What is gastroenterology?
It is a branch of internal medicine focused on disorders and diseases associated with the human digestive system, mostly involving the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Doctors who specialise in this field are called ‘gastroenterologists’. They diagnose and treat patients with digestive conditions and diseases.
In adult males, the GI tract is 5 metres long and includes the oesophagus, stomach, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, small intestine and large intestine (colon).
Common conditions include bowel cancer, malabsorption diseases, constipation, diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, ulcers, liver disease, hepatitis, gastritis, diverticulosis and gastroenteritis.
What do specialist gastroenterologists in Melbourne do?
They perform specialised diagnostic and therapeutic procedures such as liver biopsies and endoscopic examinations of the oesophagus, stomach, small and large bowel, such as gastroscopies and colonoscopies.
They do not perform abdominal surgery; however, but they work closely with surgeons to determine the best surgical operation for a patient. They will also provide post-surgery care to help their patients recover from or cope with their digestive disorder.
Why Moonee Valley Specialist Centre?
Dr. Nathan Connelly (MBBS, FRACP) is one of the best gastroenterologists in Melbourne currently practicing and is passionate about patient outcomes. With a calm and focused approach, Dr. Connelly keeps his patients fully-informed and where necessary directs them towards the correct diagnostic procedure, whether that be a bowel cancer screening, colonoscopy, or anything else.
Apart from his work at the clinic, Dr. Connelly commonly treats patients at several local hospitals. His experience, expertise, and professional manner have helped establish Dr. Connelly as one of the top gastroenterologists in Melbourne.
Common reasons to consult a specialist gastroenterologist in Melbourne
There are many reasons that bring people to Moonee Valley Specialist Centre. If you experience any of the following symptoms, then it’s likely you will benefit greatly from seeking out one of the top gastroenterologists Melbourne for referral by your GP.
This is normally identified by finding blood in your stool, and the reasons for this can range in severity. It can indicate bleeding somewhere in the digestive tract, haemorrhoids, an anal fissure, or even cancer.
You are of age (50+) for regular bowel cancer screenings
One of the primary reasons that Dr. Connelly is engaged is to facilitate bowel cancer screenings. These become more necessary for every Australian as they get older and are particularly important for those with a family history of bowel cancer.
Difficulty swallowing and oesophageal pain
Some medical complications could be causing you to experience pain and difficulty with swallowing, or a total inability to swallow. If you are experiencing frequent and severe pain or difficulty swallowing, you may require an upper endoscopy.
Abdominal pain and bloating
If abdominal pain and bloating begin to occur frequently (such as after or during meals), then you need to speak to your GP who may refer you to a specialist gastroenterologist in Melbourne. Symptoms can also include painful bowel movements and nausea.
Bowel movement abnormality
This covers issues like intense constipation and diarrhea. Both of these issues can range in severity and be caused by several different factors – our top gastroenterologist in Melbourne will be able to help you determine what the problem is and recommended a course of action.
How to prepare
Congratulations, you’ve found the best gastroenterologist in Melbourne – however, do you know how to prepare? Like any specialist, your first appointment will require more preparation on your part.
You will obviously need to have your referral from your GP. You should also make sure you have your Medicare, health fund, pensions, veterans, or any other relevant card with you.
Recent medical records can also be beneficial in quickly forming a diagnosis. Having a journal of symptoms can also be useful depending on what issue you are dealing with.
If you are coming to the clinic to undergo a specific procedure like a colonoscopy, then you will be given instructions on how to prepare. Some of these instructions include being picked up and dropped off by a friend or relative, as the sedative medication we give you will make it unsafe for you to drive yourself home.