At UC San Diego Health, our nationally recognized gastroenterologists provide comprehensive, innovative and compassionate care.
And, because our physicians are on the frontline of gastroenterology research, patients have access to some of the latest technological advances, treatments and therapies available.
What Is Gastroenterology?
Our digestive system is made up of the digestive tract — a series of organs from the mouth to the anus — that help the body break down and absorb food to create energy.
Gastroenterology focuses on the causes, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the digestive system, including the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon and rectum, pancreas, gallbladder and bile ducts.
Symptoms of Digestive Problems
General gastroenterologists at UC San Diego Health have extensive training in identifying the signs and symptoms of digestive system problems, including:
- Abdominal pain
- Acid reflux or heartburn
- Blood in vomit or stool
- Bloating or gas
- Difficulty swallowing
Diagnosing your symptoms accurately is the first step to successful treatment for digestive problems. To reach a diagnosis, your doctor will take a thorough and accurate medical history and note your symptoms. A physical exam is also done to help assess the problem more completely. Your physician may need to investigate further by using lab tests, imaging tests or endoscopic procedures, where a thin camera is used to investigate inside the body, like:
- Screening for colon cancer. Read more about colonoscopy and other endoscopic procedures.
- Lab tests like a fecal immune test (FIT) that look for blood in the stool
- Imaging tests that help your physician see how your digestive system processes food and waste
- Tests that help show the strength and function of muscles in the esophagus, rectum, or anus (motility)
Our board-certified physicians offer extensive experience and skill in using conventional, innovative and investigational methods to manage both common conditions, like heartburn and stomach ulcers, and more complex diseases, like:
- Esophageal and motility conditions, like Barrett’s esophagus, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and esophagitis. Read more about our Gastrointestinal Motility and Physiology Center.
- Autoimmune conditions, like celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease and ulcerative colitis
- Liver diseases, like hepatitis, fatty liver disease and cancer. Read more about our Liver Care.
Using the latest diagnostic technologies, medical therapies and advanced endoscopy, our physicians offer the highest level of digestive health medicine. We provide tailored treatments to diagnose and treat your digestive problems, including:
- Changing diet and lifestyle habits with nutrition counseling
- Esophageal and intestinal dilation
- Feeding tube placement
- Hemostasis to stop bleeding or hemorrhage
- Prescribing medication
- Removal of gallstones
- Removal of polyps in the colon, or polypectomy
- Cancer Care
- Colorectal Surgery
- Liver Center
- Minimally Invasive and Robot-Assisted Surgery
- Nutrition Counseling
- Specialty and Infusion Pharmacy
Support Gastroenterology Research
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