What is Gastroenterology? 

Gastroenterology is the branch of medicine that specializes in the normal function and the diseases of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon and rectum, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts and liver.

It involves a detailed understanding of the normal action of the gastrointestinal organs, including the breakdown and movement of food through the stomach and intestine (motility), the digestion and absorption of nutrients into the body, removal of waste from the system, and the function of the liver as a digestive organ.

Gastroenterologists are physicians trained in the management and treatment of colon polyps and cancer, hepatitis, gastroesophageal reflux (heartburn), peptic ulcer disease, colitis, gallbladder and biliary tract disease, nutritional problems, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and pancreatitis. In essence, all normal activity and disease of the digestive organs is part of the study of Gastroenterology.

Procedures offered by Mercy Gastroenterology:
• Endoscopy (diagnostic)
• Colonoscopy (screening, diagnostic)
• Bravo pH testing
• Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)
• Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
• Hemorrhoid banding
• Pill camera endoscopy

Mercy Gastroenterology offers "open access colonoscopy." This procedure allows most healthy patients, without significant gastrointestinal symptoms, to eliminate a preliminary office visit before scheduling a colonoscopy.