Endoscopy (Colonoscopy, Flexible Sigmoidoscopy, Gastroscopy)
This procedure helps us get a better understanding of conditions by inserting a thin tube containing a tiny camera into the mouth or back passage.
Our department is accredited by the UK Joint Advisory Group (JAG) in Endoscopy, which means it meets very high standards. Specific uses include:
Looking directly at the lining of the large bowel.
Investigating the rectum (back passage) and lower part of your large bowel.
Using an endoscope to look inside the gullet, stomach and first part of the small intestine.
Download our 'Guide to Gastroscopy'
Bowel Cancer Screening
Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK, but screening can reduce the risk of dying from the condition by 16%.
It detects bowel cancer at an early stage and can also identify polyps, which could develop into cancers. Patients who are diagnosed with colorectal cancer can choose where to have surgery, either locally or at The Christie. The National Bowel Cancer Audit shows that surgeons at The Christie have better outcomes than the national average.
Rectal Cancer Treatment
We're recognised as a specialised centre for the treatment of rectal cancer.
These cancers affect the rectum (the last 15cm of the bowel) and can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy. A multidisciplinary team of experienced surgeons, oncologists and radiologists decide which treatments are most appropriate on a case by case basis.
Chemotherapy or Radiotherapy
Not all patients require surgery. Patients who require chemo or radiotherapy are referred to one of our oncologists. We have state of the art radiotherapy equipment that reduces the risks of side-effects.
Surgery for rectal cancers involves the removal of a package of lymph glands and the fat around it called the 'mesorectum'. This is called 'total mesorectal excision' (TME) and has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer coming back. The rectum is then divided and the bowel rejoined. There is a risk of this bowel join leaking after surgery and it may be necessary to temporarily bring out a loop of small bowel upstream (ileostomy) of this join to allow it to heal.
Laparoscopic 'Keyhole' Surgery
A technique that avoids making large cuts in the skin.
Small cuts between 5 and 12mm are made and a camera and specialised instruments are inserted into the abdomen. This technique causes smaller scars, is less painful after surgery and allows a faster recovery time. Our experienced colorectal surgeons are accredited as trainers by the UK National Training Programme in Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgery.
Robotic Colorectal Surgery
We're specialists in robotic colorectal surgery and use the da-Vinci® robot for tumours in the pelvis.
The da-Vinci® robot's instruments and a 3-D camera are inserted through small cuts in the abdomen. The surgeon can then remove tumours with great accuracy, avoiding damage to nerves that are important for bladder and sexual function. We also have experts skilled in using robotic surgery for prostate cancer or cancers involving the uterus, making us one of a handful of centres in the world to offer robotic surgery to patients with tumours in the pelvis involving more than one organ.
We have unprecedented access to experienced surgeons in cancers of the rectum, ovaries, prostate and bladder.
We can bring together a dedicated multi-disciplinary team to review each case. We undertake approximately 30 such cases a year, making us one of the highest volume multivisceral cancer resection units in the world.
Trans-Anal Minimally Invasive Surgery (TAMIS)
This surgery removes growths such as large polyps or early cancers without the need for cuts.
It involves inserting a special tube in the last 15cm of the bowel, then using a camera and instruments to remove the growth. Patients are usually sent home either the same day or after spending one night in hospital.
Recurrent Colorectal Cancer Surgery
A recurrence is when a previously treated colorectal cancer returns. It can be treated and cured, so it is important that patients are referred promptly to an experienced centre.
Our specialist multidisciplinary team of surgeons (colorectal, liver, plastic, gynaecology and urology), oncologists, radiologists and clinical nurse specialists have the skills to make recommendations for treatment.
Cytoreductive Surgery and Heated Intra-Peritoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC)
Cytoreductive Surgery (CRS)
This procedure removes visible tumours and is most commonly performed in cases of Pseudomyxoma Peritoneii (PMP), appendix cancers or colorectal cancers that have spread to the lining of the abdomen (peritoneum). It involves:
- Removing the lining of the abdomen (the peritoneum) affected by disease
- Removing the greater and lesser omentum, a sheet of fat in the abdomen that can act as a 'sponge' for tumour cells
- Removing two liver ligaments (falciform ligament and ligamentum teres)
- Removing the gallbladder
- Removing the bellybutton
- Removing other affected organs such as the small bowel
Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC)
Once the tumours are removed, Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) is then inserted into the abdomen and circulated for about 90 minutes. This is a highly concentrated, heated chemotherapy treatment that unlike systemic chemotherapy (which circulates throughout the body), delivers chemotherapy directly to cancer cells in the abdomen. The solution is then drained from the abdomen and the incision is closed.
Joint Anal Cancer Clinic
Patients with anal cancer and its precursor, 'Anal Intra-epithelial Neoplasia' (AIN) require diagnosis, initial treatment and long-term management by experts.
We offer a 4-weekly specialist clinic where patients are jointly seen by our colorectal surgeons, oncologists and specialist nurses.
Chemotherapy drugs treat cancer by killing cells that multiply and grow.
They cay be given as an injection into a vein, a drip (intravenous infusion), or orally (as tablets or capsules).
Radiation (such as X-rays, electrons or protons) can destroy cancer cells and prevent them from functioning or growing.
Radiotherapy can be used to cure certain types of cancer or to reduce the size of a cancer to make it easier to remove.