We treat patients suffering from diseases of the oesophagus (gullet) and stomach - including cancer and other less serious conditions. We also see patients suffering from gallstones, hernias and acid reflux. Our highly skilled consultants are able to carry out many procedures by laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery which is a less invasive method and has a much quicker recovery time. We are a specialised training centre for laparoscopic surgery and our consultants train surgeons from across the UK and Europe in laparoscopic surgery techniques. We also have a specialist team treating severe obesity.

Your care

You may be referred by your GP to the outpatient department or directly to the endoscopy department depending on the circumstances. Your initial appointment or procedure may be with either a consultant or specialist nurse.

Your consultant may suggest certain investigations and procedures to help with your diagnosis which may include:

Upper GI endoscopy (gastroscopy):

An endoscopy of the upper GI tract is a day case procedure under local anaesthetic or sedation. This is done to look for the cause of symptoms in the upper abdomen or swallow discomfort and sometimes to apply treatment. It involves a flexible tube with a camera on the end being passed through the mouth and throat down the gullet into the stomach and into the first part of the small intestine (duodenum).


Ultrasound scans, magnetic resonance scans (MRI) and CT scans are commonly used and have minimal discomfort. More complex x-ray procedures are sometimes performed and your consultant will explain what these involve.

Manometry and PH test

Sometimes a test is carried out on the function of the gullet to help decide whether an operation is necessary, but may also be carried out for other reasons. A plastic tube is passed through the nose into the gullet for 20 minutes which tests muscular activity. This first tube is then removed, and a second smaller tube passed, (again through the nose) which is in place in the gullet for 24 hours to record acid reflux. This test is done as an outpatient procedure by specialist nurses.

It does not require anaesthetic and you will be allowed to go home and return the next day to the endoscopy unit to have the tube removed. Once the results of both tests have been analysed you will receive an outpatient appointment with your consultant to discuss the results.


Depending on your condition your consultant may suggest that you need surgery.

The majority of surgical procedures, including gallbladder removal or repair of hiatus hernia, can be carried out by laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery. This allows a quicker recovery so you may spend less time in hospital and for most of the operations you would either go home the same day or possibly the next day.

During this procedure a number of small incisions are made into your abdomen, allowing a variety of specially designed laparoscopic instruments including forceps , scissors and a telescope (with a camera and light-source attached) to be passed into the abdomen to allow the surgeon to carry out the operation.

Some conditions, such as groin hernia, may require open surgery or surgery under local anaesthetic.


We carry out upper gastrointestinal surgery at our three general hospitals at Wansbeck, North Tyneside and Hexham.

We hold regular outpatient clinics at all of our general hospitals as well as our community hospitals in Alnwick, Berwick, Blyth and Morpeth, Sir GB Hunter and Monkseaton and Ponteland medical centres.

The team

  • Mr Sadiq Bawa, consultant upper GI surgeon
  • Mr Jamie Brown, consultant upper GI surgeon (specialist interest in bariatrics)
  • Mr Paul Gallagher, consultant upper GI surgeon
  • Mr Liam Horgan, consultant upper GI surgeon
  • Miss Sarah Robinson, consultant upper GI surgeon
  • Mr Keith Seymour, consultant upper GI surgeon (specialist interest in bariatrics)
  • Mr Sean Woodcock, consultant upper GI surgeon (specialist interest in bariatrics)
  • Sister Susan Colley, specialist nurse
  • Sister Leigh Donnelly, specialist nurse
  • Sister Dawn Elliott, specialist nurse
  • Sister Lyndsey Fieldson, specialist nurse
  • Sister Terry Sergeant, specialist nurse

Your appointment

If you need to change your appointment please call 0344 811 8118 and one of our patient care advisors will help you re-arrange you appointment.


If you have a question or concern, contact the upper gastrointestinal service through our switchboard, 0344 811 8111.


Useful links

Digestive Disease Foundation

FORT - Fighting Oesophageal Reflux Together

British Association of Day Surgery

British Obesity & Metabolic Surgery Society

Macmillan Cancer Support