About the Gastroenterology

Staying true to its commitment as one of the most advanced hospitals in Ernakulam, the Department of Gastroenterology at Sunrise Hospital deals with all diseases affecting the organs of the digestive system - oesophagus, stomach, intestines, liver, gall bladder, spleen, pancreas, etc. – in adults and children. Our world-class team of medical and surgical gastroenterologists, transplant surgeons, gastrointestinal oncologists, interventional radiologists, pathologists, alongwith the support of speciality-trained nurses, rehabilitation therapists and technicians assure expert care and individualised treatment to every patient.


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Viral gastroenteritis and Bacterial gastroenteritis are the stomach flu that cause an inflammation of the stomach and intestines that leads to symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and cramps. It can be caused by Norovirus, Rotavirus affecting young children, Adenovirus affects mainly the infants below 2 years and Astrovirus are common in infants, young children and the elders. It can be transmitted through contaminated food or water, contaminated surfaces and person to person contact. Bacterial gastroenteritis are caused by E.coli bacteria, salmonella, shigella and Campylobacter. Symptoms and transmission remain the same as in virus. Treatment involves antibiotics and probiotics to restore gut health.

Gastric ulcers occur in the stomach lining causing burning or pain in the upper abdomen, bloating, nausea and weight loss. It is often caused by Helicobacter pylori infection and also by smoking and excessive alcohol use. Treatment includes antibiotics to reduce stomach acid and making some lifestyle modifications. Whereas, duodenal ulcers occur in the small intestine. They are also caused by H. pylori infection and factors like stress and spicy foods. Treatment includes the same like gastric ulcers.

Acid reflux and heartburn occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, tube connecting your throat to your stomach. This can cause irritation and inflammation in the esophagus. Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux. It is a burning sensation in the chest, usually after eating at night or when lying down. Can be caused due to spicy foods, citrus or fatty foods. Smoking, obesity, lack of exercise or certain medications. Dietary changes, lifestyle changes are required and antibiotics to reduce stomach acid.

IBS with constipation and diarrhea is a common gastrointestinal disorder causing chronic abdominal pain, bloating and altered bowel habits. IBS with constipation is the infrequent, hard and difficult passing of the stools. IBS with diarrhea is the frequent, loose and watery stools. Dietary changes are needed to manage the condition. Staying hydrated is essential and regular exercises is important. Certain antibiotics and probiotics may help balance gut microbiota and manage symptoms.

Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis can affect the gastrointestinal tract from the mouth to the anus. Symptoms include abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, weight loss and fatigue. Ulcerative Colitis is the inflammation in the colon and rectum. Treatment involves medications, antibiotics, lifestyle modifications and surgery includes colectomy, the removal of colon.

Hepatitis A, B and C are the liver conditions caused by hepatitis A, B and C virus transmitted through contaminated food, water, blood, semen. Hepatitis A and B symptoms include fever, fatigue and jaundice. Treatment includes vaccination and antiviral medicines for chronic cases. Hepatitis C spread through blood- to blood contact, symptoms can lead to chronic liver damage like cirrhosis and liver cancer treated by antiviral medications. Symptoms include weight loss, fatigue, jaundice, gastrointestinal bleeding and abdominal swelling. Regular medical check-ups and liver function tests are essential for patients at risk. The accumulation of fat in the liver cells, associated with obesity, diabetes and cholesterol causes pain in the upper abdomen and fatigue. It can be managed by lifestyle changes and avoiding alcohol.

Cholelithiasis or gallstones are the solid particles in the gallbladder, a small organ under the liver that stores bile, a digestive fluid. Gallstones can be asymptomatic but can lead to complications if they block the bile ducts. The most common type of gallstones are cholesterol gallstones and pigment gallstones made up of bilirubin, a substance produced from the breakdown of red blood cells. Symptoms include intense pain in the upper abdomen, nausea, vomiting, jaundice. Medications to dissolve the gallstones and laparoscopically removing the gallbladder called cholecystectomy is considered. Maintaining a healthy weight, balanced diet rich in fiber, regular exercises can help manage the condition. Cholecystitis is the inflammation of the gallbladder caused by gallstones blocking the bile ducts. Treatment focuses on pain management and antibiotics and sometimes surgery is done to remove the gallbladder.

Pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer affect the pancreas. Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas, often caused by gallstones or excessive alcohol consumption. Whereas, pancreatic cancer is the abnormal growth of cells in the pancreas which is difficult to detect early. Symptoms are abdominal pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, rapid pulse and jaundice. Treatment for pancreatitis involves pain management medications, reducing alcohol intake and surgery may be necessary to remove the gallbladder. Pancreatic cancer treatment options includes surgery to remove part or all of the pancreas, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Amoebiasis and Giardiasis are both the parasitic infections of the intestine. Amoebiasis is caused by the protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica, while giardiasis is caused by parasite Giardia lamblia. Symptoms are diarrhoea, abdominal pain and nausea. Treatment includes medications and antibiotics used to kill the parasite. Staying hydrated is very essential.

Chronic constipation is the difficulty in passing stool that can last for three months or more. Functional constipation is a subtype of chronic constipation. This happens mainly due to lifestyle changes, dietary changes and sometimes medications. So it is important to include fiber rich diet, stay hydrated, manage stress, limit processed foods and caffeine, considering probiotics and regular exercise to help regulate bowel function.

Acute diarrhoea is often caused by infections or dietary issues which lasts for a few days to a week. Chronic diarrhoea lasts longer for several weeks which can be due to inflammatory bowel diseases or irritable bowel syndrome. Prevention involves practicing good hygiene, avoiding contaminated food or water and staying hydrated.

Gluten intolerance is an autoimmune disorder that damages the small intestine after consuming gluten. The damaged intestine cannot absorb nutrients properly which leads to malabsorption. A gluten free diet is recommended to manage symptoms and prevent the complications.

Colorectal cancer and Diverticulitis are the conditions that affect colon leading to abdominal pain, changes in bowel habits. Colorectal cancer involves the abnormal growth of cells in the colon or rectum. Regular screenings can help detect the disease early. Diverticulitis or diverticula is the infection or inflammation in the colon wall which responds well to dietary changes and medications.

Internal and external hemorrhoids are both types of swollen blood vessels in the rectum and anus. Internal hemorrhoids develop inside the rectum which are usually painless, while external ones form around the anus and can be painful and bleed. Treatment involves lifestyle changes to some medical procedures.

Acute anal fissures are short term tears in the lining of anal canal often caused by passing large stool. They usually go away on their own within a few weeks. Whereas, chronic anal fissures stays for longer periods and may require medications and sometimes surgery.

Lactase deficiency occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough of the enzyme lactase which is needed to digest lactose, the sugar found in milk and diary products. Symptoms include bloating, diarrhoea and abdominal pain. It can be treated by reducing lactose containing foods. Following a balanced diet is essential.

Food poisoning can be caused by both bacterial and viral pathogens. Common bacterial pathogens are found in raw meat, poultry, eggs and sometimes on fruits and vegetables. Symptoms include diarrhoea, fever and abdominal cramps, E. Coli found in unpasteurized dairy products, Campylobacter found in undercooked poultry, contaminated water, Staphylococcus aureus found in stored food, daily products, salads and baked foods. Some common viral pathogens include norovirus, rotavirus and Hepatitis A spread through contaminated water or food. Treatment includes rest, staying hydrated, antibiotics for bacterial and viral infections. Proper food handling, hygiene and storage can manage prevent the issue. H. pylori infection is a common bacterial infection that affects the stomach associated with gastrointestinal conditions like gastritis, peptic ulcers transmitted through contaminated food and water and person to person. Symptoms include gastritis inflammation of the stomach lining, peptic ulcers causing pain in the stomach, nausea, vomiting and sometimes bleeding. Treatment involves antibiotic therapy and proton pump inhibitors PPIs to reduce stomach acid.

Esophagitis and Barrett’s esophagus are conditions affecting the esophagus that connects the throat to the stomach causing heartburn, chest pain and difficulty swallowing. Esophagitis the inflammation in the esophagus caused by acid reflux, infections or allergens. This can be managed by dietary changes and medications. Barrett’s esophagus a condition where the lining of the esophagus changes due to gastroesophageal reflux disease. This can be treated by medications to reduce acid and sometimes surgical interventions may be required.

Biliary colic affect the biliary system which includes the gallbladder, bile ducts and associated areas. Symptoms are intense pain in the upper abdomen after eating a fatty meal, nausea and vomiting. Medications and sometimes cholecystectomy removal of gallbladder is needed. One should also avoid fat food. When there is a blockage in the bile duct it causes biliary obstruction preventing the flow of bile from the liver and gallbladder to the intestine caused by tumors or inflammation. Symptoms include jaundice, dark urine, pale stools, abdominal pain, fever and itching. Treatment for this focuses on removing stones or place stents through endoscope, surgical intervention and antibiotics to kill infection. Gastroparesis delayed gastric emptying is a condition where the stomach takes longer than normal to empty its contents into the small intestine causing nausea, vomiting, bloating and abdominal pain. Treatment involves medications, dietary adjustments like low fat and lo fiber foods and diabetes management may help.

