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General surgery

Fast assessment and treatment for abdominal concerns

General surgery falls into two brackets – upper GI and lower GI surgery.

When it comes to upper GI surgery, the most common conditions we see here include gallstone disease, abdominal wall hernias, reflux disease, and bariatric (weight loss) surgery.

There are a number of treatments available here at Albyn Hospital – and if you are considering paying us a visit for a consultation, you can look forward to state-of-the-art facilities and a friendly and dedicated team of consultants.

With 15 consulting rooms, including a minor operations and treatment room, the hospital has 28 private rooms with en-suite facilities. With a nurse call system, TV and free WiFi, our rooms have everything you need for a comfortable stay.

Below, we take a look at some of the most common conditions our patients visit general surgery for here at Albyn Hospital.

With gallstone disease, patients usually present with pain in the right upper part of the abdomen, which is intermittent in nature and usually worse after eating certain food groups. In that instance, an ultrasound scan of the abdomen will be required, to see if you have gallstones.

If the ultrasound scan picks up gallstones – and your symptoms are suggestive of them, management options would include dietary modifications, such as following a low fat diet or surgery. Ultimately, the definitive treatment would be an operation to remove the gall bladder along with the gallstones.

Before the operation – a laparoscopic cholecystectomy – some basic blood tests may be needed, including liver function tests, to make sure that the stones are within the gall bladder and none have slipped out into the bile duct.

If it looks like the stones are in the bile duct, patients may need some additional imaging and intervention before their gall bladder is taken out.

Gallbladder surgery is usually performed laparoscopically (keyhole) and patients visit Albyn Hospital on the day of gallbladder surgery.

The operation takes about an hour or so, and if everything is straightforward, they usually return home later that day.

With regard to recovery, patients are usually back driving and return to desk-based jobs within two weeks.

Regarding abdominal wall hernias – the most common types of hernias that are seen are inguinal (groin) hernias – but you can get a hernia elsewhere in the abdominal wall, such as around the belly button.

Patients will usually present with pain or discomfort and a lump – and in most cases, if it is causing symptoms, the advice would be to fix it, via a surgical procedure.

Depending on the location of the hernia, the size of it and the patient’s general health, the options include an open or a laparoscopic (keyhole) approach. Sometimes, with keyhole surgery, patients recover slightly quicker and, as a consequence of that, will get back to their daily activities sooner.

Usually, these operations can be done as a day case. Sometimes, mesh is used in certain types of hernias; this may be done to reduce the risk of recurrence.

If patients present with acid reflux, in most cases, this can be managed medically with lifestyle modifications – including reducing alcohol consumption, stopping smoking and weight reduction. If that doesn’t work, patients can take specific medications to reduce the production of acid in the stomach.

If that fails to control the symptoms or if patients want to avoid taking these medications on a long-term basis, there is an option to consider surgery to prevent reflux. If patients want to explore this option, they will require certain investigations, such as an endoscopy, and physiology assessments of the oesophagus and stomach.

Following this, depending on the tests, patients may be suitable for anti-reflux surgery, where the ‘valve’ between the stomach and the oesophagus is tightened, and this can mean that patient’s reflux improves, and they can stop their medication. 

Intervention for patients who have challenges with their weight is available at Albyn Hospital too. There are specific national criteria and guidance that patients will need to meet before being considered for weight loss surgery.

It’s important to recognise that, in addition to weight loss, there is good evidence that this type of surgery will reduce the risk or reverse weight-related health problems, such as diabetes and hypertension.

It is well recognised that people can be successful with a weight loss diet for a few months ahead of a special occasion. However, trying to sustain this long term can be challenging and as a result some people will put the weight back on. For those who experience a yo-yo pattern of weight loss and weight gain, weight loss surgery in Aberdeen may offer them an opportunity to achieve long-term weight loss and reduce the risk of weight-related health problems.

If the patient meets the required criteria, they will be assessed by the weight loss team, which includes, dieticians, psychologists and surgeons. The team will then discuss which weight loss procedure would be most appropriate, and these include surgical and endoscopic interventions.

Endoscopically, a special balloon can be placed into the stomach. It’s a temporary solution, which lasts a year, before it is removed, but it can aid with weight loss. More definitive surgical procedures include sleeve gastrectomy or a gastric bypass.

The patient will meet with the consultant, either face-to-face or virtually, on a platform like Microsoft Teams. Consultations are flexible and usually take about 20 minutes.

During that consultation, the consultant will get a feel for their symptoms and how they are affecting a patient’s lifestyle. They will enquire about their general health to ensure that they would be fit enough to have an operation if required.  

There is ample opportunity to discuss the intervention and council the patient about the pros and cons, as well as the consequences following surgery, departure and recovery.

Albyn Hospital offers state of the art equipment – in regard to laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery.

The hospital has great ward facilities, too, where patients can be monitored carefully.

Patients travel to Albyn Hospital for general surgery from a range of towns and cities, including in around Aberdeen itself, Inverness, the Scottish Highlands, Edinburgh and Glasgow, to name just a handful.

If you’re looking for a general surgeon in Albyn, Albyn Hospital provides a wide range of consultant-led appointments. At a glance, here are some reasons why you might want to choose Albyn Hospital for general surgery:

  • Flexible appointments and shorter waiting times – Waiting times are short here at Albyn Hospital. On top of that, you will also have the opportunity to make an appointment at a time to suit you.
  • Consultant-led appointments – When you visit Albyn, your appointment will be consultant-led, and you will see the same person each time – from your consultation, right through to any treatment needed.
  • Patient satisfaction and personalised care – Albyn Hospital has been awarded a 98.1% patient satisfaction score, with the results compiled by independent agency, Quality Health, Patients said they were likely or extremely likely to recommend us to their friends and family.
  • Remote Consultations – Patients who would prefer to enjoy a consultation from the comfort of your home may be able to do so, via a remote consultation on a platform like Microsoft Teams.

Want to make an appointment with our consultant at Albyn Hospital? Simply call our friendly team on 01224 676694. Alternatively, you can use our handy online general surgery booking system.

Specialists offering General surgery

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Mr Peter Mekhail

Consultant Upper Gastrointestinal, Bariatric and Laparoscopic Surgeon


Albyn Hospital

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Mr Shay Nanthakumaran

Consultant Upper Gastrointestinal, Bariatric and Laparoscopic Surgeon


Albyn Hospital

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Mr Emad H Aly

Consultant Colorectal & Surgeon


Albyn Hospital

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Professor Duff Bruce

Consultant Upper Gastrointestinal & Bariatric Surgeon

MBChB, FRCS (Edinburgh)

Albyn Hospital

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Mr Emad Elseedawy

Consultant General & Breast Surgeon


Kings Park Hospital 1 more Albyn Hospital

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Mr Abdul Qadir

Consultant Gastrointestinal & General Surgeon


Albyn Hospital

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