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Module: Gastrointestinal Surgery

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The Core Curriculum in Gastrointestinal Surgery


Peter Devitt

Head, Professorial Surgical Unit
Royal Adelaide Hospital and University of Adelaide


The burden of disease for western communities is reflected on in a recent report outlining some of the common problems that lead people to seek medical attention. With regard to digestive tract problems:

  • Most common reason for a clinic visit: abdominal pain
  • Most common cause of hospitalisation: acute pancreatitis
  • Commonest cancer: colorectal malignancy
  • Leading cause of mortality: colorectal cancer
In 2009 it was estimated that in the United States of America there were 6.9 million gastroscopies, 11.5 million colonoscopies and 228,000 ERCPs, with a total cost of outpatient endoscopic procedures of $32.4 billion dollars. Health care is expensive and it consumes 17.4% of the United States' gross domestic product. Digestive tract disorders form a significant part of those costs.

This module contains case studies that cover the core curriculum in gastrointestinal surgery. Key topics include:
  • Carcinoma of the oesophagus
  • Carcinoma of the stomach
  • (Peptic ulcer disease)
  • (Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease)
  • Gallstone disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Carcinoma of the pancreas
  • (Inflammatory bowel disease)
  • Appendicitis
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Diverticular disease
  • Anal and perianal disorders
The three topics in parentheses are now essentially medically-managed conditions, but do have important surgical components.

Many of the problems will be manifest through scenarios involving:
  • Acute abdominal pain
  • Digestive tract bleeding
  • Jaundice
  • Vomiting
  • Change in bowel habit
  • Weight changes
The module starts with a self-assessment quiz.

Start Case Study

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