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Gastroenterology is the study of conditions associated with the liver and gastrointestinal tract. This speciality covers the digestive system – ranging from organs starting at the mouth to the anus. Some of which include the oesophagus, pancreas, bile ducts and colon.

Gastroenterologists specialise in the removal of waste material from the body, the absorption of materials into the body and the movement of this material through the stomach and intestine. Some gastroenterologists are also experts in hepatology the study of the biliary tree, pancreas, gall bladder and liver.

Here at North Downs Hospital in Surrey we specialise in a range of treatments for gastrointestinal conditions and are on hand to offer advice on non-surgical and surgical solutions for your problem.

Gastroenterological Surgeries Available


If you have been suffering from abdominal pain (chronically), diarrhoea (chronically), malabsorption or bleeding, your consultant may advise that you have a endoscopy.

An endoscope is typically a long thin flexible camera which takes pictures of the inside of your body. 

A endoscopy takes pictures of the digestive tract. The images are transferred to a computer and inspected by a consultant. 

For further information please contact Mary Oakes,  Endoscopy Lead, on 01883 337 419.


A colonoscope is a type of endoscope used to examine the large intestine - otherwise known as the colon. An endoscope is a flexible telescope and allows surgeons to diagnose a condition via inspection.

This procedure normally takes place when the patient is awake, a painkiller or sedative will be given to ease the discomfort. The procedure normally takes around 30 -45 minutes.

In certain circumstances the surgeon may also fix the condition during the procedure. E.g. on discovery of a polyp, which can be removed during the process.

Read more about a Colonoscopy


A gastroscopy is a procedure which uses a gastroscope (a type of endoscope) to examine the oesophagus, stomach and small intestine. This procedure examines the upper gastrointestinal tract.

An endoscope is a flexible tube with a camera attached to it to allow surgeons to inspect and subsequently diagnose a condition.

You may have a gastroscopy if you are suffering from abdominal pain or have difficulty swallowing; it can also be used to diagnose stomach ulcers and certain diseases which affect the upper gastrointestinal tract. This procedure can also be used to treat ulcers or small non-cancerous and cancerous growths.

This process normally takes around 15 minutes in a diagnostic case but can be longer when a condition needs to be treated as well. It is usually completed with local anaesthetic and you may take a sedative to help ease your discomfort.

Limited Telescopic Examination (Sigmoidoscopy)

A sigmoidoscopy uses a type of endoscope known as a sigmoidoscope, it is used to diagnose and treat certain conditions in the rectum and sigmoid colon. This procedure allows surgeons to inspect the inside of your rectum to the left hand side of the bowel.

This procedure is normally used to diagnose problems such as inflammation or masses such as polyps. Biopsies can also be taken during the process.

This technique usually lasts for around 15 minutes depending on whether or not the surgeon is also treating the condition found e.g. removing a polyp.

Alternatives to a sigmoidoscopy involve having a colonoscopy or an x-ray.

Read more about a Sigmoidoscopy

Our Consultants

Here at North Downs Hospital we pride ourselves in our high-class consultants with years of experience in the specialised field of gastroenterology. We will help you through the diagnostic and treatment process of your condition. Our experts are on hand to discuss any queries or concerns you may have.

Mr M Abulafi

Dr G Chakrabarty

Dr A Mahmood

Dr M Mendall

Mr I Swift

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