Welcome to London Digestive Health

London Digestive Health (LDH) is a gastroenterology partnership, made up of highly experienced gastroenterologists who specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of digestive disorders and gastrointestinal problems. Our in-house specialist gastroenterology dietitian has particular expertise in the dietary management of gastrointestinal disorders and allows us to offer a holistic approach. In partnership with the London Digestive Centre, we provide consultation and endoscopic procedures relating to all aspects of digestive health.

Some common gut-related problems we treat include abdominal pain, Barrett’s oesophagus, coeliac disease, diarrhoea, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) which includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s diseaseirritable bowel syndrome (IBS), malabsorption, reflux disease, rectal bleeding and ulcers.

We also offer GI cancer screening and specialties in the management of upper and lower colon cancer. For most gastrointestinal disorders, we have the facilities and expertise to oversee your care from diagnosis to treatment. If you require surgery or further specialist care, we can arrange a referral through our network of world-class hospitals and consultants.

London Digestive Health (LDH) - Consultant Gastroenterologists

The London Digestive Health Team

Our consultant gastroenterologists and specialist gastroenterology dietician work as a team to deliver the best possible care to each and every patient. Working both in NHS teaching hospitals and at LDH, they provide the expertise and experience needed from diagnosis to treatment.

Learn more about our consultants above or read the positive feedback we’ve received from our patients.

Q&A with Sean Preston

Dr Sean Preston is a consultant gastroenterologist. He is a founding partner of London Digestive Health, within London Digestive Centre.
I should like to thank you for the prompt, efficient and sympathetic approach of you and your team. I am delighted and satisfied by the outcome.

Previous patient at the London Digestive Health

Our expertise at London Digestive Health

  • Balloon enteroscopy icon plus

    Balloon enteroscopy is a specialist endoscopic technique that allows the diagnosis and treatment of small bowel diseases. It is a safe test with very low risks of significant complications. The balloon enteroscope enables the endoscopist to:

    • Visualise the entire small bowel
    • Take tissue samples for analysis
    • Remove small tumours and abnormal growths such as polyps
    • Treat bleeding problems
    • Dilate and stretch narrowings (strictures) of the small bowel
    • Mark areas within the small bowel for surgery

    Prior to the development of balloon enteroscopy, surgery was often the only alternative method to treating these conditions of the small intestine. The procedure is carried out by passing the balloon enteroscope either through the mouth or via the back passage, depending on which area of the small bowel needs to be examined, and can last anywhere from 45mins to 2 hours. It is usually done as a day-case under general anaesthetic or deep sedation, so you will be asleep and not in any pain during the procedure.

  • Barrett's oesophagus icon plus

    Barrett’s oesophagus occurs at the lower end of the gullet, when the cells’ lining on the inside of the oesophagus changes to be more like that of the stomach. It happens because of long-standing gastro-oesophageal reflux (GORD), and is most common in people who are overweight or who have a hiatus hernia, and in men.

    If you experience symptoms such as heartburn and regurgitation caused by the underlying GORD, you should book an appointment at the London Digestive Centre, where one of London Digestive Health’s team of specialist gastroenterologists will undertake an endoscopic examination of your oesophagus, with the help of real-time images which can be seen on a screen throughout.

    If you are diagnosed with Barrett’s oesophagus, our multidisciplinary team of experts at LDH can offer you with the full range of care and treatment options. These include:

    • Medication such as proton pump inhibitor tablets to help reduce your acid reflux
    • Regular ‘surveillance’ endoscopy examinations
    • A lifestyle and dietary plan provided by our in-house dietitian to help manage your condition, and in the process reduce the risk of you developing oesophageal cancer.

    More about Barrett's Oesophagus

  • Bowel cancer screening icon plus

    London Digestive Health have access to the latest bowel cancer screening technologies, offering patients the very best in diagnostic testing, as well as the full range of treatment options.

    As part of your screening you will also be asked a set of questions, including if you have a family history of bowel cancer, followed by tests your consultant may undertake such as a sigmoidoscopy.

    More about Bowel Cancer

  • Coeliac disease icon plus

    Coeliac disease is a digestive disorder caused by the immune system reacting adversely to gluten. 

    The digestive system is lined with tiny hair-like projections called villi, which absorb nutrients into the body. In those with coeliac disease, these villi are damaged when gluten is ingested, meaning the body is unable to absorb the nutrients it needs to function properly. This can lead to symptoms such as:

    • Abdominal pain 
    • Bloating
    • Diarrhoea
    • Tiredness due to anaemia and malnutrition
    • Weight loss

    Whilst coeliac disease cannot be cured, at LDH we can effectively manage the condition and help to control symptoms by creating a gluten-free diet plan specifically tailored to the individual's needs. 

    The diet plan is designed to help heal the intestines and prevent any long-term damage. We strongly advise that a gluten-free diet is not started before seeking medical help, as this makes an accurate diagnosis more difficult.