Pyogenic liver abscess is a pus- filled cavity in the liver caused by bacterial infection. Some common pathogens include E. Coli, streptococcus species and Staphylococcus aureus. Symptoms include fever, chills, abdominal pain and jaundice. Amoebic liver abscess is the pus in the liver caused by the parasite Entamoeba histolytica. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth SIBO is a condition where excessive bacteria are present in the small intestine causing malabsorption and nutritional deficiencies. Treatment includes antibiotics and dietary modifications.

Mechanical obstruction are the blockage that prevents food or liquid from passing through the small intestine or large intestine. This can be due to a surgery or inflammation, hernias, tumors, any foreign bodies swallowed or twisting of the intestine that cuts off the blood flow. The condition where muscles or nerves within the intestines do not function properly is called ileus or functional obstruction. This happens due to certain drugs, infections, electrolyte imbalances or some neurological conditions. Symptoms includes abdominal pain, cramps, bloating, nausea, vomiting and constipation. Medications to stimulate bowel motility and sometimes surgical intervention may be required to remove the blockage or repair the affected part of intestine.

It is an inflammation of the appendix, a small tube-like structure attached to the large intestine. It is of 2 types: Acute appendicitis severe inflammation of the appendix. Chronic appendicitis is the persistent inflammation of the appendix. Symptoms like pain around the navel that shifts to the lower right abdomen, Pain while coughing and walking, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, fever, constipation and diarrhoea. This can be treated by appendectomy done laparoscopically to remove the appendix and antibiotics are used.

Is the form of bleeding that originates from the gastrointestinal tract, that includes the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum and anus. It can be classified as Upper gastrointestinal bleeding that occurs from the oesophagus, stomach or duodenum. Symptoms include peptic ulcers, gastritis, esophagitis and tears in the esophageal lining. Lower gastrointestinal bleeding occurs from the small intestine, large intestine, rectum or anus due to diverticulosis, hemorrhoids, colorectal cancer, Crohn’s disease or colonic polyps causing symptoms like fatigue, weakness, abdominal pain, dizziness and vomiting blood. These can be treated by medications and surgeries endoscopically to stop the bleeding. Hepatocellular Carcinoma is the liver cancer caused by chronic hepatitis B and C, excessive alcohol consumption, fatty liver disease and due to genetic factors. Symptoms include abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, jaundice and fatigue. Treatments involve surgical intervention to remove tumors, liver transplantation, targeted therapy, chemo and radiation therapy.

Is the inflammation in the peritonium, the thin layer of tissue inside the abdomen. There is primary peritonitis that can occur without a source of infection within the abdomen seen in patients with liver disease like cirrhosis. It is caused by pathogens like E. coli bacteria, streptococcus species. Symptoms are fever, abdominal pain and tenderness. It can be treated by antibiotics. Secondary peritonitis is the infection that spreads from another part of the abdomen like a ruptured appendix. Caused by aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, including E. coli and enterococci. Symptoms include severe abdominal pain, tenderness, fever. Antibiotics are prescribed to kill the bacteria. Liver related brain dysfunction also called Hepatic encephalopathy caused by liver dysfunction like cirrhosis. Symptoms include confusion, forgetfulness, tremors, slow movements, mood swings and coma in severe cases. Dietary modifications may help, liver transplant may be considered in severe cases.

Inguinal hernia the common type of hernia that occurs in the groin area. Symptoms like a bulge in scrotum, pain or comfort and swelling around the testicles are experienced. Surgical repair laparoscopically done for large hernias. Hiatal hernia occurs when part of the stomach pushes up through the diaphragm into the chest cavity. It leads to symptoms like heartburn, acid reflux, difficulty swallowing, chest or abdominal pain, shortness of breath and vomiting blood or passing black stools. Lifestyle modifications may help, medications to reduce stomach acid and surgical repair for severe symptoms.


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Frequently Asked Questions Answered

A gastroenterologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders affecting the digestive system, which includes the esophagus, stomach, intestines, liver, pancreas, and gallbladder. Some of the conditions commonly treated by gastroenterologists include gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease (such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), liver diseases (such as hepatitis and cirrhosis), pancreatitis, gallbladder diseases, and gastrointestinal cancers.

A colonoscopy is a procedure where a flexible tube with a camera at the end (colonoscope) is inserted into the rectum to examine the lining of the colon. It's crucial for detecting colorectal cancer, polyps, and other abnormalities early, allowing for timely treatment and potentially preventing cancer development.

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