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Frequently Asked Questions


This page tries to provide answers to questions that our patients often ask. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you don’t find what you need.

These pages are intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Common Questions:

  1. I have had an operation and I am feeling unwell. What should I do?
  2. I have had an operation and I am bleeding. What should I do?
  3. Do I need to see my GP first?
  4. How do I make an appointment?
  5. Do I need health insurance?
  6. What will it cost?
  7. Can I choose when and where my appointment and tests are carried out?
  8. How long will I have to wait for my first appointment?
  9. Do I need to make special preparations for my clinic appointment?
  10. What will happen at my clinic appointment?
  11. When can I have my tests?
  12. Do I need to make special preparations for my tests?
  13. Where can I find more information on my tests?
  14. Can a friend or relative accompany me on my visit?
  15. Is parking available at the hospital?
  16. Can I drive after my test?
  17.  When can I expect my test results?
  18. How should I take MOVIPREP?
  19. When can I leave the hospital after my colonoscopy?
  20. Where can I find more information about the operation I am considering?
  21. I am having an operation. How should I prepare for it?
  22. I have heard mesh implants can cause problems. Should I be worried?
  23. When can I get back to normal after my operation?
  24. How do I get a sick note for after my operation?
  25. I am insured - How do I ensure that my insurance company pays for my treatment?
  26. I am insured but my insurer says that some of your surgeons are not on their recommended list. What does this mean?
  27. How do I pay my bill?
  28. I have got a query about my bill. Who should I contact?

Q1: I HAVE HAD AN OPERATION AND I AM FEELING UNWELL. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

When to seek medical attention:

Medical emergency - seek very urgent medical attention – call 999 for an ambulance if you experience:

  • Altered consciousness
  • Chest pain, especially if you have known heart disease
  • Tachycardia (heart rate over 100 beats per minute)
  • A combination of high fever (temperature of over 38.5°C), abdominal pain and /or tachycardia (heart rate over 100 beats per minute)
  • Heavy blood loss (one teacupful/200ml or more) in combination with dizziness/faintness and/or tachycardia (heart beat of over 100 per minute).

If possible please also contact our office on 01865 307532 to let your consultant know.

Seek urgent medical attention – visit A&E within 4 hours of experiencing symptoms if you have:

  • High-grade fever (temperature of over 38.5°C)
  • Any fever (temperature of over 37.5°C) combined with abdominal pain and/or vomiting. 
  • On-going heavy blood loss (one teacupful/200ml or more), but without other symptoms.

If possible please also contact our office on 01865 307532 to let your consultant know.

Seek medical attention – obtain medical attention within 12 hours - phone our office on 01865 307532 for consultant advice and make an appointment to see your GP the same day if you experience:

  • Low-grade fever (37.5 – 38.5°C) without abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting
  • Nausea or vomiting combined with abdominal pain but no temperature
  • Pus/discharge from wound/rectum/vagina
  • Continuous blood loss of less than 200ml (one teacupful) but more than a few drops (please see section below on ‘Bleeding’)

If you experience any other symptoms that are worrying you, please see your GP or contact our office where we will do our best to contact your consultant. Please do be aware that whilst we do our best to respond quickly to queries, our consultants are sometimes unavailable due to clinical commitments.


Q2: I HAVE HAD AN OPERATION AND I AM BLEEDING. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

You can expect to have small amount of blood on toilet paper, a limited drip of blood after bowel movement or minimal blood on underclothing after your operation. You do not need to take any action, but take care to follow your post-operation advice about rest, lifting and diet/laxative use.

When to seek medical attention:

Seek very urgent medical attention – call 999 for an ambulance - if you experience on-going heavy blood loss (one teacupful/200ml or more) in combination with dizziness/faintness and/or tachycardia (heart beat of over 100 per minute).

Seek urgent medical attention – go to A&E within 4 hours– if you experience on-going heavy blood loss (one teacupful/200ml or more), but without the above symptoms.

Seek medical advice within 12 hours– if you have blood loss (less than one teacupful/200ml or more but more than a few drops) without other symptoms. Phone our office on 01865 307532 for consultant advice or out of hours phone the ward where you had your operation (Manor Ward - 01865 307579, Churchill Ward - 01865 235382, or 235381, or 235350) and make an appointment to see your GP the same day.

If bleeding persists for several days and you are worried about it, please telephone us for consultant advice on 01865 307532.


Q3: DO I NEED TO SEE MY GP FIRST?

Private insured patients:

Your insurance company will advise, but it is likely that they will require you to be referred by your GP.

Private self-paying patients:

If you are paying for yourself you may book directly without seeing your GP but this is not recommended unless you are a medical professional. In most cases it is best to see your GP first to make sure your symptoms or condition are suitable for our service and that your relevant medical history is passed to our consultants.