  • Endoscopic ultrasound icon plus

    Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is carried out using a thin endoscope that houses an ultrasound probe within the tip. It is usually performed under conscious sedation, and allows detailed imaging of the walls of the upper gastro intestinal tract (oesophagus, stomach and duodenum), as well as those structures lying immediately outside the gut (lymph nodes, pancreas, bile ducts and liver).

    EUS is often used to further investigate pancreatic masses or cysts, where it is possible to acquire tissue from the abnormal area with a technique known as fine needle aspiration (FNA), enabling an accurate diagnosis. It can also be used to stage certain cancers and treat the pain caused by both benign and malignant disease of the pancreas (coeliac plexus block).

    The procedure is performed as a day case, is relatively low risk and takes approximately 15 minutes. If a longer EUS is planned or indeed if you feel anxious about the test, it can be carried out under a general anaesthetic or deep conscious sedation with the help of an anaesthetist.
  • GORD icon plus

    Our highly specialised team of gastroenterologists at LDH offer expert diagnosis and treatment for gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), which occurs when excess acid reflux causes symptoms or damage to the gullet. This happens because of a weakening of the so-called anti-reflux barrier between the stomach and gullet.

    The main symptoms of GORD are heartburn and regurgitation, but it can also cause swallowing difficulties, chest pains, abdominal burning, coughing, wheezing, sore throat and hoarse voice. If you experience any of these symptoms, please book an appointment with the LDH team at London Digestive Centre.

    Diagnosis of GORD can be made by looking into your gullet with a camera (endoscopy). Your LDH consultant will look for acid damage and inflammation, narrowing of the throat, or the presence of Barrett’s oesophagus - as found in one in ten people with GORD.

    We offer a range of treatment options to patients with GORD, including:

    • Dietary and lifestyle management plan created by our specialist in-house dietitian
    • Different medications dependent on the severity of the condition
    • Keyhole surgery to fix any hiatus hernia and strengthen the anti-reflux barrier
  • Inflammatory bowel disease icon plus

    Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an umbrella term for two bowel disorders that are caused by chronic inflammation of the digestive tract; Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Both conditions commonly start with people in their teens and twenties.

    At LDH, we offer expert diagnosis and full treatments to help control and reduce inflammation levels for patients experiencing IBD, helping to heal the lining of your bowel and return bowel habits to normal. Please read on for more information about ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

    Ulcerative colitis

    Ulcerative colitis affects only the colon or large intestine. The main symptoms are urgent diarrhoea, tiredness and blood in your stools.

    The exact cause of the disease is not yet known, but appears to be an exaggerated response of the body’s immune system to the naturally occurring bacteria within the gut - leading to damage and ulceration of the delicate lining of the colon.
    Crohn’s Disease

    Crohn’s disease can occur anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract, but most commonly affects the last part of the small intestine. Active Crohn’s in this area can cause abdominal pain after eating, bloating and distension, which can lead to weight loss and fatigue.

    Symptoms include diarrhoea, and infections or abscesses around the back passage or anus. These infections are often caused by a deep ulcer within the bowel, which has developed into a fistula.

    More about Inflammatory Bowel Disease

  • Irritable bowel syndrome icon plus

    Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is characterised by a change in how the bowel is working, often resulting in constipation and/or diarrhoea, and the presence of abdominal pain. Other symptoms include abdominal bloating, an urgent need to go to the toilet and a feeling of incomplete emptying when opening your bowels.
    IBS can be triggered by different causes, such as:

    - Gut infections
    - Bowel muscle, nerve or connective tissue defects
    - Adverse reaction to certain foods
    - Stress and anxiety
    The exceptional screening facilities at London Digestive Centre mean our LDH consultants have access to a range of diagnostic tests for patients with IBS symptoms. These include:

    - Blood tests 
    - A colonoscopy or gastroscopy to look directly into the stomach and large bowel 
    - CT or MRI scans to assess your abdomen

    There are a range of treatment options available to help manage IBS, particularly dietary changes which your LDH dietitian can recommend after we have identified foods that trigger your condition. Medications that slow the bowel down (for diarrhoea), or speed the bowel up (laxatives, for constipation) can also be helpful.
    Whilst this is not always easy to achieve, reducing life stresses can have a positive impact on IBS symptoms. Your LDH consultant will discuss this in detail with you, including alternative therapy options such as hypnotherapy and acupuncture.

    More about Irritable Bowel Syndrome

  • Colonoscopy icon plus

    A colonoscopy is a camera test that allows direct visualisation of the inside of the large bowel (colon), and the end of the small bowel (terminal ileum). It helps the London Digestive Health team to both diagnose and exclude bowel cancer, polyps and inflammation of the bowel (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease).

