"It is almost a year since I finished my chemotherapy treatment at Highbury, Priory Hospital. It seems unbelievable when I look back what has happened in the last 18 months but suffice to say that Mr Ismail and his team at Birmingham Bowel Clinic have been quite fantastic.
March '20 and Mr Ismail operated on me - his support (with his team) and faith he instilled in myself and family was tremendous. They have been a source of strength and enabled me to believe in a quick and full recovery back to my former self and doing all the sports that I loved before the bowel cancer diagnosis.
The care is holistic and Mr Ismail genuinely cares about your life and family around you. He is a renowned surgeon and we feklt so confident with his approach, however, the personal thought and understanding that he integrates in his care sets him apart. His approach is mirrored throughout the team.
I am truly grateful to all BBC - the chemotherapy nurses and recuperation team - they all do a marvellous job and I have been very fortunate to have had them around me.
A. Kenchington, Mr Tariq Ismail Patient. August 2021.
"The Birmingham Bowel clinic has exceptional standards of care. My experience has been very good. The communication with the hospital was exemplary. Mr Ismail and his team were very caring and took time in explaining details about my procedure.
My questions, concerns and thoughts were discussed in some detail and the easy going nature of Mr Ismail put me at considerable ease. I quickly realised that the team prided on their standards of excellence and this driving force is pervasive throughout the clinic and is very reassuring."
Fayaz Shah, Mr Tariq Ismail Patient. October 2020.
"During 2019 I was quite ill. As the year progressed I went from feeling poorly to being seriously ill. It was then discovered I had an advanced bowel cancer and as this was only shortly before my 83rd birthday I was most concerned. I had already lost three stone and I was very frail.
I quickly learned that this was a very serious matter and major surgery would be necessary. I was of course very frightened.
I made enquiries and Mr Ismail was recommended. When I approached him he made an appointment within 24 hours. When I saw him he made me feel so much better. He exudes a air of concern and confidence and from the moment we shook hand I felt I was in safe custody. He gave me the confidence to face my battle and I could tell he would support me through it.
Mr Ismail arranged an operation in a very short time and, he said, put in place the back up and emergency arrangements necessary due to my age and my condition.
The operation seems to have been a complete success. I was out of bed the next day, I had very little pain from the procedure and I began to feel better from that moment.
After a few days in hospital I returned home and in a remarkably short time I resumed my normal life feeling better than I had done for months.
Mr Ismail kept in touch and showed a genuine interest in my progress. He told me he believed he had removed all of the tentacles of my growth and the chances are better than even I would have no further problems. Nearly 12 months on and it seems he was right.
I am indebted to Mr Ismail; I am indebted for my life.
Mrs J Arnold - Bowel Cancer Mr Tariq Ismail Patient. October 2020.
"Having hit a brick wall with my bowel cancer diagnosis with the NHS because of the Covid situation I decided to go private and contacted the Priory Hospital who referred me to Mr Ismail. Julie his secretary was marvellous and sorted out a Consultation the same day. Mr Ismail explained everything to me in great detail along with graphics which helped me understand more clearly. The whole process was seamless and efficient and friendly and after my Consultation on the Friday I was having a CT Scan on the Monday, my pre.op on the Tuesday and my operation on the Wednesday.
Mr Ismail telephoned me to explain the results of the Scan etc and what would happen. I was in hospital for 5 nights and felt in safe hands throughout. The follow up has been excellent even though Covid is still around and again I felt safe and everything was explained to me. I was as delighted as one could be with the outcome of my surgery and the way I was treated."
Anon - Bowel Cancer Mr Tariq Ismail Patient. September 2020.
“I’ve had piles for over 30 years (I’m now 62), they were uncomfortable and I would get some bleeding when I went to the toilet.
My GP didn’t realise that they were piles and arranged for me to have a Colonoscopy investigation performed at my local NHS hospital incase the bleeding was being caused by anything more serious.
Thankfully the colonoscopy all came back clear, and it was confirmed that the bleeding was as a result of the piles.
A friend recommended Mr Tariq Ismail from the Birmingham Bowel Clinic to me. When I researched him on the internet, I was reassured by what I read about him and I knew he was who I needed to see for some advice.
I decided that I would use my private health insurance, a policy I had through my wife’s employer, and Mr Ismail’s secretary Julie was brilliant in supporting me with what I needed to do regarding notifying my insurer about my appointment so it was all covered.
