Gastroenterology:The medical specialty called gastroenterology covers a lot of territory. Everything from swallowing problems to colon problems falls under the care of a gastroenterologist. These medical specialists treat all types of digestive diseases, including those affecting the esophagus, stomach, intestines, bowels, liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.
The Science Of The Digestive System
The following lists some of the more common diagnostic procedures performed and conditions treated by a gastroenterologist.
Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)- This common and uncomfortable problem is caused by stomach acid backing into the esophagus. This causes a painful burning sensation in the chest after eating. Most of the time GERD can be treated by changing eating and other lifestyle habits. Sometimes medication is necessary and on, rare occasions, surgery is required to correct the problem.
Upper GI Endoscopy- This diagnostic procedure examines the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). It is useful to diagnose and sometimes treat problems such as ulcers, gastritis, growths, causes of bleeding or pain and cancer. It may be used to take a biopsy, remove foreign objects or growths, stop bleeding and open narrowed passages.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)- This problem does not involve any structural problem or disease in the bowel. Instead, the bowels natural rhythm called motility, is disrupted, resulting in diarrhea, abdominal cramps, constipation and gas. IBS is usually caused by an outside factor such as stress, lactose intolerance, poor eating habits, caffeine, smoking and alcohol. Treatment may include medication along with diet and lifestyle changes.
Lower GI Endoscopy- This diagnostic procedure examines the lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which includes the colon and rectum. A colonoscopy examines the entire colon and rectum, whereas, sigmoidoscopy examines just the rectum and sigmoid colon. These tests help to diagnose and sometimes treat problems such as inflammation of the colon (colitis), polyps, bleeding and cancer. They may be used to take biopsies, remove polyps, identify causes of bleeding or pain and detect cancer.
Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis- These somewhat common problems affect the colon. In diverticuolosis, small pouches - which are usually caused by not eating enough high-fiber, unprocessed food-form on the colon wall. When these pouches become inflamed or infected the painful, more serious problem known as diverticulitis develops. Diverticulosis is best controlled through diet. The more serious diverticulitis requires medications, a hospital stay, and, in severe cases, surgery.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease- This chronic condition may take two forms: ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease. Ulcerative colitis often starts with inflammation and small sores that affect the lining of these areas. Crohn's disease can occur anywhere in the gastrointestinal system; however, in most cases it affects the last part of the small intestine, causing inflammation, sores, infections, and other problems. Medication, diet and, many times, surgery are required to control these chronic conditions.
OCH's Gastroenterologist Specialist
OCH Regional Medical Center is pleased to have Dr. Victor C. Kessler on staff. A gastroenterologist, Dr. Kessler is especially interested in conditions affecting intestinal motility such as irritable bowel syndrome. He also treats diverticulosis and diverticulitis and Crohn's disease; bilary tract disease; gallstones; inflammatory bowel disease, including ulcerative colitis; gastro-esophageal reflux disease; and swallowing disorders such as dysphagia, and other digestive diseases.
In addition, Dr. Kessler is certified in addiction medicine. He treats and counsels patients who are struggling with a dependency to alcohol and illegal or prescription drugs.
Dr. Kessler has been in practice with Starkville Internal Medicine, located at 105 Brandon Road, for thirteen years. He came to Starkville from Hamilton, Ohio, where he was in private practice for 18 years.
A graduate of University School of Medicine in Indiana, Dr. Kessler served as a general medical officer in the United States Navy. He later completed an internal medicine residency at Good Samaritan Hospital and a fellowship in gastroenterology at the University of Cincinnati.
Dr. Kessler is board certified in gastroenterology and is a member of several professional organizations including the American College of Physicians and the American Society of Gastroenterology and Endoscopy.
Civil War enthusiast, Dr. Kessler collects Civil War cannon balls and enjoys studying the artillery of the time. He also enjoys watching movies and collecting fossils. He and his wife Karen have one child.
For more information or an appointment please call (662)324-1291