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Gastroenterology in Reading

Gastroenterology is the branch of medicine and surgery which diagnoses, monitors and treats medical and surgical conditions affecting the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which includes the stomach and intestines.

Our gastroenterology department at Circle Reading provides expertise in the diagnosis and management of medical and surgical conditions affecting the stomach and related body systems.

We are able to provide rapid access to some of the UK’s leading medical gastroenterology consultants to provide expert, non-surgical management of these conditions. Our unit also draws on the expertise of leading general and colorectal surgeons to provide diagnosis and surgical management of a range of conditions.

Our state-of-the-art Circle Reading Hospital provides the relaxing space needed for medical consultations, diagnostic tests and treatment.

Holistic approach

Our holistic approach to providing gastroenterology services mean that your problems will be clearly listened to. This gives our patients a unique understanding of their condition and management options as well as full control over their individual treatment plan.


Gastroenterology is the branch of medicine and surgery which diagnoses, monitors and treats medical and surgical conditions affecting the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which includes the stomach and intestines. Related conditions which affect the liver, gallbladder, pancreas and the network of tubes which interconnects these organs known as the biliary tree are also treated by gastroenterologists.

  • Heartburn symptoms (termed gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD)
  • Abdominal pain
  • Anaemia
  • Jaundice
  • Gallstones
  • Pancreatitis
  • Unexplained sickness and vomiting
  • Peptic ulcers

Due to the large anatomical area covered and the wide range of related conditions that gastroenterology covers, most gastroenterologists are trained in sub-specialties within this field of medicine. These sub-specialities include:

  • Cancers of the gastrointestinal tract and related organs
  • Clinical nutrition
  • Screening procedures for certain gastrointestinal disease
  • Gastrointestinal surgery
  • Inflammatory bowel diease
  • Liver disease

Depending on the exact nature of a patient’s symptoms a gastroenterologist may request a number of diagnostics tests, including specialist blood tests, imaging including MRI scans, CT scans and ultrasound scans.

Some invasive diagnostics tests may also be used, including needle biopsies as well as procedures which are performed by passing a camera down through the mouth or into the colon to see detailed images of the gastrointestinal tract (this is known as endoscopy).

Due to the breadth of disorders treated within a gastroenterology unit, patients will often also receive significant care from specialist nurses, dieticians and other allied health professionals when required during the diagnostic process or post-operatively.

Initial consultation

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.

At our gastroenterology unit, whether you have been referred by your general practitioner, another specialty at Circle Reading Hospital or you have made a self-referral, you will undergo an in-depth initial assessment from one of our experienced consultants.

Gastroenterology covers a wide range of medical conditions and, within each condition, a number of non-surgical and surgical management options.

Circle Health’s gastroenterology consultants have the breadth of sub-specialisms to expertly diagnose, manage and monitor all conditions from a non-surgical perspective and provide surgical intervention if required.

With our investment in our state of the art diagnostic suites, operating theatres and medical equipment, Circle Health is able to offer the latest surgical techniques available to treat gastrointestinal disorders in the most effective and safe manner.

A Centre of Excellence

Circle Hospital not only has a leading gastroenterology unit, but is a centre of excellence for related areas of medicine. Our gastroenterology consultants are able to refer on to oncologists, endocrinologists as needed. Our radiology and imaging department provides highly specialist assistance when interpreting imaging and when performing any specialist radiological procedures for diagnostic purposes.

Circle Hospitals are able to offer appointments at short notice and with flexible, convenient times with leading experts. Relevant diagnostic procedures such as CT, MRI scans, endoscopic ultrasounds, sigmoidoscopy’s and colonoscopy’s may be booked immediately following your initial or follow-up consultation.

Not only is our gastroenterology clinical care second to none, your treatment will be conducted in a modern, clean facility which you are able to feel comfortable in throughout your treatment.

Specialists offering Gastroenterology

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