BMI The Blackheath Hospital40 - 42 Lee Terrace, Blackheath, London, SE3 9UD Directions
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Improving your digestive system
Your digestive system is incredibly complex, comprising many different parts and functions. As a whole, it is responsible for breaking food down into smaller parts so that they can be absorbed into the body and used by it. It is also responsible for then ensuring the removal of waste products that cannot be broken down and used by the body by expelling them as faeces.
If disease or dysfunction occurs in any part of the digestive system, it can affect your overall health and may cause a variety of symptoms such as abdominal pain, heartburn or rectal bleeding.
The Consultant Gastroenterologists at BMI The Blackheath Hospital cover the spectrum of digestive system conditions and symptoms, providing expert assessment, diagnosis and treatment for people in and around London. They would be delighted to help you too.
Upper GI –the mouth, oesophagus, stomach and first part of the small intestine
Lower GI (Colorectal) - the small intestine, large intestine, anus and rectum
HBP (Hepato Pancreato Biliary) – liver, pancreas and gallbladder
Common symptoms caused by a problem in any one of these parts of the digestive system are:
If you have any of these symptoms, it is advisable to consult a doctor for advice. The Gastroenterology team at The Blackheath are experts in this area and can investigate any of these symptoms thoroughly to determine the cause and to ensure you receive the best treatment for your specific condition as soon as possible.
Due to the complexity of the digestive system, many conditions that affect it can have very similar symptoms, which sometimes makes diagnosis more challenging. Some of the more common conditions that can affect the digestive system include:
Early diagnosis of any of these conditions means that you’ll be able to receive any necessary treatment sooner. Many of these conditions are best treated when they’re at the earliest possible stage, making assessment and diagnosis vital. At The Blackheath, we can provide you with comprehensive investigation from an expert without delay.
A physical examination may also be carried out.
It may be that at this consultation it is found that your symptoms are not a cause for concern. In other cases, additional investigation may be needed to properly assess things. Many potential problems within the GI tract are most easily investigated using a special instrument known as an endoscope. This is a thin, flexible tube with a camera and light at one end. The camera is attached to a video screen and provides a real time image.
Depending on where you’re experiencing your symptoms, you may need to have a Gastroscopy, a Colonoscopy or an Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) to investigate. If any of these are required, they will be arranged for you at The Blackheath at the earliest opportunity.
For either investigation, your Consultant is able to carefully examine the inside of the GI tract, checking for any abnormalities or areas of possible concern.
Whichever of these investigations you have, a biopsy may be taken for further analysis. This involves carefully removing a small sample of tissue from the area in question.
Endoscopic procedures are generally well tolerated but they are occasionally uncomfortable. A spray is used to reduce coughing and gagging during a gastroscopy (endoscopy to examine the stomach). Some patients find this is sufficient, but many prefer to have a sedative injection also. For a colonoscopy, an injection of a sedative and a pain-killing medication is often used, but others may prefer to have the procedure without sedation or opt to have 'gas and air' (nitrous oxide). Your gastroenterologist will explain these options to you prior to the procedure.
Additional tests, including blood tests, liver function tests, MRI scan, CT scan and ultrasound, are all available on-site at The Blackheath, so are easily arranged if needed.
Once the results of any investigations are back, your Consultant will draw up a personalised treatment plan for your condition. If referral to another specialist is needed (for example, if bowel cancer is discovered or surgery is needed to manage the symptoms of Crohn’s disease), this will be done without delay.
Your Consultant will fully discuss any suitable treatment options with you so that you can make an informed choice about treatment. If you have any questions or concerns at any time, they will be very happy to talk these through with you.
We treat patients with private medical insurance and those using one of our self-pay options.
While many of our patients live in London, excellent road and public transport makes it easy to visit us from further afield as well.
When you choose to visit a Consultant Gastroenterologist at BMI The Blackheath Hospital in London, you will benefit from:
Whether you’ve been experiencing new symptoms that are causing you concern or you have a pre-existing condition (like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis) that you would like us to help better manage, we would be delighted to help you.
For peace of mind and known expert care, book your appointment online now.
We look forward to welcoming you to BMI The Blackheath Hospital soon.
Pay for yourself with our fixed price packages. This includes your pre-assessment, treatment, follow-ups and six months of aftercare.
We are widely recognised by health insurers. Ask your insurer about your cover and for an insurer pre-authorisation code.
Pay for yourself with monthly repayments spread over 12 months, interest-free (terms and conditions apply)