I went along see Mr Ismail in his outpatient clinic at The Priory Hospital in Edgbaston with a very open- mind about what treatment he would suggest I needed, if any. I was very impressed with his professionalism. Mr Ismail discussed my condition with me, asking about how long I’ been plagued with piles and details of the bleeding and discomfort. He was very reassuring and I thought he was a great man and made me feel very comfortable.
He recommended the HALO procedure to me which I could have done as a day case under general anaesthetic, which would be painful after the procedure for a few weeks, but the final outcome would be worth it.
On the day of my operation he came to see me as did his anaethetist and talked me through the consent forms.The operation went well and I fine after the general anaesthetic, however I wasn’t able to be discharged and sent home from hospital until I had passed water, which didn’t happen until the early hours of the following morning. The nursing staff were all very kind.
The pain for the following 2-3 weeks was awful. However, I was prepared for this pain as Mr Ismail had explained the recovery process to me. It was painful to sit down, and this was eased when I sat on my side. Each day was a bonus and it eased off after three weeks.
I am pleased that 6 weeks following my HALO procedure I am pain free, my piles have totally gone, the bleeding has stopped and I am very happy with the final outcome.
I am looking forward to resuming back to my love of cycling within the next few months, I am taking things steady as Mr Ismail’s advised as I had to have 14 internal stiches.
would have absolutely no problems in highly recommending anyone with any bowel problems, especially piles, in seeking the advice of Mr Ismail as I am very happy with the result. “
Mr Mason - Haemorrhoids Mr Tariq Ismail Patient. September 2019.
I underwent a gynaecological operation during the summer of 2014 for a vaginal prolapse, after which my symptoms of feeling bloated and constipated continued. It was really effecting my life and my love of travelling. I knew I needed to seek the advice of a bowel specialist as I couldn’t carry on living in that way and I never felt clean.
I knew of Mr Simon Radley and his excellent reputation so used my private health insurance to seek his advice. During the consultation he told me I would need a rectocele repair which would repair the damage to fix the “bulge” that had formed between my rectum and vagina. I found Mr Radley to be highly professional and reassuring; he fully explained exactly what he needed to do to correct my problems.
I had no complications after the operation from the actual surgery, however I did suffer with an awful UTI infection that arose during my stay in hospital due to catherization - fortunately I had my family at home with me over the Christmas period to look after me when I was discharged and Mr. Radley was very kind and responsive once he was made aware.
I had no complications as a result of the surgery and have had an excellent result. I feel I am fully “fixed” and back to normal finally after 6 years of suffering. Since the operation I am very careful with my diet following Mr Radley’s advice to avoid rice, pasta and bread, and I know that I will always need to monitor carefully what I am eating to avoid constipation.
I found Mr Radley to be very professional and with a great bedside manner. I would highly recommend him and actually have recently recommended him to a friend who has some bowel problems."
Emma Walker - Rectocele Repair. Mr Simon Radley Patient. July 2018.
"I underwent the HALO procedure for my haemorrhoids back in December 2016 with Mr Ismail at The Priory Hospital in Birmingham. I was pleased with how the procedure went and with the care and treatment that I received by Mr Tariq Ismail and his team. However due to the pressures of my very busy and demanding and job as an electrician, I didn’t take proper care of myself on my return to work- not going to the toilet when I felt the need to, not being disciplined enough to make time for myself during the working day. As a result the piles reoccurred.
I underwent another HALO operation on 13th June 2018 with Mr Ismail at The Priory and cannot thank him enough. On both times before my two operations when I saw Mr Ismail as an outpatient I was in an awful amount of pain. He gave me reassurance, which I strongly feel for anyone who is suffering and in pain this is crucial. I felt humanity and compassion from Mr Ismail. I felt that finally, after the poor treatment I received at my local NHS hospital, that I was being treated as a human being.
I saw Mr Ismail last week, 3 weeks after my operation, and thanked him personally, and urged him to carry on what he is doing as he does an amazing job. Mr Ismail needs to receive the praise and thanks that he fully deserves. Four weeks on I feel very reflective about my patient journey. I have been through a lot in my life, as well as being divorced, with two grown up children, I was very alone and isolated as had no family at home to look after me, and no-one to accompany me to hospital both on the day of my operations and also at my outpatient appointments. This made me feel very vulnerable. However Mr Ismail and his team made me feel so at ease, that this totally made me feel comfortable, happy and reassured which has helped my recovery.
We now live in a society where people are quick to complain and not give praise and thanks when it is needed. I want to go against the trend for this and really offer Mr Ismail and his team at the Priory Hospital all of my thanks and gratitude for helping me get my life back again pain free- you all do a brilliant job.
