Upper Gastrointestinal Services

The UGI (upper gastrointestinal) service provides assessment, diagnosis and management of gastrointestinal cancers.

Treatment of UGI cancer is provided by the Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) who specialise in UGI cancer. The MDT consists of:

  • Gastroenterologists
  • Colorectal surgeons
  • Radiologists
  • Pathologists
  • Oncologists
  • CNS
  • Palliative CNS
  • Clinical research nurse specialist
  • Administration staff

The MDT team meet weekly at the Ulster Hospital; they discuss your diagnosis and agree upon your treatment plan. This may include referral to the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust for further specialist treatment. This includes referral to UGI specialist surgeons, gastroenterologists and oncologists who also specialise in UGI cancer and its management.

UGI service is provided in inpatient wards, outpatients clinic, medical day procedures units and endoscopy units over the following sites:

  • Ulster Hospital
  • Lagan Valley Hospital
  • Downe Hospital
  • Ards Hospital

The Gastro Hub at the Ulster Hospital is available for UGI cancer patients. This enables rapid access to UGI consultants Dr Addley and Dr Eccles, specialist registrar Dr Rutherford, CNS and specialist dietician.

  • Types of UGI cancer

    Types of UGI cancer includes:

  • Investigations to help diagnose UGI Cancer

    Patients may be referred for a number of investigations and procedures to aid the MDT in the diagnoses of UGI cancer.

    OGD (oesophago-gastro-duodenoscopy) a scope passed down the gullet into the stomach and duodenum. This is performed in the endoscopy unit.

    Biopsy a small tissue sample examined to determine the type of cancer.

    EUS (Endoscopy ultra sound scan, a scope with an ultrasound probe which is passed down the GI tract)

    CT scan uses a series of X-rays to take more detailed images of the body

    PET scan provides 3-dimensional images of inside the body

    MRI Scan uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce details images of inside the body

    ERCP endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography uses an endoscope and fluoroscopy to diagnose and treat certain problems of the biliary and pancreatic system. This is performed in the endoscopy unit

    PTC percutaneous trans-hepatic cholangiogram an x-ray procedure that involves the injection of a contrast dye into the bile ducts inside the liver to produce pictures. This is performed in the interventional X-ray department.

    Laparoscopy is key hole surgery which enables the surgeon to access and assess the inside of the abdomen (tummy).

  • Referral

    There are two ways of accessing the service:

    • Referral  via G.P. or other clinician
    • Via the Emergency Room
  • Useful Links
Three staff members perform endoscopy on woman