Gastroenterology is the study of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of the body. A gastroenterologist diagnoses and treats diseases of the digestive organs, including the stomach, esophagus, intestines, pancreas, liver and gallbladder. This specialist treats conditions such as abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, ulcers, diarrhea, cancer in the GI tract, and jaundice. A gastroenterologist also performs complex diagnostic procedures, including the use of endoscopes to see and treat internal organs.
General surgery can be performed on almost any area of the body. A general surgeon is a physician who performs surgery and provides preoperative, operative, and postoperative care to surgical patients. This surgeon can treat diseases, injuries or deformities by surgery or minimally invasive techniques, such as endoscopy, where a tiny scope is used to view internal organs or structures. The endoscope can be used during operating procedures, or before surgery, to diagnose, assess and treat problem areas.
Geriatric medicine deals with aging problems and illnesses in older people. A geriatrician or geriatric physician has specific knowledge of the aging process and expert skills in the diagnosis, therapy, and prevention of diseases in the elderly. This specialist can treat geriatric patients in the patient's home, an office, nursing home, or a hospital setting.
Geriatric psychiatry deals with the problems of mental and emotional disorders and diseases in the elderly. A geriatric psychiatrist has expertise in the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of mental and emotional disorders of older people. The psychiatrist's extensive medical training allows him or her to understand the relationship between emotional illness and medical illnesses. The psychiatrist is the physician best qualified to determine the physical and/or psychological causes of both mental and physical disorders.
Gynecological oncology is the study and treatment of cancer of a woman's reproductive system. A gynecological oncologist consults with the cancer patient and provides comprehensive care that may include therapy, medication, and surgery, when necessary. The oncologist can act as a counselor to explain the stages of the disease to the patient.
Treatment for cancer can involve a biopsy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, and pain and symptom management to optimize quality of life. Specialists involved with the cancer patient may be an oncologist, a gynecologist, a pathologist, a radiologist, an oncology nurse, and a surgeon.
© Copyright 2009 Health Grades, Inc. Third Party materials included herein protected under copyright law. All rights reserved. Use of this website and any information contained therein is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement.