Gastrointestinal (GI) pathology is an anatomical pathology subspecialty devoted to the study of inflammatory, benign, and malignant diseases of the digestive tract. Our pathologists work in close association with gastroenterologists, internal medicine specialists, and other physicians who deal with diseases of the digestive system.
Gastroenterologists specialize in endoscopic procedures to visually examine the digestive tract and remove tissue samples, i.e., conduct biopsies, for further examination. Many conditions cannot be accurately diagnosed unless a tissue sample is examined under a microscope by a pathologist – a physician trained in the microscopic examination of tissue. This microscopic examination reveals the histology (the study of the form of structures) of the disease and accurately clarifies its diagnosis.
Pathologists are physicians who, upon completion of their basic medical training, pursue additional, intensive training in accredited programs for the microscopic interpretation of tissue samples. In addition, selected pathologists may have completed a fellowship training program or other educational rotations under the tutelage of renowned GI pathology experts. Pathologists integrate the patient’s clinical information with microscopic analysis to derive definitive diagnostic information for transmittal to the treating physician. GI pathology is a consultative service to the treating physician that involves much more than the mere conduct of a laboratory test. Your pathologist is, therefore, a critical member of your health care team. The accurate microscopic interpretation of your tissue biopsy is absolutely essential to understanding your diagnosis and in influencing the selection of the most appropriate treatment option.