Gastrointestinal

At Harley Street we deal with a wide range of gastrointestinal (GI) disorders which range from relatively mild through to serious. This is carried out by our first rate team of gastrointestinal specialists and surgeons with many years of experience between them. They have in-depth knowledge and understanding of the complexities of the gastrointestinal tract and what can go wrong.

Their skills and expertise are combined to provide you with the very best private treatment care. This takes the form of a highly personalised service, comprising a detailed consultation, examination, investigations and treatment.

The gastrointestinal tract is an extensive area of the body so many surgeons choose between ‘upper GI’ and ‘lower GI’ procedures.

The gastrointestinal tract

The gastrointestinal tract or ‘GI’ for short is a medical term for the digestive system of the body that starts at the mouth and finishes at the anus. Think of this as a long, slender tube which runs through the body.

It is comprised of the stomach, duodenum, small intestine, large intestine, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, oesophagus and appendix.

Food enters this tract via the mouth where it is broken down into digestible pieces and absorbed by the body. This provides energy and other essential processes to the body which helps it to function. Any waste products not used by the body are eliminated via the anus.

The ‘upper GI’ tract consists of the oesophagus, duodenum and stomach.

The ‘lower GI’ tract consists of the small intestine, large intestine and anus.

Gastrointestinal conditions

We treat the most types of gastrointestinal conditions which include:

  • Ulcers (peptic and gastric)
  • Acid reflux
  • Irritable bowel disease (IBS)
  • Coelic disease
  • Gallstones
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Obesity
  • Bowel cancer

Our team of experienced gastroenterologists and surgeons treat these and many other conditions, ranging from mild through to severe. They also investigate gastrointestinal symptoms such as heartburn, nausea, vomiting and unexplained weight loss.

Treatment for gastrointestinal conditions

Treatment consists of endoscopic investigation followed by surgery. An endoscope is a long, slim tube with a video camera at one end and a light source at the other. This tube is inserted into the body via the mouth or anus, or through a laparoscopic incision in the skin. Once there, it is carefully manoeuvred into position.

The video camera relays a series of images from inside the body onto a large external video screen. This acts a guide for the surgeon when carrying out a particular procedure.

Common endoscope procedures include gastroscopy (stomach), colonoscopy (bowel) and cystoscopy (bladder).

A latest development in this field is wireless capsule endoscopy which involves the swallowing of a capsule that transmits images from inside your GI tract. This capsule is then eliminated from your body.

Surgery is performed to treat many gastrointestinal conditions. This is laparoscopic surgery or ‘keyhole surgery’ which is performed using an endoscope and small surgical devices, e.g. laser. The advantage of this is the use of small incisions which reduces the level of trauma to the patient and their recovery.

We perform hernia repair, gastric banding, obesity surgery, e.g. gastric bypass, removal of gallstones (cholecystectomy) and bowel cancer surgery. These are some of the many types of surgery carried out by our expert teams.