    As your bowel needs to be clean before the test, your LDH consultant will give you dietary instructions and bowel cleansing medication to take beforehand.
    The colonoscopy can be done under local anaesthetic, and usually lasts between 20 - 35 minutes. You’ll be asked to lie on your left side, and your LDH consultant will likely follow these steps:

    - Pass a thin camera through your back passage (anus), through to the junction between the small and large bowel
    - Inspect your bowel as the camera is withdrawn
    - Biopsy samples of your bowel lining may be taken using small forceps that are passed through the endoscope.

    If colon polyps are seen inside the bowel, they are usually removed by passing a snare (metal loop) through the camera, placing it around the polyps and then closing it to cut the polyp away.
    As part of our patient care service at London Digestive Health we aim to give you your colonoscopy results before you go home, or a few days after if biopsies were taken.

    More about colonoscopy

  • Gastroscopy icon plus

    A gastroscopy is a camera test we undertake at LDH in order to visualise your oesophagus, stomach and duodenum (the first part of the small bowel). It can also be called an upper GI endoscopy, or an OGD (oesophagogastroduodenoscopy).
    Gastroscopies help to diagnose oesophageal and stomach cancers, as well as inflammation, ulcers and any narrowing of the upper GI tract. Our state-of-the-art screening facilities allow your specialist LDH consultant to take samples of your gastrointestinal tract, which we can then look at microscopically to provide an exact diagnosis.
    The gastroscopy usually lasts around five minutes and you’ll need to have an empty stomach beforehand. It is carried out after you’ve been given a local anaesthetic mouth spray or sedative injection. Your consultant will ask you to lie on your left side, and follow these steps:

    - Pass a thin camera through your mouth and into the oesophagus
    - They will then guide the camera down to look more closely into the stomach and duodenum
    - They may take samples of these areas using small forceps that are passed through the endoscope
    You should receive your gastroscopy results before you go home, or a few days after if biopsies were taken.

    More about gastroscopy

  • Nutrition for the digestive system icon plus

    Nutrition focuses on the relationship between food, drink, nutrients and your health. Dearbháile O’Hanlon, our specialist in nutrition can look at the ways in which your diet could help control your symptoms, complement your treatment and aid your recovery.  

    More about Diet and Nutrition

  • Video capsule endoscopy icon plus

    Video Capsule Endoscopy (VCE) involves swallowing a small capsule (the size of a large vitamin pill), which contains a colour camera, battery, light source and transmitter. The camera takes two pictures per second for 10 hours, transmitting images to a data recorder about the size of a portable CD player worn around the waist.

    VCE can help to investigate gastrointestinal conditions in the small bowel, such as: 

    • Bleeding
    • Malabsorption
    • Chronic abdominal pain
    • Iron deficiency anaemia (lack of iron in blood), 
    • Suspected inflammatory bowel disease
    • Coeliac disease
    • Chronic diarrhoea

    Once swallowed the camera moves naturally through the digestive tract. Approximately 10 hours after ingesting the camera pill, patients return to the endoscopy suite where the recording device will be removed by the nurse. After this, the images are downloaded to a computer and evaluated by your consultant. The capsule is disposable and will be passed naturally in the bowel movement.

    What are the risks of VCE?

    No procedure is completely risk free, however VCE is extremely safe and has few risks and complications. It is important that you are aware of all the risks before you decide to go ahead with the procedure. Occasionally it is necessary to swallow a ‘dummy’ capsule (patency tablet) to test whether the actual video capsule will travel through the intestines.

    At times, the intestines are slow and the capsule may not reach the colon or get stuck with the ten hours after ingestion. This will show on the video, and if so we will contact you to arrange an X-ray within one week to see if the capsule is still in the small intestine. If the dietary preparation has not worked well or the bowel is not clean enough, the examination images may be inadequate. This may require a repeat procedure.

  • View all treatments and services icon plus

The care that was given to me went way beyond my expectations and I know for certain could not have been better.

Previous patient London Digestive Health

Quality and safety at LDH

The partners of LDH are expert practitioners working both in the NHS and private sector, and adhere to the highest standards of governance. All exceed the national standards for endoscopy practice as specified by The Joint Accreditation Group for Endoscopy (JAG).


From the more than 3,500 endoscopic procedures performed from 2017-2018, all exceeded national standards. These include gastroscopy, colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, endoscopic ultrasound, capsule endoscopy, balloon enteroscopy and other therapeutic procedures. Each consultant has individual areas of expertise and the team will often work together on specialised cases.

We invite you to enquire via the office for further information and personal statistics.

Our location

2nd Floor

41 Welbeck Street

London W1G 8DU

We are based at the London Digestive Centre in Marylebone, W1. The nearest Underground stations are Bond Street, (7 min walk), Regent’s Park (11 min walk), Baker Street (12 min walk) and Great Portland Street (13 min walk).

Contact London Digestive Health

If you have any questions about London Digestive Health, you can get in touch with us by phone or email, we'll be happy to answer any questions and can also help you book an appointment.

020 7616 7645
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