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General surgery

Fast assessment and treatment for abdominal concerns

General Surgery is a specialised field of medicine involved in the diagnosis and treatment of problems within the abdomen and digestive tract. A doctor who specialises in this field is a Consultant General Surgeon

Your digestive tract is an incredibly complex combination of organs, functions and of processes, responsible for breaking the food you eat down so that it can be absorbed by the body. It is also responsible for removing waste products of food from the body as faeces.

Should anything stop or disrupt any part or function of the digestive system – whether disease, damage or disorder - it can cause serious health problems. You may also experience symptoms such as abdominal pain or a change in your bowel habits.

If you are concerned about pain anywhere in your abdomen, or have noticed a change in your bowel habits, it is sensible to seek medical advice to get things properly investigated.

At BMI Highfield Hospital in Lancashire, our consultants provide diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of abdominal and digestive tract conditions, without delay. They would be delighted to help you too. 

General Surgery is primarily focused on the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract), which runs from mouth to anus and comprises: 

  • Upper GI – mouth, oesophagus, stomach and first part of the small intestine 
  • Lower GI (Colorectal) – small intestine, large intestine, anus and rectum 
  • HBP (Hepato Pancreato Biliary) - liver, pancreas and gallbladder 

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

Due to the complex structure and function of the GI tract, many conditions that affect it will often have very similar symptoms. This makes it so important to get an accurate diagnosis from a specialist.

Common reason people come to us 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) 

Any of these symptoms may indicate a problem somewhere in the GI tract, so proper investigation and assessment is important. Some of the conditions that may cause these symptoms include: 

  • Cancer - oesophageal, bowel, liver, bile duct or pancreatic) 
  • IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) – Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis 
  • Dyspepsia (Indigestion) 
  • Diverticulitis – inflammation of a small pocket (diverticula) that has formed in the lining of the intestine  
  • Polyps - small fleshy raised areas. These may become if left untreated for many years 
  • Gallstones 
  • Liver abscess 
  • GERD/GORD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) 
  • Hernia – inguinal, umbilical, epigastric, femoral, incisions, ventral 

When you meet with your consultant at the hospital, they will take a medical history and talk with you in detail about your symptoms. They will want to know: 

  • What symptoms you have? 
  • When you first noticed these symptoms? 
  • Whether your symptoms have been getting worse? 
  • Do you have any pain? If so, can you describe it? 
  • Does anything (food, drink, activity etc.) make your symptoms worse? 
  • Do you have any specific concerns about your symptoms (for example, are you worried you might have bowel cancer)? 

Hernias can often be diagnosed easily, as a lump will usually be visible.

Many GI tract symptoms are best investigated with an endoscopy. If needed, this will be arranged for you at the earliest possible date.

An endoscope is a thin, flexible tube with a camera and light at the end. Depending on your symptoms, it can be introduced into the body at the mouth (for a Gastroscopy) or the rectum (for a Colonoscopy).

The endoscope transmits a real time video to an external screen, giving your consultant excellent visibility of the inside of the GI tract. They will look closely for anything unusual, such as a swelling or narrowing in the tract as the endoscope is moved through relevant parts of the GI tract.

For either type of endoscopy, if anything is seen that warrants further investigation a small sample of tissue (biopsy) can be taken, which is sent away for analysis under a microscope.

Your consultant can also refer you for further diagnostic tests like blood tests, or MRI, CT and ultrasound scans if required.

Once the results of any investigations are back, you will meet with your consultant again to discuss the results and to explore suitable treatment options. Treatment may involve:

  • Watchful waiting 
  • Medication 
  • Surgery

Surgery for many conditions, such as hernias and gall bladder problems, can often be done laparoscopically (keyhole surgery). This minimally invasive approach to surgery avoids the need for large, deep incision in the skin and often gives a shorter recovery time, less pain after surgery and reduced scarring. 

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

We treat private medical insurance and self-pay patients, and you can self-refer to avoid delay.

While many of our patients are fairly local to the hospital, people travel from much further way for treatment, particularly for more complex procedures where a consultant has particular expertise in that area. 

When you choose to visit BMI The Highfield Hospital for a private General Surgery consultation, you will benefit from: 

  • Rapid access to an expert – When you have symptoms that are causing you concern, you will appreciate being able to get expert help as soon as possible. With quick, easy access to a leading consultant and state-of-the-art treatment, you’ll be on your way to better health sooner. 
  • Recommended by patients – In an independent survey, 99.1% of patients said they were likely or highly likely to recommend us to their family and friends.
  • Tailored care – Your consultant will tailor your treatment plan to your specific requirements and whatever will give you the best results possible. 
  • A whole team approach – General Surgery covers such a wide range of conditions and symptoms that your consultant often works very closely with specialists in other fields, including dermatology, gastroenterology, oncology, plastic surgery, radiology, anaesthetics…and many more! Quick, easy access to any member of this multidisciplinary team means you will always see the most appropriate specialist for your needs. 
  • Appointments to suit you – Appointments can be easily booked online or by telephone, and we can offer remote consultations by telephone or video call if required (and where clinically appropriate).
  • Location – Situated conveniently on the outskirts of Rochdale Town Centre, the hospital is easily accessible. Our 93-space car park is free for patients and visitors, so you won’t have to worry about parking when you visit. 

For peace of mind and known expert care, why not book your General Surgery appointment now? We look forward to welcoming you to BMI The Highfield Hospital and helping to get you back to better health as soon as possible.  

Specialists Offering General surgery

Mr Nicola de Liguori Carino

Consultant General and HPB Surgeon

MD Specialist in General Surgery

BMI The Highfield Hospital 1 more BMI The Alexandra Hospital

View profile Book online

Mr Patrick Scott

Consultant General Surgeon

MB ChB, FRCPS (Glas), FRCS (Ed), MD

BMI The Highfield Hospital 1 more BMI The Beardwood Hospital

View profile Book online

Mr Ghulam Anjum

Consultant General (benign Colorectal) Surgeon

MBBS, FCPS, FRCS-General Surgery

BMI The Highfield Hospital

View profile Book online

Mr Anthony Rate

Consultant General and Colorectal Surgeon. Lead surgeon in IBD and gallbladder disease

MB ChB, MD (Gold Medal), FRCS

BMI The Highfield Hospital

View profile Book online

Mr David Donnelly

Consultant General and Colorectal Surgeon

BSc (Hons) Anatomical Sciences Manchester University 1996. MBChB (Hons) Manchester University1998. FRCS Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh 2008

BMI The Highfield Hospital

View profile Book online

Mr Roger Brammer

Consultant Surgeon

MB ChB (Birmingham), MD, FRCS Ed (General Surgery)

BMI The Highfield Hospital

View profile Book online

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