I would highly recommend Mr Ismail to anyone with bowel problems- especially haemorrhoids. I had the faith and confidence to go back to him again, and even when chatting to people at work about my operation, Mr Ismail was known by one of my colleagues and she spoke very highly of him also.
A month following my HALO operation (which I had done as a day case), I feel great, back to normal and back to work. My body is slightly different and behaves differently, so I am now giving myself the opportunity to become more intune with myself to further enhance my recovery, including making some changes to my diet. I’m also more disciplined with myself regarding toilet routine- especially when I am so busy. Mr Ismail is a wonderful man, I am so happy with the treatment I received and would recommend him to anybody at any time."
Mr Njau. HALO procedure. Mr Tariq Ismail patient. July 2018
Mr Ismail has been excellent and thorough during the course of my complex case. Everything was always clearly communicated and easy to understand.
After a carefully planned right hemicolectomy, I recovered quickly and now feel the best I have in a long time. I would highly recommend Mr Ismail to anyone for his care, caution and expertise”.
Christina Smith - Laparoscopic assisted right hemicolectomy. Mr Tariq Ismail patient. July 2018
"Many thanks to Mr Ismail and his team. The HALO operation has given me my life back, I can now re-join my walking and running group without the fear of my piles making an unwanted appearance!! This was crucial to me as I’m setting up a Nordic Walking for Health Group"
Dr Helen Pennock. HALO Procedure. June 2018. Mr Tariq Ismail patient
“I was referred to Mr Ismail in March 2017 feeling very unwell and anxious. My first consultation was very thorough & professional. Mr Ismail was very calm & focused, spending time listening to me. Following the consultation he arranged a series of tests, scans etc. plus a follow-up appointment. I immediately felt that I was in 'good hands'.
Further tests, scans etc. followed, throughout which I was kept up to date by Mr Ismail. My initial confidence has never wavered. I soon discovered that Mr Ismail has a complete network of staff working with him. I can't name them all, but two have been outstanding, Debbie Smith, stoma nurse and Julie Wright, medical secretary. The ward nursing staff and x-ray staff could not have been bettered.
I would certainly would have no hesitation in recommending Mr Ismail."
Susan - Anterior resection covering up ileostomy. Left hemicolectomy for diverticular disease. April 2018. Mr Tariq Ismail patient
Due to my health issues Mr. Ismail carefully planned my operation which was a success. During the course of my treatment he kept me upto date which clearly shows his dedication to his patient. A true professional.
Kind Regards, Paul Newbold.
Paul Newbold. December 2017
Dear Mr Ismail
I have just completed a trek to Eversest Base Camp.
Our trek commenced on 18th April 2018, just two months after
the Inguinal hernia surgery you performed on me (February 14th 2018). I am pleased to say that during a very challenging journey I felt no pain from the hernia repair.
I even submitted Kala Patther at 5545 meter- your intervention has enabled me the trip of a lifetime.
Paul Foster - Hernia Reair Surgery
I was referred to Mr Ismail in September 2017 following stomach pains and periodic sickness.
Mr Ismail immediately arranged for me to have CT scans on my stomach and chest and a colonoscopy to investigate the causes of my symptoms.
The colonoscopy identified a bowel tumour.
Mr Ismail was able to answer all my questions and addressed my concerns about what this meant for the next stage of treatment. He confirmed the cancer was at an early stage and could be treated with surgery. He was open and honest regarding the risks involved and the chances of survival.
I had my operation at the end of October 2017 without any major complications and was well looked after in the days immediately after surgery.
Apart from a minor infection and sickness due to the anti-biotics I had in hospital, the post-operative period was better than I could have hoped and needed about 6 weeks off work to recuperate.
I am now feeling strong enough to return to work and would like to thank Mr Ismail and all his team, including the nurses at the QE, for all their help and professionalism during this worrying period.
Rob Bingham. Birmingham. January 2018
"I wasn't your usual stereotypical man…. I was very pro-active about my health- almost paranoid about it being only 58 years old and recently losing some of my close friends to prostate and other cancers.
I had open- heart surgery carried out at the Priory several years earlier, so I was on various cardiology medication, so I knew how important it was to be aware of my own health and changes.
My concerns and “paranoia” led me to self- refer to Mr. Tariq Ismail, Consultant Colorectal Surgeon at the Priory Hospital in August 2015 for a colonoscopy procedure. This was purely for my own peace of mind- I had absolutely no concerns or symptoms relating to my bowels.
I just wanted to make sure that there was nothing that I should be worried about.
