscopic stenting, polypectomy, endoscopic mucosal resection, endoscopic ultrasound, and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP).
Aster Whitefield Hospital, has team of professionals, including gastroenterologists, hepatologists, nurses, dietitians, medical assistants, and other specialists. This allows us to provide comprehensive care for patients with a wide range of digestive and liver disorders, from the simplest to the most complex.
Our collective goal is to provide the highest quality of care and personalized treatment for patients with various digestive disorders. To do this, our team of physicians and specialists are highly trained in a range of digestive and liver disorders and has access to the most advanced diagnostic and treatment technologies. We also work with our patients to develop personalized treatment plans that meet their individual needs.
The Gastroenterology Department of Aster Whitefield Hospital provides a comprehensive array of services to diagnose and treat digestive diseases, with a highly trained team of professionals and cutting-edge techniques, we are dedicated to providing the best possible care to all patients.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): It is a disease in which stomach acid or bile flows into the food pipe and irritates its lining.
- Stomach ulcers /Peptic ulcer disease: These are open sores that develop on the lining of the stomach, caused by an imbalance between the stomach's protective mechanisms and the corrosive effects of stomach acid. The primary cause of stomach ulcers is infection with a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). Other factors include long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
- Ulcerative colitis: Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation and ulcers in the lining of the large intestine (colon).
- Crohn's disease: Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that affects any part of the gastrointestinal tract. Crohn's disease is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, and immune system factors.
- Irritable bowel syndrome : IBS is a common gastrointestinal disorder with symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, changes in bowel habits (diarrhea / constipation), and irregular bowel movements. It is a chronic condition with its causes unknown, but it is believed to involve a combination of factors, including abnormalities in the gut-brain axis, altered gastrointestinal motility, visceral hypersensitivity, and changes in gut microbiota.
- Gallbladder and biliary tract diseases: Gallbladder and biliary tract diseases involve conditions that affect the gallbladder, bile ducts, and other structures involved in the production, storage, and transportation of bile. They also include biliary stones, strictures (narrowing in bile duct), Gall bladder and Bile duct cancer.
- Pancreatic diseases: Some common pancreatic diseases include pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, and pancreatic cysts. The treatment for each of these diseases can vary depending on the specific condition and its severity. The inflammation of the pancreas is called Pancreatitis which can be acute or chronic. Pancreatic cancer is a malignant tumor of the pancreas and can spread to other parts of the body. Pancreatic cysts are fluid-filled sacs that form within or on the pancreas and may be benign or precancerous.
- Liver diseases: The liver is a vital organ involved in metabolism, detoxification, and digestion. Liver diseases encompass a range of conditions like hepatitis, cirrhosis, fatty liver disease, and liver cancer. Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver and can be caused by viruses (hepatitis A, B, C, D, or E) or other factors such as alcohol abuse, medications, or autoimmune disorders. Cirrhosis is a late stage of fibrosis of the liver which is caused by chronic hepatitis, alcohol abuse, or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.Accumulation of fat in the liver is called Fatty Liver Disease. Liver cancer can either be primary liver cancer originating in the liver itself or it can be metastatic liver cancer spreading from other organs.
- Intestinal problems, such as polyps and cancer, and infections: 1. Intestinal problems encompass a wide range of conditions affecting the intestines, including polyps, cancer, and infections. 2. Intestinal polyps are abnormal growths that develop on the lining of the intestines, most commonly in the colon. 3. Intestinal cancer can occur in any part of the intestine but the most common is colorectal cancer. 4. Intestinal infections are caused by various pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi.
- Celiac disease: Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder of the digestive system that is triggered by the consumption of gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Symptoms of celiac disease can vary greatly but often include abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea.
- Malabsorption: Malabsorption is a condition that can be caused by a variety of factors, including diseases of the small intestine, such as celiac disease, tropical sprue, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and Crohn's disease, in which a person's body is unable to absorb enough nutrients from food. It can also be caused by issues in the pancreas, such as chronic pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis, or by certain medications. Malabsorption can also be caused by problems with the digestion of food, such as those caused by an enzyme deficiency. Diagnosing malabsorption involves a variety of tests, including blood tests, stool tests, and imaging tests.
- Short bowel syndrome: Short bo wel syndrome (SBS) is a digestive disorder that occurs when a large part of the small intestine is surgically removed or damaged. This can cause several complications, including malabsorption of nutrients, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and vitamin deficiencies. People with SBS may experience symptoms such as cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and fatigue
- Intestinal ischemia: Intestinal ischemia is a condition in which the blood supply to the intestines is reduced. This can occur due to a variety of factors including, but not limited to, trauma, thrombosis, embolism, and hypotension. It is marked by abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, vomiting, a feeling of fullness, and loss of appetite. In severe cases, the patient may experience bloody stools or diarrhea.