NHS patients:

Oxford GI’s services are not directly available to NHS patients although we do carry out diagnostic testing for some NHS hospitals. You may be able to access a pelvic floor clinic such as the Oxford Pelvic Floor Centre.
Your GP will be able to advise.


Q4: HOW DO I MAKE AN APPOINTMENT?

Private patients:

As soon as you know that your GP will be referring you, you can make an appointment by phoning or emailing our Oxford office on 01865 307532 or enquiries@oxfordgi.co.uk. Some insurance companies prefer to deal with us directly and will make this appointment for you.

Alternatively you can contact us by clicking here.

NHS Choose and Book patients:

This service is not currently available.


Q5: DO I NEED HEALTH INSURANCE?

No. Although many of our patients are insured you can be seen as a private patient without insurance if you wish to pay for yourself.


Q6: WHAT WILL IT COST?

There is no charge for NHS appointments.
For private patients, please speak to our office who will be happy to provide you with a quotation. Please bear in mind that for some procedures you will receive separate bills from the hospital, the doctor/nurse who carried out your procedure and the anaesthetist (if you had one).

Please click here to see our current prices.


Q7: CAN I CHOOSE WHEN AND WHERE MY APPOINTMENT AND TESTS ARE CARRIED OUT?

Private patients may choose the Manor Hospital or the Foscote Hospital for consultations and tests, though not all locations have facilities to carry out all of the specialist tests. Occasionally your consultant may feel that your operation ought to be carried out at the Churchill Hospital.

Please enquire here for more details.


Q8: HOW LONG WILL I HAVE TO WAIT FOR MY FIRST APPOINTMENT?

As a private patient seeing a consultant you can often be seen within a week. 

If you are referred by another doctor directly for diagnostic testing you can usually be seen within 3 weeks.


Q9: DO I NEED TO MAKE SPECIAL PREPARATIONS FOR MY CLINIC APPOINTMENT?

No special preparation is necessary. However you may wish to write a list of questions or concerns that you would like to discuss with the consultant. You may wish to bring a pen and paper to the appointment to make notes.


Q10: WHAT WILL HAPPEN AT MY CLINIC APPOINTMENT?

Your consultant will ask you to talk in detail about your medical history and your symptoms. He/she will usually then ask you to remove your lower clothing in order to examine you. You will be given privacy to undress, and will be given the option of having a chaperone present. 

Sometimes a rigid sigmoidoscopy or proctoscopy examination is carried out. Please note that the hospital can make a separate charge for this. At the end of the consultation the consultant will advise on necessary diagnostics or the best course of treatment, and will make the necessary arrangements.


Q11: WHEN CAN I HAVE MY TESTS?

The full set of pelvic floor tests can normally be completed within a few weeks of your first appointment (if your consultant feels that this timing is appropriate). For women, tests involving X-rays may have to be timed around the menstrual cycle. 


Q12: DO I NEED TO MAKE SPECIAL PREPARATIONS FOR MY TESTS?

It depends. Please see the information for each specific investigation, as for some procedures (such as wireless capsule endoscopyproctogramtransit studiesCT colon and colonoscopy) there are important instructions for preparation. 

It is essential that you read the relevant information at least a week in advance. If the instructions are not followed exactly the test may be unreliable, may be inconclusive and have to be repeated, or may have to be postponed. If you are unsure about preparation, please contact our office, where staff will be happy to help with any queries.


Q13:WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION ON MY TEST?

Please see our specific investigation information on this website.


Q14: CAN A FRIEND OR RELATIVE ACCOMPANY ME ON MY VISIT?

You are always welcome to bring a friend or relative to your clinic visit if you wish. 

You may wish to be accompanied for tests where a chaperone may not be available (these are: anorectal physiology, endoanal ultrasound, irrigation, PTNS and pelvic floor retraining, which are carried out by a female nurse). You will be informed in advance if a chaperone will not be available during your appointment so that you can make arrangements if you so wish. 

You cannot normally be accompanied during tests carried out in Endoscopy (colonoscopy/flexible sigmoidoscopy) or Radiology (proctogram/transit studies).


Q15: IS PARKING AVAILABLE AT THE HOSPITAL?

Yes, The Manor Hospital, Oxford and The Foscote Hospital, Banbury have on-site patient parking at no charge. Manor parking is underground and accessed from Beech Road (headroom 2.1m).


Q16: CAN I DRIVE AFTER MY TEST?

It depends. Please see our investigations chapter or your information leaflet for the test you are having. It is essential that you do not drive after sedation or anaesthetic, so please check your procedure instructions carefully. 


Q17: WHEN CAN I EXPECT MY TEST RESULTS?

Your consultant will normally suggest that you make a follow-up appointment to discuss your test results at an appropriate time for your test results to be ready. As a rough guide, most test results are ready within 1-2 weeks, but some can be up to 6 weeks.


