Dr Natalie Phillips offers a range of treatments for conditions such as biliary and pancreatic disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and gallstones.

Treatments, operations and tests

Colorectal cancer (aka colon cancer); Many strains of colon cancers start as colon polyps which develop into their cancerous forms within a decade of appearing in the colon . As a result, many doctors advocate colon cancer screening and colon polyp removal for at-risk patients. The process of removing colon polyps is fairly straightforward. A colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy tube with a wire loop is used to cauterize the polyp and its base completely. Larger polyps that cannot be removed using the flexible colonoscopy tube are typically removed via laparoscopy while the patient is under general anesthesia
Colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure which enables a doctor, usually a gastroenterologist, to examine the appearance of the inside of the colon or large bowel. The doctor inserts a flexible tube into the anus, and then, into the rectum and through to the colon. The doctor controls the colonoscope by looking through the scope or by using a camera image projected onto a screen.
A combination of endoscopy and fluoroscopy to diagnose problems of the biliary or pancreatic ductal systems, such as gallstones, leaks or cancers. It is now largely used therapeutically given the easy access to scanning technologies.
An upper gastrointestinal endoscopy uses a long endoscope to see the lining of the upper GI tract. This is used to identify the cause of many symptoms, from persistent heartburn to unexplained weight loss. There are a wide range of diseases that may be diagnosed by an Upper GI Endoscopy.
Flexible sigmoidoscopy is done to detect cancer in the portion of the colon, the sigmoid colon, close to the rectum and anus. A small tube containing viewing equipment is placed through the anus into the colon. As the tube is slowly removed from the colon, the doctor looks for any abnormalities. If a polyp or other abnormality is identified, a biopsy may be taken to test for the presence of cancer. Polyps may also be removed. If polyps are detected, a full colonoscopy may be recommended to check the entire colon and remove any additional polyps. There are rarely any major complications, but feeling bloated and cramping is normal. The procedure usually takes around 15 minutes, and can be done as an outpatient procedure.
The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can often be managed with diet and lifestyle changes alone, and it is important to understand the nature of the condition. Changing your diet will play an important part in controlling your symptoms. However, everyone reacts differently to different foods. It is helpful to keep a diary of your food intake and your reaction to it in order to avoid those that may trigger your symptoms. It is important to learn the difference between soluble and insoluble fibre foods and avoid the latter. Often patients are advised to study the FODMAP diet. Sometimes the condition is managed with medication, such as antispasmodics or even anti-mobility medicines, depending on your particular type of IBS. In some cases psychological treatments are also helpful.
An oesophageal stent is a flexible mesh tube that is placed through the constricted area of your oesophagus (food tube) to allow food and beverages to pass from your mouth to your stomach for digestion and absorption of nutrients. Constrictions of the oesophagus are often caused by a tumour or radiotherapy treatment. The stent is inserted down the oesophagus and through the blockage, where it expands to open up the passage. The stent may only need to stay in a short time or, depending on the reason it may need to stay in permanently. If a biodegradable stent is used, this will usually dissolve in approximately 3-4 months.
Gastroscopy is an examination of the upper digestive tract (the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum) using an endoscope — a long, thin, flexible tube containing a camera and a light — to view the lining of these organs.