The Colonoscopy carried out by Mr. Ismail was luckily was all clear and thoroughly checked, and I happily went away to my house in Spain for ten months without any further concerns. Last summer I started to pass a lot of blood when going to the toilet. I had no other health symptoms, apart from a few people commenting how pale I looked- despite living in the sunshine! I put this down to the warsarin I took for my heart condition.
On my return to Birmingham in October 2016, I made an appointment to go back to see Mr. Ismail at the Priory Hospital to talk to him about my passing lots of blood in my stools. However, at this stage I didn’t have any other bowel related problems or pains. My initial first impressions of Mr. Ismail on meeting him ten months earlier were very positive- and this was the same when I met with him again. He was very thorough, knowledgeable which was reassuring, and I just clicked with him immediately, which made me feel very at ease.
Mr. Ismail arranged another Colonoscopy straightaway, as well as an MRI scan. Mr. Ismail detected the rectal cancer and explained the diagnosis to my partner and I.
My partner was much more upset than I was- I just went into survival mode and knew that this was something I needed to get through and just get on with it. So, I asked Mr. Ismail what he would do if he were me.
On explaining thoroughly to me about the size and location of the tumor and the possibility of it spreading further, he advised that I would need to have an Ileostomy formed- so would need a stoma bag- which could be temporary or permanent- it depended on how well my rectum healed. I was booked in for surgery within a few weeks.
He also explained that I would need to undergo chemotherapy to ensure that the cancer hadn’t spread. For this I would be referred to his multi-disciplinary colleague Dr Ian Geh after the surgery.
Due to my on-going cardiology conditions, being booked in for surgery wasn’t a standard procedure. I was on morphine so had to have a cardiologist present and other medical support.
I had such faith in Mr. Ismail that my concerns on the day of surgery were minimal. I had the surgery and Ileostomy and irrigation. Once I was discharged from hospital in early November 2016, due to my heart problem and cardiology medications, they were causing me to heamorrage into to stoma bag very severely.
At its worst, I passed out at home and had to be taken in an ambulance as an emergency to the Priory Hospital, which usually doesn’t happen due to there being no A&E Department, but as Mr. Ismail and Dr Beattie my Cardiologist made themselves so accessible for me, I was able to be readmitted immediately, for which I was extremely grateful. Dr Beattie and Mr. Ismail reassured me that this was a complication due to all of the various medications I had to take for my heart problems.
I was back and forth to the Priory on a regular basis both as an inpatient and outpatient. I was finally discharged without the need to return on Christmas Eve. Finally, I was going to be home for Christmas.
A few weeks later on 23rd January I was readmitted to the Priory to have the chemotherapy line inserted into my chest, and the following day, my 6 months, twice weekly chemotherapy regime commenced. I met with Dr Ian Geh the Consultant Oncologist, who explained the process to me again.
I have just finished the six months, and feel like I am finally coming out the other side and feeling back to myself again and back to normal.
Mr. Ismail has advised me that he will be able to reverse the Ileostomy so won’t need to have the stoma bag permanently, something which I am very pleased about, and will be going back into hospital next month for this surgery. I’m glad due to Mr. Ismail’s expertise that I’ve had the option to have this revered so won’t need a stoma bag for the rest of my life – however if I did, then it just would have to be something that I’d get used to.
I cannot thank Mr. Ismail enough- he’s very good at what he does, he is an excellent surgeon, would rate him at a definite ten out of ten. We got on very well. He’s supported by an excellent team- Julie his secretary was fantastic, as were Dr Beattie and Dr Geh.
I would also like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who looked after me during my stay in hospital- including all of the nurses and even catering staff at times I was on first name terms with everyone there, including the night staff due to my regular admissions.
He is a great man and I would recommend him tenfold, without doubt to anyone with any bowel concerns, and thanks to him I can look forward to life and my new venture of opening my new restaurant!”
Peter Crookes. September 2017
In September 2016 I went to see my GP as I was feeling tired, with a racing heartbeat and generally feeling unwell. Blood tests showed that I had anaemia.
I took 2 weeks off work and was started on a 3 month course of iron tablets. My GP recommended that I should have another blood test in 3 months.
I returned to work still not feeling much better. I work in a GP surgery as a receptionist. On speaking to one of the GPs she started asking me questions about what my GP was doing about further investigations because my iron level was so low and I had had bleeding from my back passage.
As I had piles I didn't think this could be more serious, but she then told me go back to my GP urgently because I needed a fast track suspected cancer referral and other blood tests. l did feel uneasy about telling my Dr that what he should have done 3 weeks ago. I then had urgent bloods taken and a referral for more tests.
