If you have unexplained or frequent digestive issues, such as abdominal discomfort or changes to your bowel habits, someone's probably told you to see a gastroenterologist, also sometimes referred to as a GI doctor. But if you've never seen a gastroenterologist before, you may be unsure whether your digestive symptoms really warrant seeing a specialist. You might even be wondering: What is a gastroenterologist? Dr. Ashish Sachan, a gastroenterologist, explains everything you need to know if you're deciding whether it's time to see one, including what to expect at your first appointment. A gastroenterologist is a specialist with expertise in the disorders and diseases that affect the digestive system which includes the gastrointestinal tract (esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum, and anus) as well as the pancreas, liver, bile ducts, and gallbladder. "Gastroenterologists are trained to perform a number of procedures used to help diagnose and treat these conditions, such as upper endoscopy, colonoscopy, biopsy, and the various endoscopic techniques needed to visualize the digestive system.
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