Gastroenterology

Gastroenterology is where the digestive system and its disorders are studied. Hepatology incorporates the study of the liver, gallbladder, biliary tree and pancreas, as well as the management of their disorders.

We offer a general gastroenterology and hepatology service in addition to a number of speciality services outlined below.

In addition we treat viral hepatitis - a dedicated viral hepatitis clinic is run on a Monday afternoon. There is also a nurse-led clinic for viral hepatitis (Thursday morning) which receives direct referral for assessment, monitoring and treatment of hepatitis B and C from primary care and various departments within the hospital including ante natal, fertility and department of sexual health.

Making an appointment
Appointments and referrals can be made by you or your GP via The Electronic Referral Service (e-RS)

Waiting times
Waiting times for both routine outpatient appointments and endoscopy are six weeks or less, and usually within four weeks. Urgent patients are seen within two weeks.

Coloproctology

We provide a comprehensive service in all aspects of coloproctology, including benign and malignant diseases. The service is provided by full-time colorectal and general surgeons, supported by the colorectal nursing service. Nurse-led clinics include

  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • defaecatory disorders
  • proctological wounds
  • colorectal cancer follow-up
  • stoma care
  • pelvic floor dysfunction clinics
  • holistic needs assessment clinics for patients with colorectal cancer
  • anal irrigation training
  • patient education sessions for diverticular disease

Appointments at these clinics are booked following clinical assessment by either a consultant or a senior colorectal nurse. In addition, we provide a comprehensive service for all coloproctological conditions:

  • inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • diverticular disease
  • colorectal cancer
  • functional lower GI bowel disorders
  • constipation and rectal evacuatory dysfunction
  • faecal incontinence
  • anal conditions: fissure, fistula, haemorrhoids, AIN, warts, anal cancer

Making an appointment
There are six consultant-led outpatient clinics per week; each supported by a specialist colorectal nurse. Appointments and referrals can be made by you or your GP via The Electronic Referral Service (e-RS)

To change or cancel an appointment please contact the outpatient department on 020 8510 5544. 

Waiting times
All urgent referrals are seen within two weeks. Routine referrals are seen within five weeks.

Upper gastro-intestinal

Making an appointment
Patients are referred by their GP or by a hospital consultant and are seen in the outpatients department. Appointments can be made by you or your GP via The Electronic Referral Service (e-RS)

If a GP suspects upper GI cancer, a patient will receive a fast-track referral through the system, via our cancer referral office. 

Routine investigations

There are a variety of tests that can diagnose cancer and they will depend on the specific symptoms experienced by the patient. The common investigations undertaken are:

  • endoscopy, uses a thin, flexible telescope to look into the upper part of the gut (oesophagus, stomach and duodenum) for any abnormalities
  • endoscopic ultrasound, a method of combining endoscopy and ultrasound imaging to obtain high quality images of the digestive tract
  • CT (computerised tomography) scan, uses x-rays to take images of the body at different angles, they are more detailed that normal x-rays
  • endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), examines the ducts (drainage routes) of the gall bladder, pancreas and liver (the drainage routes of the liver are known as bile ducts)
  • ultrasound scan, is an investigation that uses sound waves to build up a picture of the inside of the body.

Some investigations may take place prior to the outpatient appointment.

What to expect
There are various treatments available, depending on the type of cancer. Patients who need surgery for their cancer will be seen at Homerton or referred to the Royal London Hospital. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment will take place at St Bartholomew’s Hospital.

Ongoing support
There is a designated upper gastro-intestinal nurse specialist who supports patients throughout their investigations and treatment.
We have a Macmillan cancer information manager who provides support and advice for all patients who are diagnosed with upper gastro-intestinal cancer.

Madhu Agarwal
Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Manager
tel: 020 8510 5191

Endoscopy

Endoscopy is a diagnostic test which uses a long, tube-like optical viewing instrument (endoscope) to look inside the body. Treatments are offered as day stay and inpatients.

Services available

  • colonoscopy
  • gastroscopy
  • flexible sigmoidoscopies
  • endoscopic ultrasound examination
  • ERCPs.

Further information about all these services can be found in endoscopic procedures.

Making an appointment

Patients should be referred by a GP.
Endoscopy procedures are carried out from Monday to Friday.

How to contact us

To change or cancel an appointment please contact our booked admissions team on 020 8510 5583 or 7905.
To contact the medical secretaries call 020 8510 7435.

Key staff

Jason Harvey 
Endoscopy manager