Our gastroenterology consultants will take a thorough history to get a better understanding of the severity of your symptoms and to determine which diagnostic investigations to request.
During this appointment you will be asked about the specific nature of your pain and any associated symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, stool changes as well as other systemic symptoms, such as lethargy and weight loss. Any relationship with food intake will also be carefully analysed.
State-of-the-art diagnostics available for you
Gastroenterologists will consider a variety of differing imaging modalities depending on the presenting symptoms. MRI scans and CT scans will often be requested when it is thought there may be a structural cause for symptoms such as a benign mass or a tumour.
For disorders characterised by inflammation, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, gastroenterologists may request and examine blood tests. These could include:
- Full blood counts
- ESR and CRP tests to test the levels of inflammation within the body
- Genetic marker tests, which may can give a strong indication of a particular diagnosis
For patients who are seeking expert assistance for nutritional problems or weight problems, our consultants will seek to establish whether there are any underlying medical problems associated with the symptoms. This may be done through a process of eliminating certain foods from an individual’s diet while monitoring the symptoms response.
Skin prick tests may also be used in certain situations, often when there is a rapid response to eating certain foods. Blood tests can also be analysed for specific types of antibodies linked with allergic reactions.
What is an endoscopy?
The most widely used technique for accurately diagnosing many upper gastrointestinal problems is an endoscopy. This procedure involves passing a flexible tube with a camera down the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum. This then provides real-time information via a video screen to the gastroenterologist.
What is a colonoscopy?
This technique is used to diagnose a variety of problems affecting the colon and small bowel. After preparation to clear the bowel a flexible tune is passed into the bowel usually under sedation. The images are seen in real-time by the gastroenterologist.
The right treatment for you, always
Whether a non-surgical or surgical management plan is chosen, we provide convenient follow-up appointments with your gastroenterology consultant as well as pre-surgical assessment clinics as required.
Non-surgical options may involve disease monitoring with lifestyle changes and pharmacological management.
Surgical management will be supported by a thorough pre-operative assessment clinic in which our anaesthetists and specialist nurses monitor individual’s general health status to undergo surgery.