Our gastroenterology department at Circle Birmingham provides expertise in the diagnosis and management of medical conditions affecting the stomach and related body systems.
We are able to provide rapid access to some of the UK’s leading gastroenterology consultants to provide expert, non-surgical management of these conditions. However, our department also draws on the expertise of leading general and colorectal surgeons to provide additional expertise in the surgical management of a range of conditions.
Our state-of-the-art Circle Birmingham Hospital provides the relaxing space needed for medical consultations, diagnostic tests and treatment. Our department also specialises in urology, hepatology (medical), hepatobiliary (surgical), general surgery (hernia, lumps and bumps) and gastro oncology.
Our holistic approach to providing gastroenterology services mean that your problems will be clearly listened to. This gives our patients a unique understanding of your condition and management options as well as full control over your individual treatment plan.
Gastroenterology is the branch of medicine which diagnoses, monitors and treats medical conditions affecting the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which includes the stomach and intestines. Related conditions which affect the liver, gallbladder, pancreas and the network of tubes which interconnects these organs known as the biliary tree are also treated by the HPB (hepatobiliary) team and liver (hepatology) team.
Are you suffering from one of these common conditions?
- Heartburn symptoms (termed gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD)
- Abdominal pain
- Unexplained sickness and vomiting / diarrhea / constipation or change in bowel habit
- Peptic ulcers
- Rectal bleeding
- Hernia/ lumps and bumps
Due to the large anatomical area covered and the wide range of related conditions that gastroenterology covers, most gastroenterologists are trained in sub-specialties within this field of medicine including:
Depending on the exact nature of a patient’s symptoms a gastroenterologist may request a number of diagnostics tests, including specialist blood tests, imaging including MRI scans, CT scans and ultrasound scans and stool sample tests (faecalysis).
Some invasive diagnostics tests may also be used, including needle biopsies as well as endoscopies: procedures which are performed by passing a camera down through the mouth (gastroscopy) or anus (colonoscopy) to see detailed images of the upper or lower gastrointestinal tract.
Due to the breadth of disorders treated within a gastroenterology unit, patients will often also receive significant care from specialist nurses, dieticians and other allied health professionals when required during the diagnostic process or post-operatively.
Our gastroenterology consultants will take a thorough history to get a better understanding of the severity of your symptoms and to determine which diagnostic investigations to request.
During this appointment you will be asked about the specific nature of your pain and any associated symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, stool changes as well as other systemic symptoms, such as lethargy and weight loss. Any relationship with food intake will also be carefully analysed.
State-of-the-art diagnostics available for you
Gastroenterologists will consider a variety of differing imaging modalities depending on the presenting symptoms. MRI scans and CT scans will often be requested when it is thought there may be a structural cause for symptoms such as a benign mass or a tumour.
For disorders characterised with inflammation, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, gastroenterologists may request and examine blood tests. These could include:
- full blood counts
- ESR and CRP tests to test the levels of inflammation within the body
- genetic marker tests, which may can give a strong indication of a particular diagnosis
- stool sample for the faecal calprotectin
For patients who are seeking expert assistance for nutritional problems or weight problems, our consultants will seek to establish whether there are any underlying medical problems associated with the symptoms. This may be done through a process of eliminating certain foods from an individual’s diet while monitoring the symptoms response. Clinicians will refer to our in-house dietician for advice.
The most widely used technique for accurately diagnosing many upper gastrointestinal problems is an endoscopy. This procedure involves passing a flexible tube with a camera down the oesophagus and stomach. This then provides real-time information via a video screen to the gastroenterologist.
Often a procedure known as an Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ECRP) is used, which involves injecting a dye in to the biliary tree which can then be seen on a specialized X-ray. This enables the gastroenterologist to see with great accuracy any blockages in the biliary tree and often treatment to remove any blockage can be administered as part of the same procedure.
The right treatment for you, always
Whether a non-surgical or surgical management plan is chosen, we provide convenient follow-up appointments with your gastroenterology consultant as well as pre-surgical assessment clinics as required.
Non-surgical options may involve disease monitoring with lifestyle changes and pharmacological management.
Surgical management will be supported by a thorough pre-operative assessment clinic in which our anaesthetists and specialist nurses monitor individual’s general health status to undergo surgery.
At our gastroenterology department, whether you have been referred by your general practitioner, another specialty at a Circle Hospital or you have made a self-referral, you will undergo an in-depth initial assessment from one of our experienced consultants.
Gastroenterology covers a wide range of medical conditions and, within each condition, a number of non-surgical and surgical management options.
Circle Birmingham's gastroenterology consultants have the breadth of sub-specialisms to expertly diagnose, manage and monitor all conditions from a non-surgical perspective. However, our specialist gastroenterology consultants, as well as in-house consultant general surgeons and colorectal surgeons, are also able to deliver specific surgical expertise when needed.
With our investment in our state of the art diagnostic suites, operating theatres and medical equipment, Circle Birmingham is able to offer the latest surgical techniques available to treat gastrointestinal disorders in the most effective and safe manner.
A centre of excellence
Circle Birmingham is able to offer appointments at short notice and with flexible, convenient times with leading experts. Relevant diagnostic procedures such as CT, MRI scans, endoscopic ultrasounds, sigmoidoscopies and colonoscopies may be booked immediately following your initial or follow-up consultation.
Not only is our gastroenterology clinical care second to none, your treatment will be conducted in a modern, clean facility which you are able to feel comfortable in throughout your treatment.
It’s easy to book a consultation
To arrange your consultation with an experienced gastroenterologist, contact our friendly team today who will be delighted to help.