The first appointment at my local NHS Hospital was in October 2016 to discuss my symptoms with a GI Nurse. I had some more blood tests and decided to have a barium meal rather than endoscopy and a colonoscopy.
A month later I had the barium meal, the results were normal. I then had a colonoscopy on 20th December- a day I will always now remember well.
I had sedation but as soon as they started the procedure they found a tumour which was large. Five biopsies of the tumour were taken, however I had already seen the tumour on the screen for myself before I was told that I had bowel cancer.
They went to get my husband who was waiting for me in reception. A GI Nurse and Radiologist explained what would happen next, that I needed a CT scan to see if the cancer had spread and was given leaflets on bowel cancer and was told not to research it on the Internet.
I could not speak apart from asking how long will I have left to live. My husband who has always been strong fell apart - I just wanted to get out of the hospital.
On returning home my children were calling me with concern. I asked them to meet me at home, where I told them the best way I could that I didn't know what my chances were at this stage.
This was all extremely difficult as my husband was still crying but my children held onto their emotions until they went back to their own homes. I'm not sure what happened to my own emotions- I was just totally numb.
I then decided just to tell the rest of my family and friends, being just a few days before Christmas this was very difficult.
It was difficult dealing with their upset and comforting them. My grandchildren were not told they are too young to understand and very excited about Santa so Christmas I made sure nothing changed for them and my children.
I did research on the Internet as I wanted to be fully informed to make choices when needed to. I had two friends that worked at the Priory Hospital and I had surgery there years ago and was well looked after. I read reviews about Mr Radley and just felt he was the one I wanted to do my surgery if he could.
I rang my GP and asked him to give me a private referral. I decided that I didn't want any results until Mr Radley could give me some sort of plan- whatever that was going to be.
I had my first appointment with Mr Radley at the Birmingham Bowel Clinic on Friday 13th January 2017, this made me smile- a bad luck day but the moment my husband and I met Mr Radley I knew I had made the right choice to be referred to him. He had my results apart from the biopsies. The CT scan showed that the cancer hadn’t spread and was a T1 or question mark T2. Because of my research I knew this was the best possible news I could have and was booked in for surgery ten days later.
Just before I had my surgery I had a letter through the post from the NHS Hospital I was under asking me to have another colonoscopy. No other explanation so my husband rang them thinking it was a mistake I then found out my biopsy results were inconclusive. Mr Radley took control and discussed in a meeting and it was decided he would still go ahead.
I felt I finally had a chance of having a good outcome which I did it was cancer, Mr Radley removed it had not touched the bowel wall so I didn’t need any chemotherapy. I will need follow up appointments which I will be having at the Queen Elizabeth under Mr Radley.
We had to self- fund my surgery – a decision which I will never regret.
So a big thank you to Mr Simon Radley, Julie his Secretary all the wonderful nurses and porters at the Priory Hospital.
Carole, Age 62, Halesowen. Bowel Cancer
I was diagnosed as having bowel cancer by my local NHS Hospital but was referred to Mr Tariq Ismail after seeking a recommendation for private treatment.
Mr Ismail’s team arranged treatment very quickly, with a further endoscopy with anaesthetic – much less traumatic than without anaesthetic that I’d had before being referred to Mr Ismail.
I had three very reassuring and informative meetings with Mr Ismail prior to the operation, and I went on to have the operation to remove the tumour within 2 weeks of my initial outpatient consultation with Mr Ismail.
I’m grateful to Mr Ismail that the operation was very successful, with minimal post-operative pain, rapid healing and no complications or infections. Whilst I was an inpatient in the Priory Hospital I had frequent visits from Mr Ismail during my hospital stay, often twice daily, which I felt was very reassuring.
During my five day stay at the BMI Priory Hospital, I received excellent care in the Intensive Care Unit for the first 24 hours after the operation. I received very supportive nursing care and had physiotherapy support to allow release after 5 days following the operation.
I am now also under the care of Dr Ian Geh, Mr Ismail’s Oncology Consultant colleague from the Birmingham Bowel Clinic for all of the follow up chemotherapy that I now require. I am grateful to be continuing to receive ongoing support and monitoring from Mr Ismail, for which I am reassured that I am receiving the best care. “
Mr K. Market Harborough. April 2017 - Anterior Resection. Bowel Cancer.
I had absolutely no symptoms that could have indicated that I had bowel cancer. At 72 years of age I’d been having the FOBT postal tests for several years and was always diligent about sending off a sample.
Over the years all my samples had come back as normal. I had absolutely no bowel concerns. I have always been more concerned with the prostate cancer that I had recovered from a few years ago.
