The most common stomach diseases are cholelithiasis (gallstones) and various hernias. Both are relatively common problems that cause pain and discomfort and limit life in many ways.
In cholelithiasis, crystal-like deposits begin to form in the gallbladder, which tend to grow into larger gallstones over time. Gallstones may not cause any symptoms in patients, and sometimes they are found by chance in other investigations. However, the typical symptoms of gallstones include severe episodes of abdominal pain. In some patients, cholelithiasis becomes more difficult (e.g. inflammation of the gallbladder, gallstones entering the bile duct). As a treatment for symptomatic cholelithiasis, the gallbladder with gallstones can be removed, and the procedure itself does not affect the patient’s life significantly.
Hernia refers to a situation in which the abdominal wall gives up due to either acquired or congenital weakness, and the contents of the abdominal wall (typically omentum and intestines) bulge outside the abdominal wall. Hernias are typically treated with surgery because they cannot heal on their own. The most common types of hernia are inguinal hernia and umbilical hernia.
At Helsinki Hospital, experienced gastric surgeons perform hernia and gallbladder removal surgeries. Treatment is available without a referral, and there are no queues for surgeries.
Gastrointestinal endoscopy mainly refers to the endoscopy of the stomach, large intestine, and duodenum. During the endoscopy, samples (e.g. specimens) can be taken for further examination, and various procedures can be performed as well. Endoscopy is necessary for research purposes because other imaging studies or tests do not provide sufficient visibility inside the intestine, and sampling is only possible through endoscopy.
Radiographic examinations have largely been left out due to the improved availability of endoscopy examinations. Endoscopy is also performed for interventional treatment of a known disease (e.g., polypectomy, and hemostasis).
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