Q18: HOW SHOULD I TAKE MOVIPREP?

Please refer to the detailed instructions given on the colonoscopy leaflet on this website. This leaflet also tells you about what kind of food you should and should not eat when taking your Moviprep and whether to stop any regular medication.


Q19: WHEN CAN I LEAVE HOSPITAL AFTER MY COLONOSCOPY?

You would normally expect to be in the Unit for about 3 hours. It can be longer if you are having polyps removed or if you don’t immediately feel well enough to go home. 


Q20: WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE OPERATION I AM CONSIDERING?

The treatments section of this website aim to give you as much information as possible, and give links to other sources of information that you may also find helpful. 

If you still have questions, it is a good idea to make an appointment to see your consultant to discuss your concerns. It is important that you make an informed decision about your operation, and discussing it with your consultant is the best way to do this.


Q21: I AM HAVING AN OPERATION. HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR IT?

The hospital where you are having your operation will contact you to arrange a ‘pre-assessment appointment’. At this appointment your general health and bloods will be checked. You will be given instructions about when to stop eating and drinking, and whether to continue with any regular medication. 

For most pelvic floor operations you will not need to take laxatives to empty your bowels before the operation. However, in cases of severe constipation your surgeon might recommend some Moviprep to empty your bowel before your rectopexy, to increase comfort after your surgery. 

Please follow the instructions given to you by your surgeon at clinic and at the pre-assessment appointment.


Q22: I HAVE HEARD MESH IMPLANTS CAN CAUSE PROBLEMS. SHOULD I BE WORRIED?

Mesh implants can cause occasional complications in some types of surgery. Please read our leaflets ‘Laparascopic Ventral Mesh Rectopexy’ and our specific statement on meshes, which gives a thorough explanation of our current knowledge. 

Your surgeon will have discussed any specific concerns with you. If however you still have any questions we suggest that you make another appointment to see your consultant, who will be able to discuss any further concerns in detail with you.


Q23: WHEN CAN I GET BACK TO NORMAL AFTER MY OPERATION?

This will depend on the operation that you had. Please look at the specific information about the treatment you had, which should tell you exactly when you are allowed and expected to resume normal activity.


Q24: HOW DO I GET A SICK NOTE FOR AFTER MY OPERATION?

The hospital’s resident doctor will be able to give you a sick note before you are discharged. If you need one in advance please ask your consultant for a letter at your consultation. 


Q25: I AM INSURED – HOW DO I ENSURE THAT MY INSURANCE COMPANY PAYS FOR MY TREATMENT?

Our office will give you the codes for your procedure. You must then contact your insurance company who will provide you with an authorisation number. Please let us know this number. Without it, you may have to pay the full cost of the treatment yourself. 

We will normally send invoices directly to your insurance company and will only contact you for payment if your insurer says that it will not pay part or all of your bill.

Please check whether your policy is subject to an excess or has an upper limit on certain types of procedures (typically outpatient appointments). 

Please be aware that in agreeing to treatment you agree that you will be liable for any payments not covered by your insurance company. 


Q26: I AM INSURED BUT MY INSURER SAYS THAT SOME OF YOUR SURGEONS ARE NOT ON THEIR ‘RECOMMENDED’ LIST. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

All of our surgeons are appropriately qualified, experienced, and very well-respected within their field. Your insurer should make it very clear to you that if they are not able to recommend one of them then this is entirely due to financial agreements and does not reflect their good standing as medical professionals. 

Our surgeons have worked hard to ensure that their fees have not increased for several years. However, although the cost of running a medical practice has rocketed in recent years, some insurers have made significant reductions in the actual fee levels that they are willing to reimburse. Although we are currently able to work within the fee limits of most insurers, sadly a handful of insurance companies have reduced their upper limits so far that we are not able to maintain a viable Practice at these rates. This does not usually mean that you cannot see the consultant of your choice (although some corporate policies do place restrictions on who you can see), but it does mean that there will be a difference between the consultant’s fee and what the insurer is willing to pay (a shortfall). 

Please check whether your insurance company will cover the full cost of seeing your chosen consultant. Please ask our staff if you are unsure. We are able to provide costs so that in the event of a shortfall you would know in advance exactly how much you would have to pay. 


Q27: HOW DO I PAY MY BILL?

You may pay by bank transfer, cheque or credit or debit card (except American Express). Please refer to the instructions on your invoice. 

You may make payment over the phone by contacting our office on 01865 307532. 


Q28: I HAVE GOT A QUERY ABOUT MY BILL. WHO SHOULD I CONTACT?

Please contact us by email at enquiries@oxfordgi.co.uk or on 01865 307532. If we don’t have someone on hand who is able to help, we will get back to you as soon as possible.