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General surgery

Expert assessment and treatment of abdominal concerns.

At The Alexandra Hospital in Manchester, leading Consultant General Surgeons provide comprehensive diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of abdominal and digestive tract conditions.

Your digestive tract (also known as the gastrointestinal/GI tract) is a series of organs, joined together in a long, hollow tube that runs from the mouth to the anus. Along its length, the GI tract has many different complex parts and processes, all working to help break food down so that it can be more easily absorbed by the body. It also removes waste products of food by expelling them as faeces.

The GI tract itself is often categorized into three different parts:

  • Upper GI – the mouth, oesophagus, stomach and first part of the small intestine;
  • Lower GI (Colorectal) – the small intestine, large intestine, anus and rectum, and
  • HBP (Hepato Pancreato Biliary) – the liver, pancreas and gallbladder.

A Consultant General Surgeon also investigates and treats hernias.

The complexity of the GI tract means that many problems can have similar symptoms, which can sometimes make reaching a diagnosis challenging. Some of the common reasons people visit a Consultant General Surgeon at The Alexandra Hospital include symptoms like:
  • Acid reflux – when stomach acid passes up the throat, leading to heartburn;
  • Bloating and swelling (distention);
  • Blood in vomit;
  • Blood in your stool – often not visible to the naked eye (this is known as occult);
  • Change in bowel habits – such as increased frequency, diarrhoea or constipation;
  • Pain anywhere in the upper or lower abdomen;
  • Formation of a new lump or bump in the abdomen;
  • Jaundice – yellow discolouration of the skin, and
  • Unexplained weight loss.
Some of the conditions your Consultant will want to rule out if you have any of these symptoms include:
  • Cancer – of the oesophageal, bowel, liver, bile duct or pancreatic;
  • Hernia – an inguinal, femoral, umbilical, incisional, epigastric or hiatus hernia;
  • IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) – this incudes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis; 
  • Dyspepsia (indigestion);
  • Diverticulitis – diverticula are small pouches than can form in the wall of the intestine. Diverticulitis occurs when these diverticula become inflamed;
  • Polyps – small fleshy raised areas, which can turn cancerous if left untreated;
  • Gallstones – small stones that form in the gall bladder;
  • Liver abscess – an abscess is a collection of pus surrounded by a wall of tissue. If it occurs in the liver, it can cause pain and swelling and can make you feel quite unwell, and
  • GERD/GORD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)
The Consultant General Surgeons at The Alexandra Hospital are highly experienced in investigating and managing these conditions and would be delighted to meet with you to explore your symptoms and investigate the cause(s).

Treatment for GI problems may include:

Many GI tract or abdominal concerns can be treated by laparoscopy (keyhole surgery). Laparoscopy uses small incisions (cuts). This methods helps reduce scarring and speed up your recovery.

The Consultant General Surgeons at The Alexandra Hospital provide advanced laparoscopic surgery, including:

For other conditions, such as a complex bowel resection, open surgery may be required. Your Consultant will discuss surgical options with you so that you know the expected benefits and any potential risks.

Your Consultant will want to find out what is causing your specific symptoms as quickly as possible so that a treatment plan can be formulated and started.

When you meet with them here, they will take a careful look at your medical history and ask you to talk about your symptoms.

They may also carry out a clinical examination of your abdomen and pelvis.

Hernias are usually quite straightforward to diagnose in a consultation, as a visible lump will often be seen where the hernia is. Surface skin lesions may be referred to colleagues in Dermatology, although if it is just under the skin, your Consultant may be able to plan a simple excision to remove it.

The best way to investigate symptoms in the GI tract is with an endoscopy. An endoscope is a thin, flexible tube with a camera and light at one end. Depending on your symptoms, you may require a gastroscopy or colonoscopy. If either of these are required, they will be arranged for you at The Alexandra Hospital in Manchester at the earliest opportunity.

