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Fast assessment and treatment for digestive system concerns

Gastroenterology is a specialised area of medicine that investigates, diagnoses and treats diseases and disorders of the digestive system. A doctor who specialises in this field is known as a Consultant Gastroenterologist.

Your digestive system is extremely complex, made up of many different parts and processes. Each part of your digestive system plays an important role in helping to break the food you eat down into smaller parts so that it can be absorbed into the body and used. It also removes the waste products of food that cannot be used by the body by expelling them as faeces.

A problem anywhere in the digestive system can affect your health and may cause a variety of different symptoms, including abdominal pain, reflux or a change in bowel movements.

The Consultant Gastroenterologists at The Droitwich Spa Hospital assess and treat a wide range of digestive conditions and symptoms. They would be delighted to help you too.

Do you have any of these common digestive system problems?

  • Your digestive tract, also known as the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, runs from the mouth all the way down the body to the anus. It consists of:
  • Upper GI –mouth (usually seen by an ENT or Oral and Maxillofacial specialist), oesophagus, stomach and first part of the small intestine (duodenum)
  • Lower GI (Colorectal) - the small intestine, large intestine, anus and rectum
  • HBP (Hepatopancreaticobiliary) – liver, pancreas and gallbladder
Certain symptoms can indicate a potential problem in the digestive system. Some of the ones commonly seen by our Consultant Gastroenterologists are:
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Indigestion
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Blood in vomit
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Altered bowel habits
  • Rectal bleeding – normally this can’t be seen by the eye (this is known as occult blood)
  • Jaundice (yellow discolouration of skin)

While these symptoms aren’t always caused by a problem with the digestive system, it is sensible to consult a doctor. The Gastroenterology team at The Droitwich Spa Hospital are experts in this area and can fully investigate any of these symptoms to find out what’s the underlying cause. If treatment is needed, they will ensure you receive the best treatment for your specific condition promptly.

Many problems in the digestive system have similar symptoms. Some of the more common conditions that affect the digestive system include:

  • Cancer - oesophageal, bowel, stomach, liver, bile duct or pancreatic
  • IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) – this includes both Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis
  • Dyspepsia (Indigestion)
  • Diverticulitis – a small pocket (diverticula) formed in the lining of the intestine becomes inflamed
  • Polyps in the large bowel- small fleshy raised areas. These may become cancerous over a number of years
  • Gallstones – formation of small stones in the gall bladder
  • Liver abscess
  • GERD/GORD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)
  • Fatty liver disease

By getting an earlier diagnosis of any condition, you’ll be able to start any treatment needed sooner. Indeed, many of these conditions are most effectively treated at the earliest possible stage, which makes rapid access to assessment and diagnosis crucial. At The Droitwich Spa Hospital, we can provide you with comprehensive investigation from an experienced Consultant quickly.

When you first meet with a Consultant Gastroenterologist at The Droitwich Spa Hospital, they will take a medical history and will ask you about your symptoms. They will want to know: 

  • What symptoms you have 
  • When these symptoms started 
  • Whether your symptoms have been getting worse 
  • Whether any particular foods, drinks or activities make your symptoms worse 
  • A physical examination may also be carried out. 

Additional investigations will sometimes be needed, and these will be arranged by your consultant at the earliest opportunity.

Many potential problems within the GI tract are investigated by endoscopy. An endoscope is a thin, flexible tube with a camera and light at one end. The camera sends a real time video feed to a video screen.

Depending on where you’re experiencing your symptoms, you may need to have a Gastroscopy, a Colonoscopy, a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy or an Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) to investigate. Gastroscopy and Colonoscopy are both offered at the hospital, while ERCP will be arranged for you off-site if required. Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) and liver stiffness (fibrosis) assessment with FibroScan can also be arranged and performed by us off-site if needed.

A gastroscopy looks at 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 then to the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine).

A colonoscopy looks at the lower part of the GI tract. The endoscope is inserted into the rectum and moved along the large intestine and into the small intestine. 

A flexible sigmoidoscopy looks only at the lower part of the large bowel (colon). As with a colonoscopy, the endoscope is moved into the large bowel through the rectum.

For either investigation, your Consultant is able to carefully examine the inside of the GI tract, checking for any abnormalities or areas of possible concern.

An ERCP is used to investigate possible problems in the liver, pancreas, gall bladder and bile ducts. The endoscope is inserted through the mouth and moved down the oesophagus and into the stomach. A special dye is then injected which shows up on X-ray. If a narrowing or blockage is seen in a bile duct, a stent can be inserted. Should gallstones be found in the bile duct, they can often be removed during your ERCP.

Whichever of these investigations you have, a biopsy may be taken for further analysis. This involves carefully removing a small sample of tissue from the area in question.

These investigations are not painful, but they can be uncomfortable, so you will be offered sedation. Gas & air (nitrous oxide) can be used if you would prefer. For a gastroscopy or ERCP, a throat spray local anaesthetic will also be used.

Further tests, including blood tests, liver function tests, MRI scan, CT scan and ultrasound are all available on-site at The Droitwich Spa Hospital and are easily arranged when required.

Your Consultant will fully discuss any suitable treatment options with you so that you can make an informed choice about treatment. They will then draw up a personalised treatment plan for you. (It’s important to know that some conditions, such as a diagnosis of bowel cancer, will require referral to another specialist at The Droitwich Spa. If this is needed, your Consultant will arrange this promptly.) 

Many people are referred to a Consultant Gastroenterologist at The Droitwich Spa Hospital by their GP, another healthcare professional or their private medical insurance provider. Others self-refer because they are worried about their symptoms and want to get seen sooner. 

We treat private medical insurance patients and self-pay patients.

While many of our patients live in Droitwich Spa itself, excellent road links makes it easy to visit us from other parts of Worcestershire and even further afield.

When you choose to visit a Consultant Gastroenterologist at The Droitwich Spa Hospital, you will benefit from:

Rapid access to leading experts – A lot of GI symptoms can be very worrying to experience and you won’t want to be waiting weeks or months to be seen. Our experienced team of Gastroenterologists can see you sooner, so that your symptoms can be investigated, diagnosed and treated promptly.

Private endoscopy suite – Given the complexity of the digestive system, any investigations and treatments need to be carefully tailored to your specific symptoms and whatever may be best for you. Our private endoscopy suite allows expert investigation quickly, and your Consultant will oversee every aspect of your care.

Appointments to suit you – Gastroenterology appointments are available throughout the week. While most people visit the hospital for their appointment, we can offer remote consultations by telephone or video call if required (and where clinically appropriate). 

An experienced team – Some Gastroenterology conditions will benefit from input from experts in other specialities. Our experienced multidisciplinary team includes surgeons, radiologists, anaesthetists, oncologists and nurses, ensuring you always receive guidance and treatment from the most appropriate specialist for your particular requirements.

Recommended by our patients – In an independent survey, 95.7% of patients said they were likely or highly likely to recommend us to family and friends.

For peace of mind and known expert care, please contact us to book your Gastroenterology

Specialists offering Gastroenterology

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Dr Graham Baker

Consultant Gastroenterologist

MBChB, MRCP (London), PGCert MedEd, SCE Gastroenterology, CCT Gastroenterology & General Medicine

The Droitwich Spa Hospital 1 more The Priory Hospital

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Dr Ian Roderick Gee

Consultant Gastroenterologist


The Droitwich Spa Hospital

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Dr David Aldulaimi

Consultant Physician & Gastroenterologist


The Droitwich Spa Hospital

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