Thank goodness for the FOBT postal test. If I hadn’t have sent the last one back in 2016 then I dread to think how far the tumour (that was discovered at the edge of my bowel), would have spread as I wouldn’t have been alerted to it as I had no symptoms- all felt completely normal.
Due to my diligence with returning my stool sample the cancer tumor was caught early. My first sample that I returned gave an “unclear result. So, I was sent another pack and the next sample that I returned said “clear”. So, I as a matter of course I was sent another sample pack and the result was “unclear”. I was referred to my local NHS hospital for a Colonoscopy. In the meantime, I mentioned this to a friend of mine who had some previous bowel problems, and he recommended Mr Tariq Ismail who is based privately at the Birmingham Bowel Clinic at the Priory Hospital.
My friend told me that “Mr Ismail put me at ease, made me laugh and he will look after you”.
And Mr Ismail did exactly that.
He had to give me some very bad news, but the way in which he delivered such news and handled the situation was very reassuring.
After the Colonoscopy, Mr Ismail informed me that there was a cancerous tumour in my bowel. The pictures from the Colonoscopy showed exactly it’s size and where about in the bowel it was.
The good news was that it had been caught early. The bad news was that it was located in an awkward position on the extreme exit of my bowel, and he explained that there was a good chance that if he operated in the usual way to remove it that I would lose control over my bowels.
He then referred me to his Consultant Oncology colleague Dr Ian Geh to ascertain if a particular type of radiotherapy could be a suitable course of treatment. More measurements of the tumour were taken, and this wasn’t going to be a viable option as wasn’t relevant to my type of bowel cancer.
Mr Ismail spoke in great detail to both myself and my wife that the only remaining option was surgery which would leave me with having a permanent Colostomy bag. I really liked how he spoke inclusively to myself and my wife – this really helped as I didn’t have to relay any information to her and she had the chance to have all of her questions answered directly from him.
Initially my wife and I were upset at the thought of me having to live the rest of my life with a colonoscopy bag. But again, Mr Ismail handled our concerns brilliantly. I will always remember him saying to us “What I am going to do is not a treatment, it is a cure”. This really helped my wife and I to stop feeling upset and be reassured that this was going to save my life. From then my mindset changed, and it helped that I was put in touch with Mandy Smart, Colorectal Nurse Specialist who deals with the Colonoscopy bags and answered some of my questions before undergoing the surgery and helped me to come to terms with the difficult news of facing the rest of my life with a colostomy bag.
During my stay at the Priory Hospital I was looked after exceptionally well. Mr Ismail’s anesthetist took the time to answer all of my questions. All of his team were fantastic. I was expecting a 7-8 day inpatient stay, but Mr Ismail was happy for me to go home after 6 days. When I was in hospital Mr Ismail came to see me twice a day to check on my recovery. Everyone that I dealt with gave me a feeling of total confidence. During the first 24hours following my operation I was on the Intensive Care Ward, where although I was very dazed, I was reassured that there was a nurse sitting there all the time at the end of my bed. Everyone looked after me so well when I was in there, even the food was very good. Can’t fault the service received.
When I came home, I didn’t have too much time to consider that I now had a permanent colostomy bag. I was still quite dazed from the anaesthetic, everything moved quickly which helped to take the emphasis of it now being there. With Mandy Smart’s help and practical advice, I feel I adapted very well. It is now a part of my daily routine. Mandy’s stoma care has been fantastic in my recovery. I am so pleased.
Mr Ismail is a very unique man. He is the head of a fantastic team. At every stage, he and his professional staff dealt with me and my wife in such a pleasant way, as if what I was going through was nothing out of the ordinary, which was very reassuring. I would highly recommend him.
I would like to reinforce to anyone reading this how important it is to complete their postal FOBT testing kits. I had absolutely no bowel cancer symptoms whatsoever. No abdominal pain, no discomfort, no change in bowel habit and no known cases of bowel cancer in the family. Yet I had bowel cancer. It is vital that people are aware they can have bowel cancer and no symptoms, therefore critical to do the FOBT test.
As a result of completing the test, I have my life... one which I enjoy full of hobbies and holidays with my wife, and sending time with my son and grandchildren.
Michael Price. Worcestershire. March 2017
After two years of awful, constant pain, I desperately searched the internet for the best treatment for my haemorrhoids. I couldn’t sit down at work (which was essential for my job in tele-sales), it was getting to the stage that I could have lost my job due to my irritability as I was always in so much pain, and also that I was having lots of time off sick.