  • A gastroscopy is used to examine symptoms in the upper part of the GI tract. The endoscope is introduced into the body through the mouth and moved down the oesophagus, into the stomach and the duodenum (the first part of your small intestine).
  • A colonoscopy investigates symptoms in the lower part of your GI tract. The endoscope is inserted into the rectum and moved along the large intestine and into the small intestine. Before this examination, you will normally need to have taken a powerful laxative in advance to help clear your bowels. This will be fully explained to you in advance.

The endoscope gives your Consultant an excellent view of the relevant parts of the GI tract, and they will look carefully for any abnormalities, swellings or areas of concern. A small sample of tissue (biopsy) may be taken during this procedure, which will then be sent away for further analysis. If polyps are found, these can often be removed during the endoscopy.

Although neither investigation is painful, they can be uncomfortable, so you will be offered sedation or gas and air (nitrous oxide). If you have sedation, you won’t be able to drive yourself home and will need to arrange somebody to be with you for 12 – 24 hours afterwards.

In addition to endoscopy and biopsy, a number of other investigations can be helpful, including blood tests, MRI scans, CT scans and ultrasounds. Our comprehensive, state-of-the-art diagnostic capabilities means that any of these investigations can be easily and quickly arranged for you. On-site radiologists report quickly on these diagnostic scans, so that your Consultant has your results and can formulate the best treatment plan for you sooner.

People visit the Consultant General Surgeons at The Alexandra Hospital in Manchester for a variety of reasons. Many are referred directly by their GP, another healthcare professional or their private medical insurance provider. Others are recommended to us by a friend or family member, while others choose to self-refer to see somebody more quickly than is possible elsewhere.

We treat private medical insurance and self-pay patients.

While many of our patients are from Manchester, excellent road access means that people from further afield can also easily benefit from the expertise of our leading Consultant General Surgeons.

When you choose to visit The Alexandra Hospital for a general surgery consultation, you will benefit from:

  • Rapid assessment from a leading expert – If you have any abdominal or GI symptoms that are concerning you, the last thing you’ll want is to have to wait for weeks (or even months) to be seen. As the largest private hospital in the country outside of London, we can easily and quickly book you an appointment with an experienced Consultant General Surgeon for assessment.
  • Advanced keyhole surgery – our Consultants are highly experienced in laparoscopic surgery and regularly carry out advanced procedures. An on-site high dependency unit means that complex cases are treated in a safe and secure environment.
  • Recommended by patients – In an independent survey, 97.3% of patients said they were likely or highly likely to recommend us to their family and friends. We continue to focus on providing the very highest level of care and support to you throughout your time with us.
  • Personalised care – You will always see the same Consultant when you visit for appointments, making it easy to monitor results and adjust any treatment plan to better manage your symptoms. This tailored approach to treatment is incredibly valuable for many abdominal and GI conditions.
  • An experienced team – The nature of General Surgery means that your Consultant often works closely with experts in other fields. Fast access to a multidisciplinary team means that you will always receive treatment from the very best person for your particular condition and symptoms, every step of the way.
  • Appointments to suit you – General Surgery appointments are available throughout the week, so you will be able to schedule your visit for a time that’s convenient to you. While appointments are typically at the hospital, remote consultation by telephone or video call is available if required (and where clinically appropriate).

If you are concerned in any way about symptoms in your abdomen or digestive tract, why not book your private General Surgery appointment now?

You can call us on 0161 428 3656 or book an appointment with one of our specialists online. 

Specialists offering General surgery

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Mr Abhiram Sharma

Consultant General & Colorectal Surgeon


The Alexandra Hospital

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Professor Khursid Akhtar

Consultant General & Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeon


The Alexandra Hospital

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Mr Nicola de Liguori Carino

Consultant General and HPB Surgeon

MD Specialist in General Surgery

The Highfield Hospital 1 more The Alexandra Hospital

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Mr Mohammed Saeed

Consultant General & Colorectal Surgeon

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

The Alexandra Hospital

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Mr Christian Macutkiewicz

Consultant General, HPB and Laparoscopic Surgeon

BSc(Hons) MBChB (Hons) MD PGCertEd FHEA FRCS

The Alexandra Hospital

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Mr James Harvey

Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon


The Alexandra Hospital

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