Our gastroenterology service treats patients suffering from a wide variety of conditions relating to the liver and digestive tract (gullet, stomach and bowel).
This ranges from common problems such as gallstones, heartburn and haemorrhoids through to complex conditions of the oesophagus and long-term (chronic) illnesses such as chronic liver disease and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We also care for patients suffering from a range of cancers including stomach, pancreas and bowel.
Many of our highly skilled team members also have local and national roles in specialist areas of the NHS including the development of endoscopy services and the national bowel cancer screening programme.
To help us diagnose your condition you may come to us for some tests which can include the examination of your stomach or bowel with thin, flexible cameras. These tests can be carried out as day procedures in the endoscopy departments of our general hospitals at Hexham, North Tyneside and Wansbeck and our our community hospitals at Alnwick and Berwick. Some of the tests you may have are described below and for all of these you will receive your results the same day.
Endoscopy - a thin flexible camera is used to look at your gullet and stomach. This only takes a few minutes and you will be able to choose to have either a spray to numb the back of your throat or a mild sedative injection to make you more relaxed. The sedative will not make you fall asleep.
Colonoscopy - a thin camera is used to examine the bottom end of your bowel (the colon). The test usually takes 20 to 30 minutes and you will be given a strong laxative drink beforehand to clear your bowel. At the time of the test you will be offered a mild sedative injection to make you more relaxed.
Flexible sigmoidoscopy - this is a camera examination of the bottom end of the bowel, similar to a colonoscopy. Unlike a colonoscopy, a full bowel preparation is not required and the bowel is cleared for the examination using an enema (a small amount of liquid put in the bottom end to make the bowel work). This can be done at home or in hospital. The camera also only looks a very short way around the bowel and therefore takes less time than a colonoscopy.
ERCP (Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) – this procedure is similar to an endoscopy in that a camera is used to examine the stomach but in this case it also examines the pipework within the liver and next to the gallbladder to look for stones or blockages. You will be offered a mild sedative injection to make you more relaxed and we sometimes ask people to stay in hospital overnight afterwards for observation.
Along with providing a diagnosis of the problem, these tests can also be used to provide treatment such as the removal of pre-cancerous polyps, the control of bleeding ulcers and the removal of gallstones trapped within the liver.
The service also offers:
- Hypnotherapy for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Specialist clinics for the management of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and we specialise in caring for young people (adolescents) with IBD.
- Dedicated clinics for the investigation and treatment of anaemia (low red blood cell levels).
- Regular assessments for patients who have a family history of bowel cancer and preventative testing to avoid cancer in the future
- Patients who have been diagnosed with cancer will rceive a quick referral to a specialist consultant for rapid treatment
Regular outpatient clinics are held on our three general hospital sites at Hexham, North Tyneside and Wansbeck along with additional clinics at Alnwick, Berwick, Blyth, Ponteland and Wallsend.
Hexham General Hospital
Dr Elizabeth Phillips, consultant gastroenterologist
Dr Zaffar Abbas, consultant gastroenterologist
Wansbeck General Hospital
Dr Anthoor Jayaprakash, consultant gastroenterologist
Dr Anil Bhagwat, consultant gastroenterologist
Dr Chris Haigh, consultant gastroenterologist
Dr Wendy Gregory, consultant gastroenterologist and consultant in acute medicine
Dr Richard Thomson, consultant gastroenterologist and consultant in acute medicine
Sister Rae Basnett, specialist nurse in inflammatory bowel disease.
North Tyneside General Hospital
Dr John Parr, consultant gastroenterologist
Dr Mumtaz Hayat, consultant gastroenterologist
Dr Matt Warren, consultant gastroenterologist
Professor Roger Barton, consultant gastroenterologist
Dr Mark Welfare, consultant gastroenterologist and consultant in acute medicine
Sister Judy Murphy, specialist nurse in inflammatory bowel disease and colonoscopy
Sister Sue Hope, specialist nurse in anaemia.
You may find it useful to write down any questions you have and bring these along to your appointment so your consultant can answer these for you. As your appointment may include an abdominal examination, it would be useful to wear loose fitting clothes.
If you need to change your appointment please call 0344 811 8118 and one of our patient care advisors will help you re-arrange it.
If you have a question or concern,contact the gastroenterology service through our switchboard, 0344 811 8111.
If you need urgent medical advice at night or the weekend, there are out of hours contact numbers for services. In an emergency dial 999.
The following pages provide an overview some endoscopic procedures and treatments:
The following links may also be useful: