The gastrointestinal, or GI surgery is one of the most complicated surgical branches of the medical world. It consists of several organs, each with its own function, importance, disease, and complication. Several people from all over India, including Bangalore, suffer from some of the other types of Gastrointestinal condition from time to time.

GI Tract- Anatomy And Function

The gastrointestinal tract, or more commonly known as the GI tract or the gut or the alimentary canal is the organ that receives food, digests it by breaking down, extracts and absorbs the nutrients and energy and afterward expels the waste from the body as urine and faces. The alimentary canal is approximately nine meters in length.

The GI tract consists of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, large intestine, small intestine, and anus. The organs, tongue, salivary glands, pancreas, gallbladder and liver are some of its accessory organs. The GI tract and its accessory organs secrete enzymes and hormones such as secretin, ghrelin, leptin, gastrin, cholecystokinin and many more. These help to activate and regulate the digestive system.

On an average, it takes about an hour to empty the half of the food from the stomach to intestine after having a meal.  The time changes to about two hours for the same to empty the small intestine. Also, it takes about 12 to 45 hours to move the move the food through the colon.

Common Diseases Of The GI Tract

The GI diseases refer to the medical condition involving the organs of the alimentary canal. These organs include the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and rectum. It also includes the diseases of its accessory digestive organs such as the liver, gallbladder and the pancreas.

There are many medical conditions that affect the GI tract, these are namely, infections, inflammation, and cancer. The following are the most affecting diseases related to the alimentary canal

  • Gastrointestinal cancer- it can affect any of the organs in the GI tract. It can be mouth cancer, tongue cancer, esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, colorectal cancer. It also includes cancer of the other accessory organs and includes, pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, and gallbladder cancer.

  • GERD

  • Ileitis

  • Inflammatory bowel disease

  • Diverticular disease

  • Functional gastrointestinal disorders

  • Enteric duplication cyst

  • Cholera

  • Pancreatitis

  • Enteroviruses

  • Yellow fever

  • Peptic ulcer disease

  • Giardiasis

  • Intestinal pseudo-obstruction

  • Bowel twists

  • Chronic constipation

  • Chronic diarrhea

  • Toxic megacolon

  • Polyps

Even though the mouth is one of the portions of the GI tract, the common problems of the mouth are not usually accounted in the GI diseases.

Risk Factors For GI Illnesses

Though several individuals can get affected with GI disease at any point in their lifetime, there are several risk factors that elevate the probability of the occurrence of the same. The following are the risk factors associated with the same-

  • Smoking,

  • Heavy alcohol use,

  • Overeating dietary fat,

  • Lack of dietary fiber,

  • Stressful life,

  • Lack of physical exercise,

  • Contaminated food and water,

  • A family history of hepatitis B,

  • Unsafe sex

Symptoms Of GI Illnesses

The symptoms suggesting a possible gastrointestinal disease may vary from disease to disease and the overall health condition of the individual. However, the most common symptoms of the same are-

  • GERD, and heartburn

  • Bloating and gas

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Indigestion

  • Persistent abdominal pain

  • Persistent constipation or diarrhea

  • Irritable bowel syndrome

  • Blood in stool

  • Gallstone

  • Peptic ulcer disease

  • Biliary tract disorders

  • Rectal disorders, mainly hemorrhoids

Diagnosis Of GI Illnesses

To reach a reliable conclusion, the patient undergoes several diagnostic screenings. The following screenings are usually done to evaluate the condition and the extent of the disease.

  • Fecal occult blood test

  • Stool culture

  • Colorectal transit study

  • Barium beefsteak meal

  • Defecography

  • CT scan

  • MRI

  • Laparoscopy

  • Barium enema, of lower GI tract

  • Barium swallow, of upper GI tract

  • MRCP

  • Ultrasound

  • Colonoscopy

  • Radioisotope gastric emptying scan

  • ERCP

  • EDG, or upper endoscopy

  • Capsule endoscopy

  • Sigmoidoscopy

  • Manometry (anorectal, gastric and esophageal)

Treatment and Surgery for GI Illnesses

Several GI disease can be addressed and cured simply by changing into a healthier diet and lifestyle and with mild medication. However, if it is a serious disease or a non-fatal the disease that has advanced to a chronic stage, then often surgical intervention is required to fix it permanently.

Surgery is often required to address gastrointestinal polyps, cancer, and cancer of other accessory organs. The following are the most executed procedures in the domain of GI-

  • Appendectomy- removing either a part of or the entire diseased appendix

  • Glossectomy- removing partial or entire diseased tongue

  • Esophagectomy- removing partial or entire diseased esophagus

  • Colectomy- removing partial or entire diseased colon

  • Gastrectomy- removing a partial or entire diseased stomach

  • Pancreatectomy- removing a partial or entire diseases pancreas

  • Cholecystectomy- removing the gallbladder along with gallstones

  • Hepatectomy- removing partial or entire diseased liver

Most of these resection surgeries are carried out either to remove a partially infected diseased organ, usually malignant cancer, or to remove the entire infected organs.

These are usually carried out through open surgery technique, though some extremely talented surgeons can carry them out using laparoscopy as well. Since the laparoscopic technique offers several additional benefits, the procedures carried out through this approach yields additional additives.

Disclaimer – The information contained in this website is based on the results which the existing patients have got after treatment. However, results may vary from case to case.