So, I decided I’d had previously had very good treatment on the NHS for banding of haemorrhoids and an anal fissure- but the Botox for the fissure wore off, the fissure came back. The piles also returned, as well as the piles and I could constantly feel them pulling down. The pain was horrendous. Added to this the embarrassment when the haemorrhoids would burst leaking blood which could be at any time, without warning. I was at the stage in so much pain that I couldn’t do routine everyday tasks, such as housework, I could no longer go out socially or have visitors come to my house as I knew at any time I could be covered in blood and had to resort to wearing incontinence pads.
I just couldn’t see a way out of the situation I was in. My local NHS hospital had been excellent but they didn’t offer the HALO procedure for haemorrhoids.
So I decided to borrow the money from a family member and seek private treatment, as I knew if I didn’t I would lose my job and also possibly my sanity.
I found the Birmingham Bowel Clinic website and called them for advice. My phone call was answered by the most amazingly helpful medical secretary, Julie Wright. Due to this being an ongoing problem, I’ve dealt with many medical secretaries over the last few years, and Julie was by far the most helpful and efficient that I have ever dealt with. She is actually the reason why I did book in with Mr. Ismail as she was golden, I kept calling her with questions, and she would always answer my questions and would call me back when she promised she would.
By the time I met with Mr. Ismail in his outpatient clinic I the pain was becoming unbearable.
I found Mr. Ismail to be very knowledgeable, gentle and he put me at ease. He is the only Doctor that over the last few years hasn’t hurt me when he examined me, even when he inserted the Proctoscope to conduct a thorough rectal examination. He made me feel very comfortable.
He advised me that I would be a suitable candidate for the minimally invasive HALO procedure, which was performed as a day case operation at The Priory Hospital. He explained to me what the procedure would entail and recovery times.
Julie continued to be brilliant, she advised me of all the details I needed ready for the day of my operation- what time I needed to come into hospital, what I could and couldn’t have to eat and drink on the morning of the operation etc.
As soon as I came into the hospital everything was swift and it wasn’t long before I was taken to theatre. I had a general anaesthetic and morphine for pain relief. Mr. Ismail reassured me after the operation that I would feel fine within a few hours. When I went home, I had my family looking after me and felt very tired and slept a lot due to the morphine. I only then had to take pain relief for a few days, and the whole anal area was a lot less painful straight after the operation, and gradually took around 7-8 days for the pain to totally subside, which to me felt like no time at all compared to the last 2 years of being in chronic pain.
I would definitely recommend Mr. Ismail. In fact, I would ask him to move into my house with me if I could so he could be there 24/7 “just in case!” I am just so grateful to him- I asked him to help me when I was so desperate a few months ago, and not only did he help me but he has given me my life back.”
Tracy Martin, Tamworth. February 2017
I had been in severe pain with an anal fissure, so I conducted some online research and decided to seek the help and advice of Mr Simon Radley from the Birmingham Bowel Clinic at The Priory Hospital. As I work at Birmingham City University, I pay into private medical insurance, so I was fortunate that Mr Radley accepts patients under this scheme.
When I met with Mr Radley at my outpatient appointment I felt reassured by him. He conducted a rectal examination as best as he could as I was in so much pain.
Following the rectal examination, he outlined to me the procedure that he wanted to perform, and he also explained that whilst I was having this procedure, he may need to perform an additional procedure.
The scheduling for my operation was effortless with Mr Radley’s private secretary arranging everything for me. During my day case stay I was treated exceptionally well at the Priory Hospital, first class care- all the staff were so kind.
On the day of my procedure Mr Radley came to see me beforehand, and so did his nurses who were looking after me. I was in so much pain as I was having a general anaesthetic I was Nil By Mouth so wasn’t able to take my usual painkillers. I was so grateful that Mr Radley, seeing how much pain I was in actually rearranged his operating list for the day so I didn’t have to wait around too long before I went to theatre.
After the operation when the general anaesthetic wore off I was in a lot of pain and very uncomfortable. I was discharged from hospital with all relevant medication but still in pain. I called Mr Radley’s secretary who kindly arranged with him for me to obtain some additional pain relief which I very much appreciated.
It took a while for the swelling to subside but I was able to return to work within a few days once the pain had swelling had both settled. This I was pleased about as I needed to urgently return to work.
Four months after my procedure I have had no recurrence from my anal fissure, and I would give Mr Radley and his team the highest recommendation possible for anyone suffering with an anal fissure or bowel problems.”
University Professor, Birmingham. Anal Fissure. January 2017
“My Bowel Cancer was detected from the annual screening kit I received through the post as I was 69 (now- 70years of age), the FOBT – Faecal Occult Blood Test.
