Digestive system surgeries or gastrointestinal surgeries are procedures conducted particularly in the stomach and the intestines. A gastrointestinal surgeon specialises in the procedures of the GI tract involving the stomach, pancreas, liver, oesophagus and intestines. The surgeon will also treat obesity with gastric bypass and gastric banding and a whole range of conditions such as colorectal cancer, liver cancer, hernia, pancreatic cancer, Crohn’s disease, stomach cancer, peptic ulcer, ulcerative colitis and prolapsed rectum to name a few.
GI series help diagnose the cause of abdominal pain, difficulty swallowing, nausea, vomiting and unexplained loss of weight. The medical history of the patient is examined before the procedure. GI series does not require anaesthesia and takes about 2 to 5 hours to complete. It is only when the barium moves slowly that it might take longer to complete.
Oesophageal varices, abnormal growths, strictures, gastroesophageal reflux, hiatal hernia and ulcers are all detected in the upper GI series. The upper GI tract is cleared of any food and drink that is found in the lining of the organs. Upper GI surgeries may include pancreaticoduodenectomy, oesophagectomy, liver resection, and so on.
Lower GI series will diagnose cancerous growths, diverticula, fistula (both internal and external), swelling or inflammation of the intestine, intestinal bleeding, polyps, ulcers on the lining of the intestine. Lower GI series involves bowel cleansing where the patient is prescribed a clear liquid diet 1–3 days prior to the procedure. Lower GI surgeries involve colorectal surgery and surgery of the small intestine (low or ultra-low rectal cancer resections).