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Colorectal surgery

The diagnosis and treatment of bowel conditions.

Colorectal surgery is the area of medicine that diagnoses and treats problems in your lower gastrointestinal (GI tract), which comprises your colon, anus and rectum.

A doctor who specialises in this field of medicine is known as a Consultant Colorectal Surgeon. 

Some of the common reasons people visit one or more of our Consultants at The Alexandra Hospital in Manchester include:

  • Rectal bleeding;
  • A change in bowel habits;
  • Abdominal or rectal pain;
  • Unexpected, significant weight loss; 
  • A lump in the tummy, and
  • Anaemia.

Experiencing any of these symptoms can be understandably upsetting, but it’s important not to worry right away. The sensible course of action to take is to book an appointment with one of our dedicated Consultants, who will see you quickly and offer expert advice and investigation.

Many problems that affect the lower GI tract can be uncomfortable or even embarrassing to experience. Your symptoms may lower your self-esteem, or make you feel anxious. This, combined with physical pain and discomfort, can take its toll on your mental health.

Many bowel conditions can have overlapping symptoms, making an accurate diagnosis vitally important in seeking the right treatment for you.

Conditions that affect the lower gastrointestinal tract include:

  • Polyps: raised fleshy areas of the bowel;
  • Haemorrhoids or piles;
  • Bowel cancer;
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS);
  • Ulcerative colitis;
  • Crohn’s Disease: a chronic condition of the bowel;
  • Fissures: a skin tear of the anus;
  • Fistula: a small channel that develops in the anal canal;
  • Diverticulitis: diverticula are small pockets that can form in the lining of the bowel. Diverticulitis occurs when they become inflamed, and 
  • Pilonidal sinus: this is a small hole in the area between your buttocks (known as the natal cleft). It may become infected and cause pain, bleeding or pus.

Inflammatory bowel conditions such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease can often be managed with medication, which will be prescribed by your Consultant. More severe cases may require surgery to remove part of your bowel.

Fissures can sometimes be successfully treated with ointments or medication. However, surgery will sometimes be needed. The same stands for fistulas. 

Similarly, an infected pilonidal sinus can often be treated with antibiotics. Any pus will need to be drained. Surgery may be needed in some cases.

Haemorrhoids can be treated in several ways, including:

Your Consultant will discuss the best approach for you in detail, as some methods may be more effective for different types of haemorrhoids.

If bowel cancer is diagnosed, you will usually be referred directly to our Oncology team for the best possible support, care and treatment. If your symptoms are interfering with your normal everyday routine, you’ll appreciate fast access to assessment and treatment, as well as a clear and supportive path to recovery. Our network of dedicated Consultants and healthcare professionals would be delighted to provide you with this.

Your Consultant will take a detailed account of your medical history and ask about the symptoms you have been experiencing. They will want to know:
  • What your symptoms are;
  • How long you have had these symptoms;
  • Have your symptoms become progressively worse;
  • Whether your symptoms are causing you any concern, worry or embarrassment, and
  • Whether they are affecting your daily activities in any way.

They will also perform a physical examination and may refer you for further investigations.

If you have been experiencing rectal bleeding, or a change in bowel habits, your Consultant will usually want to carry out an endoscopic procedure to investigate more fully. An endoscope is a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera on one end. It transmits a live feed to an external monitor.

The two types of endoscopic tests normally used for diagnosing a colorectal problem are:

  • Colonoscopy, and
  • Flexible Sigmoidoscopy.

A colonoscopy is a way of thoroughly examining the whole of your bowel. The endoscope is introduced through the anus and moved through the bowel. While this is not a painful procedure, it can be uncomfortable, so you will usually be offered sedation or gas. If you have sedation, you will need somebody to take you home and then stay with you until the effects of the sedation have fully worn off. Before a colonoscopy, the bowel needs to be fully emptied. This is done with a strong laxative. This will be fully explained to you in your consultation before the procedure.

Flexible sigmoidoscopy is a slightly simpler investigation that only looks at the left side of the bowel. It is commonly performed when somebody has been experiencing rectal bleeding. Similar to a colonoscopy, the endoscope is introduced through the anus to give your consultant a video of the lower part of your bowel. This can be a helpful way of also looking at haemorrhoids or piles. Often, these can be treated at the same time by your consultant.

With either a colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy, your Consultant will be able to look very carefully for any abnormalities, damage or areas of interest. A biopsy may be taken during the endoscopy and then sent for analysis. While they may both help with locating the source and cause of your symptoms, they can also often rule out concerns such as bowel cancer.

After either procedure, your Consultant will talk you through the results and explain the next steps in terms of treatment options or further investigations.

Our state-of-the-art imaging facilities include X-ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound and nuclear medicine. These can all be easily arranged if required. Radiologists work closely with our Colorectal Consultants to provide an accurate diagnosis as soon as possible.

As the largest private hospital in the country outside of London, many of our Colorectal Consultants have national and international recognition. They see patients from Manchester and the surrounding areas. Due to our easy access, excellent facilities and superb reputation, many people also travel from Europe for treatment.

When you choose The Alexandra Hospital for treatment, you will benefit from:

  • Fast access to a leading expert – We can quickly and easily arrange an appointment for you with a leading Colorectal Consultant. Earlier assessment and diagnosis will help to get you started on the best course of treatment sooner.
  • Personalised care – Your consultant will tailor your treatment to your specific needs and what is best for you. Regular reviews throughout your treatment (and afterwards) ensure you will continue to receive the help you need at every stage of your journey.
  • An experienced team – A multidisciplinary team in any hospital is an important way to maintain standards and ensure the highest level of care. With over 600 consultants working in the hospital, including those from Rheumatology, Gynaecology, Oncology and Urology, as well as a dedicated team of Radiologists, Radiographers, Physiotherapists, Anaesthetists, Nurses (and more), you will be treated by the most appropriate person for your condition.
  • Convenient appointments – Colorectal appointments are available throughout the week. While they are routinely carried out in the hospital, we can provide remote consultations by telephone or video call if required (and where clinically appropriate).
  • Patient Satisfaction – In an independent survey, 97.3% of patients said they were likely or highly likely to recommend us to their friends and family.

For peace of mind and expert care, why not book your appointment today?

We look forward to welcoming you to The Alexandra Hospital and helping you get back to better health.

For more information, call us directly on 0161 428 3656 or book an appointment with one of our Consultants online.

Specialists offering Colorectal surgery

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Mr Chelliah Selvasekar

Consultant General, Laparoscopic & Colorectal Surgeon

MBBS, MD, FRCS (Ed, Glas), FRCS Ed (Gen. Surg)

The Alexandra Hospital

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Mr Finlay Curran

Consultant General & Colorectal Surgeon

MBChB FRCS (Gen Sur.)

The Alexandra Hospital

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Mr Sajal Rai

Consultant Colorectal and General Surgeon

MBBS, Masters in Surgery, MD, FRCS, FRCS (General Surgery)

The Alexandra Hospital

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Mr Ben Hornung

Consultant General & Colorectal Surgeon

BSc (Hons), MBChB, MD, FRCS

The Alexandra Hospital

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Mr Aswatha Ramesh

Consultant General Surgeon

MBBS, MD, FRCS (Edinburgh), FRCS (Gen Surg)

The Alexandra Hospital

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Mr Mohammed Saeed

Consultant General & Colorectal Surgeon

BSc (Hons) MD FRCS FRCS (Gen-Surg)

The Alexandra Hospital

View profile Book online

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