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General surgery

A wide-ranging area of medicine that focuses especially on the abdominal area

General Surgery is a specialised area of medicine involved in diagnosing and treating diseases, disorders and dysfunctions of the abdomen and digestive tract. 

Your digestive tract stretches from mouth to anus and involves many different complex parts and processes. Should something go wrong in any of these parts or processes, it may cause a number of concerning symptoms to appear such as abdominal pain or a change in bowel habits.  

If you are concerned about pain anywhere in your abdomen or have experienced a change in your bowel habits, it can be sensible to seek expert assessment and advice. 

At BMI Droitwich Spa Hospital, our Consultant General Surgeons provide diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of abdominal and digestive tract conditions. They would be delighted to help you too.  

What is General Surgery?

General Surgery is primarily focused on the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract). For simplicity, this can be broken down into: 

Upper GI – Comprises the mouth, oesophagus, stomach and first part of the small intestine 

Lower GI (Colorectal)– Comprises the small intestine, large intestine, anus and rectum 

HBP (Hepato Pancreato Biliary) – Comprises the liver, pancreas and gallbladder 

General Surgery also investigates and treats hernias and unexplained ‘lumps and bumps’ in the abdomen.

Due to the complexity of the GI tract, many problems can have overlapping symptoms. Common reason people visit with our Consultant General Surgeons for help include:
  • Acid reflux – stomach acid passes up the throat and causes heartburn
  • Bloating and swelling (distention)
  • Blood in vomit
  • Blood in your stool – may be visible or hidden (occult)
  • Change in bowel habits
  • Pain in the upper or lower abdomen
  • Lump or bump in the abdomen
  • Jaundice (yellow discolouration of skin or urine)
While these symptoms do not always mean that something is wrong, it is worth seeking expert assessment as they may point towards a number of conditions. Some of the common conditions your Consultant will want to rule out for these symptoms include: 
  • Cancer (oesophageal, bowel, liver, bile duct or pancreatic) 
  • IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) – both Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis 
  • Dyspepsia (Indigestion) 
  • Diverticulitis – inflammation of a small pocket (diverticula) in the lining of the intestine  
  • Polyps - small fleshy raised areas, some of these could turn into cancer if left untreated for many years) 
  • Gallstones 
  • Liver abscess 
  • GERD/GORD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) 
  • Hernia – these may cause bowel obstruction 
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Anal Fissures & Fistulas

Given the complexity of the GI tract and the variety of symptoms possible, your Consultant will want to work out what is causing your specific symptoms as soon as possible. 

When you meet with them, they will take a detailed medical history and will ask you about your symptoms. They will want to know: 

  • What symptoms you have? 
  • When these symptoms first appeared? 
  • Whether your symptoms have become progressively worse? 
  • If anything (food, movement etc.) makes your symptoms worse?

Whether you have any particular concerns about your symptoms (for example, are you worrying that you may have bowel cancer?) 

Hernias are usually quite straightforward to diagnose, as your Consultant will be able to see a visible lump where the hernia is. Surface skin lesions may be referred to our colleagues in Dermatology, although if it is just under the skin, we may be able to look at a simple excision to remove it. 

Many GI tract symptoms are best investigated with an endoscopic procedure. An endoscope is a thin, flexible tube with a camera and light at the end. When it is introduced into the body, either at the mouth (for a Gastroscopy) or via the rectum (for a Colonoscopy), it provides excellent views of that part of the GI tract, allowing your Consultant to look for any abnormalities, swellings or areas of concern.  

A small sample of tissue (biopsy) may be taken during this procedure, which will then be sent away for further analysis. 

You will normally be given some sedation for a Gastroscopy or Colonoscopy. While they aren’t painful, they may be a bit uncomfortable. You can also try gas & air (nitrous oxide) instead of sedation if you prefer. This will mean that you can drive back home yourself and don’t need anybody to stay with you for the next 12 -24hours. 

In addition to endoscopy and biopsy, other investigations that may be used to aid diagnosis include blood tests, MRI scan, CT scan and Ultrasound. These are all easily arranged for you on-site at The Droitwich Spa if required. 