- Diverticulitis: Diverticulum is a small pouch, formed in the lining of the large intestine. When these pouches become filled with bacteria or other infective organisms, they become inflamed and swollen, which is called Diverticulitis. Symptoms of diverticulitis can include abdominal pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea. In severe cases, the infection can spread to other parts of the body, including the bladder, kidney, or lungs.
We have some of the best specialists from around the world, they bring years of experience and offer evidence-based treatment to ensure the best care for you.
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The Department of Gastroenterology offers outpatient and inpatient consultations. Our Gastroenterologists perform comprehensive evaluations to diagnose various gastrointestinal disorders. assess patients' medical history, perform physical examinations, and order appropriate diagnostic tests such as laboratory tests, imaging studies (such as X-rays, ultrasounds, or CT scans), endoscopic procedures (such as upper endoscopy, colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, or enteroscopy), or other specialized tests to determine the underlying cause of symptoms.
Considering the factors such as the patient's overall health, medical history, and preferences; treatment options are suggested which may include lifestyle modifications, dietary changes, medications, and minimally invasive procedures. A regular follow-up is done to assess treatment response, adjust medications or therapies as needed and address any concerns or new symptoms that may arise.
Also known as Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) involves the insertion of an endoscope through the mouth for internal examination. It is commonly used to evaluate symptoms such as persistent heartburn, difficulty swallowing, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or unexplained weight loss. It helps identify conditions like GERD, gastritis, peptic ulcers, celiac disease (gluten sensitivity), and gastrointestinal cancers.
It is primarily used for colorectal examination. It involves the insertion of an endoscope through the rectum to visualize the entire colon and rectum. It allows direct visualization and sampling of tissues (biopsies) for further analysis. This involves examining the large intestine for abnormalities like hemorrhoids (Piles), anal fissures, polyps, inflammatory bowel diseases (Ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s), intestinal tuberculosis, cancer, etc. A colonoscopy also allows for the biopsy or removal of suspicious lesions and is a crucial tool in colon cancer screening and prevention.
It is a non-invasive procedure that involves swallowing a small capsule containing a camera to capture images of your digestive tract, particularly the small intestine. It's typically used to diagnose lesions located in the small intestine that are not accessible to conventional endoscopy. This procedure is beneficial because it does not require surgery or anesthesia, and it is a less invasive way to diagnose diseases and abnormalities of the digestive tract. Furthermore, the images captured by the camera allow for a more accurate diagnosis.
ERCP combines endoscopy with fluoroscopy to diagnose and treat disorders of the bile ducts and pancreas including bile duct stones, strictures (Narrowing), leaks, and cancer. It involves the insertion of an endoscope through the mouth, passing through the stomach and duodenum to access the bile ducts and pancreatic ducts. ERCP is used to remove obstructions and perform interventions such as stent placement or tissue sampling in cases of biliary or pancreatic diseases.
This diagnostic procedure combines endoscopy and ultrasound to obtain detailed images and information about the digestive tract and the surrounding tissue and organs. It involves the insertion of an endoscope equipped with an ultrasound probe through the mouth or rectum, providing high-resolution images of the digestive tract wall layers and surrounding structures. It is used for various indications, including diagnosing bile duct stones, bile duct strictures, chronic pancreatitis, evaluating gastrointestinal cancers, evaluating pancreatic lesions, guiding fine-needle aspirations for tissue sampling, and assisting in the placement of drainage devices. It is also used to obtain tissue biopsy from the abdomen and mediastinum(chest) for diagnosis (histological examination).
FibroScan is a valuable tool for assessing liver fibrosis, typically used in conjunction with other clinical and laboratory evaluations to provide a comprehensive assessment of liver health. The results of FibroScan, along with additional tests and patient history, help gastroenterologists and hepatologists in diagnosing liver diseases, monitoring disease progression, and determining appropriate treatment strategies.
The FibroScan procedure involves the use of a specialized ultrasound probe to measure liver stiffness. The patient lies on a table, and the probe is placed on the skin surface over the liver. The probe sends a vibration through the liver, and the resulting shear wave speed is measured. The liver stiffness is then calculated based on the speed of the shear waves, which correlates with the degree of fibrosis.
It's primarily used to assess the presence and extent of liver fibrosis, a condition often associated with hepatitis, alcoholic liver disease, fatty liver, and chronic liver diseases (cirrhosis of the liver).
It is a non-invasive, quick, convenient, and repeatable procedure that reduces the need for Liver Biopsy.
This covers a range of procedures, such as polypectomy (removal of polyps), endoscopic dilation (stretching of a narrowed area), variceal band ligation, hemostasis (stopping bleeding) for ulcer bleeds, esophageal and duodenal stenting, helping treatment of many GI disorders without the need for invasive surgery.
