Your digestive system handles everything that you eat and drink and is responsible for taking in and using nutrients and eliminating waste from your body. Your gastrointestinal tract contains enzymes which separate the food into the different nutrients that your body needs – the small intestine is an astonishing 22-23 feet long and the large intestine is five feet in length. Gastrointestinal symptoms may range from mild indigestion through to severe conditions like pancreatitis which require hospitalization.
What is gastroenterology?
Gastroenterology is the branch of medicine that focuses on conditions affecting the digestive system. You may be referred to a gastroenterologist if you experience symptoms affecting any part of the gastrointestinal tract. Specialist tests may be performed to diagnose what is causing your symptoms and you may be offered treatment ranging from medication through to specialist surgery.
Private gastroenterology at Harley Street Specialist Hospital
We bring together some of the world’s most experienced gastroenterology consultants to provide a discreet and compassionate service in comfortable surroundings at the heart of the capital. Our specialists offer the latest approaches to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of gastrointestinal conditions including gastroscopy (an examination of the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum using a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope), colonoscopy (an examination used to detect changes or abnormalities in the colon and rectum using a colonoscope, a long, flexible tube which is inserted into the rectum), and other minimally-invasive procedures.
Our gastroenterologists can help patients with:
- Cancer (screening & treatment) – the latest most accurate screening techniques and treatments for cancers of the GI tract, including oesophogeal, bowel, stomach, liver and pancreatic cancer. We offer minimally invasive endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) to remove early-stage cancers.
- Colon polyps – diagnosis and removal of polyps, which are small growths in the bowel that may become cancerous over time.
- Crohn’s disease – this is a form of inflammatory that can lead to debilitating symptoms, including abdominal pain, weight loss, malnutrition, severe diarrhoea and fatigue.
- Gallbladder and biliary tract disease – among the conditions that affect the gallbladder are gallstones, tumours and acute cholecystitis. Biliary tract diseases are those that cause biliary obstruction such as stones in the bile duct.
- Gastritis – this is inflammation of the stomach lining which may be caused by a bacterial infection. The condition can be acute or chronic (lasting a long time).
- Inflammation of the stomach, especially of the mucous membrane – this may be caused by chronic stress, immune system problems or lifestyle factors including certain types of medication or alcohol.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – symptoms of IBS include stomach cramps, bloating, constipation and diarrhoea.
- Pancreatitis – acute pancreatitis produces sudden severe pain in the abdomen, fever, diarrhoea and feeling or being sick. It is a medical emergency that normally requires hospital admission.
- Problems of absorption – this is when the small intestine is unable to absorb sufficient nutrients, fluids, vitamins and minerals which may be due to disease, infection or problems from birth.
- Ulcerative colitis – this is an autoimmune condition that develops when the body’s immune system malfunctions and begins attacking healthy tissue. Symptoms include recurring diarrhoea and abdominal pain, but it may also cause painful swollen joints and mouth ulcers.
- Ulcers – gastric ulcers are open sores that develop in the stomach lining, while duodenal ulcers affect the intestines. They may cause burning pain.
Why choose Harley Street Specialist Hospital?
At Harley Street Specialist Hospital, you can expect:
- Our team of expert gastroenterologists to offer rapid assessment and the latest treatments in comfortable central London surroundings, as well as video consultations from the comfort of your own home.
- Holistic care where you are an equal partner in the creation of your individualised treatment plan.
- State of the art diagnostic imaging – you don’t need to go elsewhere as we have in house X-ray, ultrasound and image intensifiers.
We welcome patients with private medical insurance or those wishing to pay for their own treatment.