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A comprehensive General Surgery service is provided at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, encompassing emergency care, inpatient care and day surgical practice. There is a team of eight permanent general surgeons at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust who provide emergency surgery on an on-call rota basis. The department has a strong capability in minimally invasive (keyhole) surgery.

General Surgery is surgery on the abdomen (tummy) and the organs concerned with digestion of food and excretion of waste. These can be divided into upper gastro-intestinal or GI, that is the oesophagus (tube between mouth and stomach, also known as the gullet), stomach, liver, gallbladder, bile ducts; and lower GI, that is the bowel, colon and rectum (bottom). It also includes breast surgery and surgery on the endocrine glands (Glands producing hormones such as thyroid, pituitary and adrenal).

St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust General Surgery service has three consultants providing an upper GI service, which includes surgery for morbid obesity (Being severely overweight), also known as bariatric surgery. St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust bariatric services meet very high standards, and the Trust is a preferred provider for London, the east of England and south east coast. St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust receives referrals from across the UK for its bariatric services which are provided by a multidisciplinary team, including a consultant endocrinologist (specialising in conditions linked to hormones and the glands which produce them), a dietician, psychiatrist and surgical clinical fellow (a doctor who is also a researcher).

St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust General Surgery has a Colorectal Surgical Team of six consultants providing surgery for cancers of the colon and rectum, surgery on the pelvic floor (A ‘hammock’ of muscle which support the pelvic organs) for treatment of faecal incontinence (loss of bowel control), and inflammatory bowel disease, jointly managed with Gastroenterology. Cancer patients are managed through a multidisciplinary team with St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust oncologists and a radiotherapist from the Royal Marsden Hospital. Services for patients with faecal incontinence are run jointly with gynaecologist and an ano-rectal physiology laboratory, which can assess weaknesses of the bottom and pelvic floor. Inflammatory bowel disease is managed jointly with gastroenterologists.

The team also provides an open access clinic for patients with suspected bowel disorders referred by GPs.

St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has three consultant surgeons in the breast team, providing surgery for breast cancer. All patients are offered the option of immediate reconstruction at the time of mastectomy.

General Surgery’s Colorectal Team offers flexible sigmoidoscopies (an examination of the bowel using a microscopic camera) for patients at their outpatient appointments, so that patients do not have to a book a second appointment to have this procedure done. The team is also providing keyhole surgery for removing part of the colon (a procedure known as a hemicolectomy).

Since December 2006, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s breast cancer surgeons have been using the latest techniques to avoid unnecessary removal of a patient’s underarm lymph nodes which can leave patients at risk of side effects including lymphoedema (swelling), shoulder stiffness and nerve damage.

Your Recovery

The Improvement Programme here at St George's has launched its Enhanced Recovery animation.

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