Once the results of any investigations are back, your Consultant will draw up a personalised treatment plan for your condition. Treatment may involve: 

  • Watchful waiting – monitoring your symptoms to see if they become worse 
  • Medication 
  • Surgery  
  • If surgery is required, whether minor or more involved, this will be arranged for you at the earliest opportunity. 
Whatever treatment you require, your Consultant will discuss it with you so that you know what to expect, the benefits you should expect to see and any risk or potential complications you should be aware of before making a decision. If you have any questions or concerns, they will be very happy to talk these through with you. 
 

People visit the Consultant General Surgeons at BMI The Droitwich Spa Hospital for a variety of reasons. Many are referred by their GP, another healthcare professional or their private medical insurance provider.  

We treat patients with private medical insurance or those using one of our self-pay options.  

While many of our patients are fairly local to Droitwich Spa, excellent road links (including easy access to the M5) means that people travel from Birmingham and further afield as well.  

When you choose to visit The Droitwich Spa for your General Surgery consultation, you will benefit from: 

Rapid assessment – When you have abdominal symptoms concerning enough to warrant seeking medical advice, you won’t want to be waiting weeks (or even months!) to be seen. At The Droitwich Spa, our team of experienced Consultant General Surgeons can see you quickly. Earlier assessment and diagnosis means you’ll see the benefits of any treatment needed sooner. 

Fast diagnostic turnaround time –
With on-site radiologists able to report on any scans, any test results will be back with your Consultant quickly, enabling a diagnosis and treatment plan to be made faster. 

Recommended by patients – In an independent survey, 95.7% of patients said they were likely or highly likely to recommend us to family and friends.  We aim to make your stay with us as comfortable as possible, and these results highlight our continued efforts to ensure you receive the highest level of care and support during your time with us. 

Personalised care – There is no ‘one size fits all’ for General Surgery concerns and we believe in a bespoke approach to treatment, tailoring it to your specific needs and whatever may be best for you. 

A whole team approach – Our teams at BMI Droitwich Spa work closely with one another to provide you with the best possible care from start to finish. This is especially important in General Surgery, where your Consultant works closely with specialists in other fields, including dermatology, oncology, plastic surgery, radiology, physiotherapy, anaesthetics…and more! This multidisciplinary team approach ensures you will receive support from the best expert for you, every step of the way.

Appointments to suit you –
With appointments available throughout the week, you are sure to be able to book an appointment with the Consultant General Surgeon of your choice at a time that fits with your availability.  

Free Parking –
We know that parking should be the least of your worries when attending hospital, so to make life easier our 53-space car park is free of charge. In order to validate your parking, just register your car with us at Reception when you first arrive. 

Whether you have a pre-existing GI condition that you’d like us to manage, or if you’ve recently started experienced new symptoms that are causing you concern, such as pain in your upper or lower abdomen, why not get expert help sooner? For peace of mind and known expert care, please contact us to book your appointment now. 

Specialists offering General surgery

Mr Richard Lovegrove

Consultant Colorectal & IBD Surgeon

MB BS MD FRCS

BMI The Droitwich Spa Hospital

View profile Book online

Mr Simon Radley

Consultant General Surgeon

MB CHB, MD, FRCS

BMI The Priory Hospital 1 more BMI The Droitwich Spa Hospital

View profile Book online

Mr Martin Stuart Wadley

Consultant General & Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeon

MB ChB MD FRCS FRCS (Gen Surg)

BMI The Droitwich Spa Hospital

View profile Book online

Mr Vinod Sreedhara Menon

Consultant General, Upper GI, Bariatric & Laparoscopic Surgeon

MBBS, MS, FRCS (Glasg), FRCS (General Surgery)

BMI The Droitwich Spa Hospital 1 more BMI The Meriden Hospital

View profile Book online

Mr Samuel Ford

Consultant Upper GI Surgeon

PhD, FRCS

BMI The Droitwich Spa Hospital 1 more BMI The Priory Hospital

View profile Book online

Mr Miguel Zilvetti

Consultant Laparoscopic General and Colorectal Surgeon

LMS, FRCS (Gen. Surgery)

BMI The Droitwich Spa Hospital

View profile Book online

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