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Gastroenterology Services

Private Gastroenterology Services at The Kings Park Hospital in Stirling.

The gastroenterology clinic at The Kings Park Hospital in Stirling can provide rapid access to a wide range of diagnostic facilities, including endoscopy and radiology imaging, that support early management of unexplained symptoms from diarrhoea to abdominal pain.

Consultant clinic appointments are easy to book at the hospital, and investigations are readily available, which means you can get an early diagnosis and a treatment plan tailored to your individual needs.

The hospital is easy to reach by car and public transport and serves patients from Forth Valley, Fife, Tayside and further afield.

Gastroenterology is a branch of internal medicine specialising in a wide range of abdominal diseases and conditions affecting the oesophagus, stomach, intestinal tract, liver, pancreas, and gall bladder.

You can see a Consultant Gastroenterologist if you have symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhoea, constipation, weight loss, rectal bleeding, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing. You could also ask their opinion if you’ve had abnormal blood results, for example, unusual liver function or unexplained low blood count (anaemia).

Our Consultant Gastroenterologists often see patients with the following conditions:

  • Inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
  • Coeliac disease
  • Liver disease
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Anaemia

The sooner a gastroenterologist can establish a diagnosis, the sooner they can recommend a specialist treatment. Once the treatment has started, your consultant can mitigate the chances of complications from any underlying condition.

Some conditions like inflammatory bowel disease are progressive. So the faster you get a diagnosis and start treatment, the quicker doctors can arrest the symptoms and the disease’s progression.

If cancer or inflammatory bowel disease is not diagnosed early, medical therapy may not be effective, and surgery may be the only way forward.

Please seek a referral letter from your GP or consultant to book an appointment with one of our Consultant Gastroenterologists. A referral letter is required so our Consultant Gastroenterologists can understand your history and the context of your symptoms. For example, it’s easy to forget to mention symptoms you may have had 20 years ago or previous medications and dosages you have tried in the past that have not worked. A referral helps our gastroenterologists get a complete picture of your health and current symptoms.

We offer face to face and telephone consultations. During an initial consultation, your gastroenterologist will go through your medical history and discuss your symptoms with you. They will listen to your concerns and consider the impact they have on your daily life.

Your Consultant Gastroenterologist may be able to provide you with a diagnosis during your initial consultation. However, they will most likely need to carry out investigations to look into your symptoms more closely before confirming a diagnosis.

Diagnostic tests at the hospital usually take place at a later date from your initial consultation. Your consultant will liaise with the hospital team to book you in for any required investigations. The same consultant that you saw for your initial consultation will carry out your diagnostic tests.

The most common diagnostic procedures our Consultant Gastroenterologists perform at The Kings Park Hospital are:

  • Endoscopy (also known as gastroscopy) – this is when the gastroenterologist inserts a tiny camera on a thin tube down your throat and oesophagus. It allows your gastroenterologist to see from the back of your throat down to your stomach.

  • Colonoscopy – this is when a camera on a thin tube is inserted through the rectum and up your large intestine. It gives your consultant a view of your bowels.

  • Sigmoidoscopy – this is similar to a colonoscopy, but the camera is not inserted as high up your intestine. It only gives your consultant a view of the lower part of your colon.

Gastroenterologists use these diagnostic tools to investigate unexplained symptoms, understand them, and distinguish one pathology from another.

You are required to fast for these diagnostic procedures, and the hospital team will advise you of the details. Most people have the tests carried out under local anaesthetic and sedation, but you can choose to opt out of sedation if you prefer to be awake.

A colonoscopy also requires you to take bowel preparation medication (a type laxative) the day before your procedure.

After the diagnostic test, your consultant will go through the results with you, what they mean in layman’s terms and how this may determine treatment.

There’s a possibility that you’ll need additional investigations. For example, your consultant may also send you for imaging, such as a computerised tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan or an ultrasound. Scans are helpful if your consultant needs to see areas of your stomach, small intestine or bowel that they cannot see from the above diagnostic procedures.

Ultrasounds, including those of the gall bladder and liver, are carried out at Kings Park Hospital. However, should your consultant advise you need an MRI or CT scan, they will refer you to our sister hospital, The Ross Hall Hospital in Glasgow, for this. Once you have had any scans, you’ll return to Kings Park Hospital to review the results with your consultant gastroenterologist.

Treatment can range from lifestyle advice and medication to surgery. Surgery can include gall bladder removal, which can be done laparoscopically (keyhole) or open. Most surgery is performed under general anaesthetic, so you’re asleep and unaware of what is going on.

If you need surgery, your Consultant Gastroenterologist will bring in a specialist general surgeon who will perform the surgery at Kings Park Hospital. Our gastroenterologists work very closely with our Consultant General Surgeons, and they often refer patients to one another.

Should diagnostic tests fail to account for symptoms such as abdominal discomfort or diarrhoea, your consultant gastroenterologist may seek a dietician’s opinion to see whether dietary exclusion in a controlled manner could lead to improvements.

It’s natural to be worried about unexplained symptoms. However, seeing a Consultant Gastroenterologist quickly at Kings Park Hospital can ensure relevant tests are carried out promptly so you can put your mind at ease or get a diagnosis and treatment plan.

Early diagnosis is essential. Many inflammatory bowel diseases affecting the intestine, such as Crohn’s disease, can rumble on for years and IBDs run the risk of becoming progressively more complicated if not treated early.

Specialists offering Gastroenterology Services

Dr David Watts

Consultant Gastroenterologist


Kings Park Hospital

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