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Gastroenterology

Extensive range of gastroenterology treatments for your digestive health

Gastroenterology is a field of medicine that investigates, diagnoses and treats diseases and dysfunctions of the digestive system. A doctor who specialises in this field is known as a Consultant Gastroenterologist.

The digestive system of the human body is incredibly complex. Made up of many different organs, it is responsible for breaking food down so that it can be absorbed into the body and then used by it. It is also responsible for removing the waste products of food by expelling them as faeces.

If damage, disease or dysfunction occurs in any part of the digestive system, it has the potential to cause significant health problems. It may also give you some unsettling symptoms like abdominal pain, heartburn or rectal bleeding.

The Consultant Gastroenterologists at BMI The Manor Hospital treat a wide range of digestive system problems, providing expert assessment, diagnosis and treatment for people in and around Bedford. They would be absolutely delighted to help you too.

The digestive tract (also known as the gastrointestinal/GI tract) runs from the mouth to the anus. It is usually described as:

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

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

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

Gastrointestinal system diseases will often cause certain symptoms. Commonly seen symptoms are:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Indigestion
  • Heartburn
  • Swallowing difficulty
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Blood in vomit
  • Altered bowel habit – constipation, diarrhoea, increased frequency
  • Loss of Appetite/weight
  • Rectal bleeding – this can be both visible with naked eyes or only picked up by a stool sample called FIT (this is known as occult blood). The latter test is being used more frequently in patients presenting with certain gastrointestinal symptoms.
  • Acid reflux – stomach acid passes up the throat and causes heartburn
  • Jaundice - (yellow discolouration of skin)

If you have any of these symptoms, it is advisable to consult a doctor for advice, particularly if they are severe, giving you pain or causing you concern. The Gastroenterology team at BMI The Manor Hospital are experts in investigating and treating these symptoms and their causes. Some of the common causes of these symptoms are:

  • IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) – Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis
  • Peptic Ulcer Disease
  • Diverticulitis – inflammation of a small pocket (diverticula) that has formed in the lining of the intestine
  • Polyps - small fleshy warts like areas. These may become cancerous over a number of years
  • Gallstones – formation of stones in the gall bladder. May cause pain or blockage of a bile duct
  • Bile Acids Malabsorption
  • GERD/GORD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)
  • IBS
  • Coeliac Disease (Gluten Sensitivity)
  • Chronic Liver Disease
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Cancer - oesophageal, stomach, bowel, liver, bile duct or pancreatic

Due to the complexity of the digestive system, there is quite a bit of overlap of symptoms for different conditions. This makes it vitally important to get an accurate diagnosis, to make certain you receive the most appropriate treatment. At BMI The Manor Hospital, our specialists can provide you with comprehensive investigation without delay.

 

When you first meet with you Consultant Gastroenterologist in the hospital, they will take a medical history and ask you to describe your symptoms. They will want to know things like:

  • What symptoms you have
  • When these symptoms first appeared
  • Whether your symptoms have been getting more noticeable/severe
  • Whether any particular foods, drinks or activities make your symptoms worse
  • If you have any particular concerns about any of your symptoms (for example, are you worried about bowel cancer?)

A physical examination may also be carried out.

At this stage, it may be found that your symptoms are not a cause for concern and that no further investigation or treatment will be needed.

In other cases, additional investigation will be needed, and this is often by endoscopy. An endoscope is a thin, flexible tube, about the diameter of a pencil, with a camera and light at one end. The camera provides a real time image to a screen.

Depending on your specific symptoms, you may need a Gastroscopy, a Colonoscopy, a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy or an Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). If required, these can easily be arranged for you by your Consultant Gastroenterologist.

  • A gastroscopy looks at the upper part of the GI tract. Introduced into the body through the mouth, the endoscope is moved down the oesophagus, into the stomach and then along to the first part of the small intestine (the duodenum).

  • A colonoscopy looks at the lower part of the GI tract. The endoscope is inserted through the rectum and then moved up and around the large intestine and into the lower part of the small intestine.

  • A flexible sigmoidoscopy is a simpler procedure, only looking at the left side of the bowel. It is commonly used when somebody has been experiencing rectal bleeding. Similar to a colonoscopy, the endoscope is introduced through the anus to allow your consultant to examine the lower part of your large bowel.

  • An ERCP looks at the bile ducts system in and out of liver. The endoscope enters the mouth and is moved down the oesophagus and into the stomach and duodenum. A special dye that shows up on X-ray is then injected to show the outline of the bile ducts and pancreatic duct. If anything is discovered, such as a blockage within the bile ducts, it may be possible to treat it during the endoscopy (this is known as therapeutic endoscopy).

With any of these endoscopic investigations, if anything unusual of concerning is seen, a biopsy may be taken for further analysis. This involves carefully removing a tiny sample of tissue from the area in question and sending it for examination under a microscope.

Additional tests, including blood tests, Stool test, MRI scan, CT scan and ultrasound, can all be arranged by your Consultant if required. (Please note that some investigations may need to be arranged off-site.)

Once any results are back, your Consultant will discuss suitable treatment options with you in order to create a suitable treatment plan. If the results have found something that needs referral to another specialist (for example, a diagnosis of cancer would necessitate referral to the Multidisciplinary team including Oncology), this is easily arranged.

BMI The Manor Hospital is tucked away in the picturesque village of Biddenham, just outside Bedford, and provides a comprehensive Gastroenterology Service.

Many people are referred to us from their GP, another healthcare professional or their private medical insurance provider. Others self-refer to avoid delay.

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

While many of our patients live in Bedford or the surrounding areas, others visit from further afield to see an experienced Consultant Gastroenterologist.

When you choose to visit BMI The Manor Hospital, you will benefit from:

  • Fast access to an expert– Many GI symptoms can be quite concerning, and you won’t want to be waiting weeks (or even months!) to be seen. We can quickly and easily arrange an appointment for you with an experienced Consultant Gastroenterologist to investigate your symptoms and determine the best course of treatment for you.
  • Personalised care – The complexity of the digestive system means that any investigation or treatment needs to be tailored to your specific symptoms and whatever may be best for you. Your Consultant will oversee every aspect of your care throughout your time with us to ensure you see the best results possible.
  • Appointments to suit you – With appointments available throughout the week, it is easy to book an appointment with an experienced Consultant Gastroenterologist at a time that suits your schedule. We can also offer remote consultations by telephone or video call if required (and where clinically appropriate).
  • A whole team approach – Your Consultant Gastroenterologist works closely with specialists in other areas such as General Surgery, Radiology, Anaesthetics, Dietetics and Oncology. Fast access to this multidisciplinary team means you will always see the most appropriate specialist at BMI The Manor Hospital
  • Recommended by our patients – In an independent survey, 99.1% of patients said they were likely or highly likely to recommend us to their family and friends.

For peace of mind and known expert care, book your Gastroenterology appointment now.

We look forward to welcoming you to BMI The Manor Hospital soon.

 

Specialists offering Gastroenterology

Dr Yasseen Al-Nae'Eb

Consultant Gastroenterologist

MBchB, MRCP (UK), MRCP Gastroenterology

BMI The Saxon Clinic 1 more BMI The Manor Hospital

View profile Book online

Dr Babur Javaid

Consultant Gastroenterologist

MBBS, FRCP, Dip Clinical Education

BMI The Manor Hospital

View profile Book online

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