Therapeutic endoscopy refers to a set of minimally invasive procedures performed using a colonoscope to treat various gastrointestinal conditions. It involves interventions such as removing polyps or tumors, dilating strictures, placing stents, treating bleeding lesions, and delivering targeted therapies. Therapeutic endoscopy offers a less invasive alternative to surgery, allowing for precise and effective treatment while minimizing patient discomfort and recovery time. It plays a crucial role in managing a wide range of gastrointestinal disorders and improving patient outcomes.
Therapeutic endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is a specialized procedure used in gastroenterology for therapeutic purposes. It combines endoscopy with ultrasound imaging to visualize and guide interventions within the gastrointestinal tract and adjacent organs. Therapeutic EUS enables the drainage of fluid collections, placement of drainage stents, injection of therapeutic agents, delivery of radiofrequency ablation for tumor treatment, and sampling of deep tissue lesions. It provides a minimally invasive approach for targeted interventions, aiding in the management of pancreaticobiliary disorders, gastrointestinal tumors, and other complex gastrointestinal conditions. We can also diagnose and treat conditions such as draining cysts, celiac plexus block for pain management in chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer and place stents in the bile or pancreatic ducts, and EUS-guided gastrojejunostomy.
Recognizing the critical role of diet in gastrointestinal health, our registered dieticians provide comprehensive nutritional assessments for our patients. Nutritional assessment and counseling are essential components of our gastroenterology care. Our dieticians help in identifying malnutrition, planning appropriate dietary interventions, managing symptoms, supporting treatment and recovery, preventing complications and monitoring treatment response. By addressing nutritional needs, our dieticians optimize patient outcomes and improve the overall quality of life for individuals with gastrointestinal disorders. This involves evaluating dietary habits, understanding nutritional needs and developing personalized nutrition plans. This service is particularly beneficial for patients managing conditions such as celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Patient comfort and safety are at the core of all our services. We ensure each patient understands their procedures, addressing their concerns with compassion and respect. We're here to guide you through every step of your healthcare journey, always prioritizing your comfort, safety, and well-being. We as a department continue to evolve as new research and innovations emerge and to better understand and treat gastrointestinal disorders. With a focus on early detection, effective management, and patient education, we strive to improve the quality of life for individuals living with gastrointestinal conditions.
Want to find out more about the treatment? The answer to your questions can be found below.
What should I bring to my appointment?
On your first visit, you should bring all your previous medical records, a list of medications (including dose), previous prescriptions if any related to the problem, an insurance card, and any valid Identity proof. You can also create a list of questions you'd like to ask during your visit. Make sure you jot down the physician's response. You should also bring cash, check, or credit/debit card to cover any visit co-payments.
When I visit a Gastroenterologist for the first time what should I expect?
Your doctor will study your files along with previous test reports to evaluate and diagnose your problem. If required the doctor may prescribe further diagnostic and blood tests for appropriate diagnosis and a plan for your medical treatment accordingly.
What problems can a gastroenterologist treat?
A gastroenterologist treats, diagnoses, and manages conditions of the gastrointestinal system as well as digestive organs. This includes everything from the esophagus and stomach to the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.
What is fatty liver? What leads to this problem?
A fatty liver is the condition of accumulation of fat in liver. It can lead to inflammation in the liver and eventually lead to a variety of health problems. The Fatty lever is generally associated with many lifestyle factors. The most common cause is obesity, as well as excess alcohol consumption, diabetes, and high cholesterol. An unhealthy diet may also play a role in the development of fatty liver, as well as certain medications and certain medical conditions.
Why do I need to see a Gastroenterologist?
If you have complaints related to the digestive system such as frequent abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, or heartburn for a prolonged time you might need to visit a Gastroenterologist. Also, If you are 45 years or older and have a family history of GI cancer it is advisable to seek frequent checkups from a gastroenterologist.
How can I prevent colon cancer?
To improve your health and reduce your risk of colon cancer, you can make several easy lifestyle changes, such as limiting alcohol consumption, quitting smoking, eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight.
What are the first signs of liver damage from alcohol?
Alcohol abuse is linked to many health problems, including liver damage. The signs of liver damage from alcohol include elevated liver enzymes, jaundice, ascites, and swelling in the abdomen.
In more advanced stages of liver damage from alcohol, the liver can become significantly enlarged and tender. This is known as hepatomegaly. Additionally, fibrosis, or scarring of the liver, can occur and lead to cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is a condition in which the liver is permanently damaged and can no longer function properly.
What is the difference between endoscopy and colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a procedure that examines the entire large intestine from the rectum to the cecum. During the procedure, a doctor will look for any abnormalities, such as polyps, ulcers, or tumors. The procedure can also be used to diagnose conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease or diverticulitis.
An endoscopy, on the other hand, is a procedure that examines the entire digestive tract, including the stomach, small intestine, and large intestine. Unlike a colonoscopy, endoscopies are often used to diagnose or treat conditions of the stomach, such as ulcers, blockages, or cancers. Endoscopies can also be used to identify any problems in the small intestine, including Crohn's disease and celiac disease.