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The special medical branch of the gastroenterologist is concerned with the oesophagus (gullet), stomach and intestines, as well as the liver with the gallbladder and the pancreas.
What is particularly important for this specialist is that he should have in-depth knowledge of a variety of tests that are conducted on these organs. The gullet, stomach and intestines can, for instance, be investigated using endoscopy. This is where a tube – at the end of which is a tiny camera – is inserted into the stomach via, say, the gullet. The images are shown on a monitor screen. The doctor analyses these and makes the appropriate diagnosis. The same applies to pictures of the liver, which can be made using ultrasound.
The gastroenterologist chooses medicines to treat disorders, or he opts for surgery. In surgical interventions he works closely with a visceral surgeon. He also, for instance, advises the patient on his eating habits.