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General surgery

Fast assessment and treatment for abdominal concerns

General Surgery is concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of conditions that affect the abdomen and digestive tract.

Your digestive tract (gastrointestinal/GI tract) extends from mouth to anus. Should something go wrong in any part of it, you may experience symptoms such as abdominal pain or a change in bowel habits.

If you are concerned about any symptoms such as pain anywhere in your abdomen, have experienced a change in your bowel habits or become aware of a protruding lump, it is sensible to seek expert assessment and advice.

At Bishops Wood Hospital, experienced Consultant General Surgeons can diagnose and treat a number of abdominal and digestive tract conditions. They would be delighted to help you too.

General Surgery is predominantly focused on the GI tract, which is usually described in three sections:

  • Upper GI – Comprises the mouth, oesophagus, stomach and first part of the small intestine and gallbladder
  • Lower GI (Colorectal)– Comprises the small intestine, large intestine, anus and rectum
  • HPB (Hepato Pancreato Biliary) – Comprises complex conditions that affect the liver, pancreas and gallbladder

General surgery also provides for the investigation and treatment for hernias and unexplained ‘lumps and bumps’ in the abdomen.

Some of the common reasons 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 – this may be visible to the naked eye or hidden (occult) and only detected with a stool test
  • Change in bowel habits (altered frequency, consistency)
  • Pain in the upper or lower abdomen
  • Lump or bump in the abdomen
  • Jaundice (yellow discolouration of the skin)

If you have any of these symptoms, it is essential to get expert help. Some of the common conditions your consultant will want to rule out for these symptoms are:

  • Cancer - oesophagus, large bowel (colon or rectum), liver, bile duct or pancreas
  • IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) –Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis
  • Dyspepsia (Indigestion)
  • Diverticular disease – inflammation of a small pocket (diverticula) in the lining of the large intestine
  • Polyps - small fleshy raised areas, some of which could turn into cancer if left untreated
  • Gallstones
  • Liver abscess
  • GERD/GORD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)
  • Hernia – inguinal, femoral, umbilical, incisional, epigastric, hiatus
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Anal Fissures & Fistulas
  • Pilonidal Sinus disease
  • Pelvic floor problems

When you first meet with your consultant, they will talk with you about your symptoms. They will want to know:

  • What symptoms do you have?
  • When did your first notice these symptoms?
  • Have your symptoms become any worse?
  • Does anything (food, movement, stress, tiredness etc.) make your symptoms worse?
  • Do you have any particular concerns about your symptoms (for example, are you worried you may have bowel cancer?)
  • Do you have any concerns about weight loss?

Hernias are usually quite straightforward to diagnose, as your consultant will be able to see a visible lump where the hernia is. An ultrasound or a CT scan can be used if the diagnosis is not clear.

Many GI tract symptoms are best investigated with endoscopy. An endoscope is a thin, flexible tube with a camera and light at the end. It is used to examine the inside of the GI tract, checking for any abnormalities or areas of possible concern.

Depending on where you are experiencing your symptoms, you may need to have a Gastroscopy, a Colonoscopy or a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy. All endoscopy investigations are now performed at a hospital within the Circle Group (Clementine Churchill Hospital).

  • A gastroscopy is used to investigate symptoms in the upper part of the GI tract. The endoscope is introduced into the body through the mouth and passed down the oesophagus, into the stomach and then to the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine).
  • A colonoscopy investigates symptoms at the lower part of the GI tract. The endoscope is inserted into the rectum and passed along the large intestine and into the terminal end of the small intestine.
  • A flexible sigmoidoscopy looks only at the lower part of the large bowel (rectum and distal colon). As with a colonoscopy, the endoscope is moved into the large bowel through the rectum.

Whichever of these investigations you have, a biopsy may be taken for further analysis. This involves carefully removing a tiny sample of tissue from the area in question, which is then sent away for analysis under a microscope.

Further tests, including blood tests, liver function tests, MRI scan and ultrasound are all available on-site and can be easily arranged when required.

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

  • Watchful waiting
  • Medication
  • Surgery

If surgery is required, whether minor or more involved, this will be arranged for you at the earliest opportunity.

Many problems within the GI tract or abdomen can be treated by laparoscopy (keyhole surgery). Also known as minimally invasive surgery, small incisions are made in the abdomen and a thin tube with a camera and light at one end (laparoscope) inserted. Small surgical instruments can be used to carry out a range of operations, including bowel resection, gall bladder removal, a full range of hernia repair or removal of an inflamed appendix.

Laparoscopic surgery has a number of benefits over traditional open surgery, including:

  • Less pain
  • Less bleeding
  • Reduced scarring
  • Promote faster recovery & return to work

For other conditions, open surgery may be required.

Many people are referred to us by their GP, another healthcare professional or their private medical insurance provider. Others self-refer to get clarity about what is causing their symptoms as soon as possible.

We treat private medical insurance and self-pay patients

When you choose to visit Bishops Wood Hospital, you will benefit from:

  • Rapid assessment – When abdominal or GI symptoms are causing you concern, you won’t want to be waiting weeks to be seen. We can arrange for an experienced Consultant General Surgeons to see you without delay.
  • Fast diagnostic turnaround time – On-site radiologists report on scans promptly so that your consultant has the results back with them
  • Consultant-directed care – You will always see the same consultant and will never have to worry about being seen by a junior doctor. Your consultant will oversee every aspect of your care, from investigation and treatment planning through to treatment and post-treatment follow-up.
  • Recommended by patients – In an independent survey, 94.1% of patients said they were likely or extremely likely to recommend us to family and friends.
  • A whole team approach – Our teams at Bishops Wood Hospital 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…and more! Fast access to any member of this multidisciplinary team ensures you will receive support from the most appropriate specialist at all times.
  • Free Parking – Our car park is free for patients and visitors. 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 help you manage better, or you have recently experienced new symptoms that are causing you concern, we can help.

For peace of mind and known expert care, book your general surgery appointment online now. 

Specialists offering General surgery

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Dr Syed Rizvi

Consultant Physician

MBBS, FRCP(London), Diploma in Cardiology(London)

Bishops Wood Hospital 1 more The Clementine Churchill Hospital

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Mr Ash Prabhudesai

Consultant General Surgeon

MBBS MS General Surgery MD FRCS Gen.Surg

Bishops Wood Hospital 2 more The Clementine Churchill Hospital Syon Clinic

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Mr Ekambaram Babu

Consultant Surgeon


Bishops Wood Hospital 1 more The Clementine Churchill Hospital

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Mr Abhay Chopada

Consultant General Surgeon


Bishops Wood Hospital 2 more The Clementine Churchill Hospital Syon Clinic

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Mr Shashank Gurjar

Consultant Laparoscopic General and Colorectal Surgeon

MBBS, FRCS (Gen Surg), MSc MBA, MA (Cantab)

Bishops Wood Hospital 1 more The Clementine Churchill Hospital

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Mr Yasser Mohsen

Consultant Surgeon


Bishops Wood Hospital 1 more The Clementine Churchill Hospital

View profile Book online

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