The department of general surgery provides a core service for many patients with surgical disease but is also a sub-specialist service for many different diseases.

The consultant body are all trained and practicing general surgeons as well as specialists in their own fields. General surgery specialises in upper-gastro intestinal surgery, breast surgery, endocrine surgery, vascular surgery and colorectal surgery, all of which are supported by specialist nurses.

The directorate has 148 inpatient beds, including six high dependency unit beds. The general surgical high dependency unit can be found on the surgical floor. It is a critical care area that caters for dependency level to patients who require an upgrade in care from level one areas such as SOU or from ward areas. It is also a step down to patients who require a reduced level of nursing interventions from ITU. We also have an 8-bed surgical observation unit.

Upper gastrointestinal surgery

The James Cook University Hospital is the designated regional cancer centre for upper gastrointestinal cancers and the service is planned for expansion. Excellent radiological and oncological support complement the service along with dedicated nurse specialists. The ward has 17 in-patient beds and specialises in upper GI cancers, looking after patients undergoing surgical and other interventional treatment. We have a highly specialist team, supported by two upper GI specialist nurses who co-ordinate patient care, and work closely with the high dependency unit.

Vascular surgery

At The James Cook University Hospital, we provide specialist vascular surgery treating conditions such as varicose veins and aortic aneurysms. We also provide an emergency service for ruptured aneurysms and cases of vascular injury and trauma.

Within the ward, a highly skilled team cares for patients admitted to hospital for elective and emergency treatment.

All complex vascular work is carried out at The James Cook University Hospital though clinics and day case procedures are carried out at other hospitals including North Tees and Hartlepool. Many specialist staff support the service including radiology, vascular specialists nurse and surgical care practitioners who provide an invaluable link between this and other hospitals. Vascular birthmarks such as haemangiomas and strawberry birthmarks are dealt with by specialists.

Colorectal surgery

We are a major cancer centre and specialise in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all colorectal diseases. We provide comprehensive patient service, being increasingly focused on laparoscopic and enhanced recovery programme. The James Cook University Hospital is the designated regional cancer centre for anal cancer and the service is provided by two designated colorectal surgeons in collaboration with plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Each year more than 200 colorectal cancers are treated and the service also covers inflammatory bowel disease (20-25 resections and pouch procedures), pelvic floor disorders (20-25 procedures) and benign anorectal conditions (250+ procedures). We provide a range of services for complex anorectal sepsis.

Out-patient services include anorectal physiology, which includes mannometry and endo-anal ultrasound, direct to test colonoscopy along with genetic and family history risk assessments from the sub-regional genetics department. Excellent radiological and oncological support complement the service along with dedicated specialist nurses.

Four consultants and three specialist nurses provide a comprehensive colorectal service at The James Cook University Hospital. Two colorectal surgeons based at the Friarage Hospital complement the service with colorectal specialist nurse support. As a designated level 3 training centre The James Cook University Hospital is a popular choice for experienced registrars rotating within the Northern Region.

The department works closely with gastroenterology and also has regular combined operating lists with consultant colleagues in gynaecology and urology for complex pelvic cancers.

Breast and endocrine surgery

Breast services are expertly managed by a dedicated team of two consultant surgeons and two breast care specialist nurses. The inpatients are nursed on ward 19 with excellent nursing support from the women’s health team. A one-stop clinic runs weekly and reduces follow-ups to a minimum. Endocrine surgery is high volume and high quality, providing particular support for the renal unit.

Surgical floor

  • Ward 31 – Vascular
  • Ward 7  – Colorectal, breast and endocrine surgery
  • Ward 8 – Urology, upper GI, gynaecology & bariatric surgery

Related services

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