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Common Bowel Problems
 Anal Abscess / Fistula
 Anal Cancer
 Anal Fissure
 Anal Warts
 Colorectal Cancer
 Crohn's Disease
 Diverticular Disease
 Irritable Bowel Syndrome
 Peri-anal Haematoma
 Pilonidal Disease
 Polyps of the Colon & Rectum
 Pruritus Ani
 Rectal Prolapse
 Screening & Surveillance for Colorectal Cancer
 Ulcerative Colitis
Keyhole Surgery
 Gallstone Disease and Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy
 Incisional Hernia
 Inguinal Hernia
 Keyhole Surgery



How do I get referred?

Mr Rob Church is happy to receive referrals from a variety places for example from a consultant you are currently seeing, your GP, or you can contact him using the contact page of this web site

Usually a referral is made through your GP.  If you wish to make an appointment without a GP referral you are allowed to do so.  Some insurance companies prefer a GP referral.

How long will I have to wait for an appointment?

Waiting times for a routine non emergency private referral is usually less than 1 week.

What do I need for my first appointment?

A referral letter from either you GP or gastroenterologist is usually needed.  You should also bring your insurance number and authorisation code for the consultation.

How long will the appointment last?

A new patient consultation lasts up to 30 minutes sometimes longer.   Some conditions are very simple and a thorough examination and explanation of treatment options and risks and benefits can take just 20 minutes.  Some complex conditions or more serious problems can take longer.  Follow up appointments last up to 15 minutes but again can vary from a few minutes to 20-30 minutes.  Either way Mr. Church ensures that at the end of the consultation enough time has been given to fully explain the issues involved.

Will I need an X-ray or additional tests?

Some conditions are straight forward and can be treated without the need for further tests.  If additional scans or endoscopy examinations are required they can usually be arranged within a few days.  Some insurance companies will need authorisation for additional tests to be performed.

What will happen at my consultation?

You will meet Mr. Church and he will ask questions regarding your current problem as well as your general health.  If consulting about a bowel problem you may need to have a rectal examination as well as an examination with a short telescope in the clinic.  

Everything will be explained to you as the consultation takes place and you can ask questions at all times.

What if I need Surgery?

Deciding to have an operation is not always easy and adequate time will be offered to ensure you understand what the risks benefits and alternatives are available to you.

Once you have decided on surgery you will be consented for the operation and an OPCS code given which will be required by your insurance company.  A suitable date will be decided in clinic or arranged with my secretary.

What is Consent?

Consent is a very important part of the surgical process.  It is the process in which the patient and surgeon have the opportunity to discuss the planned surgery or investigation in detail. You are made fully aware of the risks and benefits.  It is usually performed in the outpatient department at the time of initial consultation.  A signed document outlining the procedure, risks and benefits is filed in the notes and a copy is provided for you to keep.

What is the OPCS code that my insurer asked me to obtain?

As mentioned above the OPCS code will represents a particular operation.  It consists of a capital letter followed by four numbers.  For example a colonoscopy examination of the large bowel has the code H2002.  You will be given you the code once a decision has been made to perform surgery.  

Occasionally more than one OPCS code are required for one operation and this happens when two or more related procedures take place at the same time. Once you have been given the OPCS code you should inform your insurance company to obtain authorisation.

What are Day Case, In-Patient and Theatre Out-Patient?

These terms describe the amount of time spent in the hospital.

A Day Case procedure is performed and the patient is allowed home on the same day. The patient is usually given a private room or day case cubicle.  Examples of such procedures are colonoscopy, haemorrhoidectomy and inguinal hernia.

In-patient procedures are usually bigger operations and therefore the patient is kept in overnight following surgery.  This may be for a variety of reasons such as co-existing medical conditions, social circumstances, or that more careful observation required after the operation needing longer to recover from the surgery.

An out patient procedure is one which can be done in the clinic.  It usually is performed as part of the consultation.  Looking into the rectum and applying bands to treat haemorrhoids are examples of this type of treatment.

What should I bring with me on the day of the operation?

The type of surgery and length of stay dictates what you should bring.  All patients may require wait a few hours before the operation.  It is advisable to bring a book to help pass the time.  Newspapers can be provided and televisions are available in some rooms.  A pair of slippers and bathrobe is recommended for your own comfort.  Patients staying overnight may wish to bring wash bags and toiletries and a fresh set of clothes.

What is Local, General and Spinal Anaesthetic?

Local anaesthetic involves injecting a solution around where the operation is to be performed, usually you do not have any sedation and are fully awake.  It is usually injected in the operating theatre.  The area takes 5-10 minutes to become numb or frozen allowing the surgery to be done pain free.  The surgeon will not check the area is fully anaesthetised before the surgery is done.  This is used for small operations and avoids being put to sleep.

General anaesthetic involves putting the patient to sleep for the duration of the operation.  At the end of the operation either local anaesthetic is injected into the wound to provide post operative pain relief or the anaesthetist has performed a block.

Spinal anaesthetic is a special type of local anaesthetic.  It involves an injection into the back and allows whole segments of a patients lower body to be anaesthetised.  This is  used only for a select group of patients.

Who will do my operation?

Mr Rob Church would perform all private operations.  Occasionally for complex cases he may ask assistance from another experienced surgical colleague.  There will be no extra costs incurred if an additional surgical assistant is required.

Who will I see after my operation?

Mr Rob Church will check that you are comfortable and in a satisfactory condition to leave the hospital.  You will be followed up in the outpatients department by Mr. Church.

What if things go wrong?

All types of surgery carry risks of complications and these are discussed during the consent process.  Mr. Church will ensure these are dealt with as soon as they arise.  He can be contacted in an emergency through the hospital switchboard.  Less urgent problems can be dealt with by a call to one of his secretaries and you will be spoken to and seen as soon as possible.