From this diagnosis, I was referred to my local NHS Hospital, where I had some further investigations, which further confirmed the diagnosis of bowel cancer.
I have two close friends who had been operated on by Mr. Simon Radley, and also a relative who is now retired from the medical profession and who had worked with him at Worcester some years ago. They thoroughly recommended that I should seek the services of Mr Simon Radley at The Priory Hospital in Edgbaston who “was the man for the job”.
On meeting with Mr Radley in outpatients, he talked me through the diagnosis and the suitable surgical option for my bowel cancer - an Anterior Resection. He and his staff have been superb throughout- I was in hospital for five days where I was under his and their care.
Two months following my operation I feel fine- all back to normal. I would without any hesitation recommend Mr Radley to anyone seeking bowel cancer treatment.”
Richard Meere. December 2016
“I had been plagued by piles for some time, which I had learnt to live with and treated myself by using suppositories. They were becoming very uncomfortable - especially after using the toilet, prompting me to make an appointment to see my GP.
As I have private medical insurance, my GP referred me to Consultant Colorectal Surgeon Mr. Tariq Ismail The Priory in Edgbaston.
After undergoing an investigative colonoscopy, Mr Ismail diagnosed haemorrhoids, which he recommended to be removed via the HALO procedure - Haemorrhoidal Artery Ligation Operation.
I warmed to Mr Ismail immediately when meeting him for the first time in his Outpatient clinic. He was very kind and talked me through the HALO procedure, patiently answering my questions, and even drew me diagrams.
On the day of my operation, I met with Mr Ismail again and he answered some more of my questions and went through the procedure with me. His Anaesthetist also came to see me, and although it was a day case, I did have to stay in hospital for a few hours longer than expected as the general anaesthetic made very groggy and I couldn’t urinate afterwards.
Once he was happy that I was able to go home, I did so and felt absolutely fine once I had recovered from the side effects of the anaesthetic.
I was extremely surprised that although Mr Ismail advised me that I would experience some pain and discomfort for a few days afterwards, I had absolutely nothing. It really felt remarkable. I felt totally back to normal. I was in no pain and therefore didn’t even feel the need to take any painkillers.
My recovery since has been fantastic, I am no longer embarrassed or in pain. I would highly recommend Mr Ismail. He was very kind, lovely and one of the nicest consultants that I have ever encountered. I feel that as a patient it is important and reassuring to see that a consultant is also nice with the staff around him, which in turn made me as his patient feel very comfortable and in safe hands.”
Mrs B. Edgbaston. HALO Procedure. December 2016
As the new owner of a rectal prolapse which would appear at random and stay a few minutes or the whole day, I really worried about what lay ahead. Like caring for a baby, my handbag contained all the paraphernalia to keep me, ‘clean, dry and comfortable’, wherever I found myself.
Never having heard, ‘having a rectal prolapse’ mentioned in conversations I was involved in or even on the comedy circuit (and I watch some pretty off the wall stuff) I wondered if I was sadly on my own. No I was not. Thankfully, after a consultation with Mr Simon Radley, tests and surgery I am now back to ‘normal’. Success was apparent immediately (the beast being returned from whence it came) and after a relatively short recovery period I have resumed my hobbies (walking, gardening, yoga and swimming). Yes, I have to do the boring pelvic floor exercises every day and not lift bags of soil on my own any longer but not a big issue in the scheme of things.
And yes I’ve ditched the handbag! If you have similar problems, I have no reservation in recommending Mr Radley / his team and suggest you ‘look him up on the internet’ as well as the Birmingham Bowel Clinic at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham ASAP.
Ms NMA, Redditch. Prolapse repair - Ventral Mesh Rectopexy. November 2016
“I had been suffering with a one-sided hernia for some time. Over recent months it became progressively worse, and rapidly so.
I sought the advice of my GP with the view of undergoing treatment. As I am privately insured, my GP was able to recommend to me Mr Simon Radley, as well as some other surgeons who practiced locally to where I live at the BMI Droitwich Spa Hospital.
From the list of names that I had been recommended, I researched Mr Radley via the internet and I was reassured by what I read about him on his website.
During my first outpatient consultation with Mr Radley I felt very comfortable talking to him and my mind was very much put at ease. I knew that I had made the right choice and decided that I would follow his advice on my treatment plan for my hernia.
There was a slight delay as Mr Radley was thorough and had to wait for the results of an ultrasound scan that had previously been carried out, so had to wait for the results to come via my GP.
Once this had been all sorted, I then liaised with his secretary regarding my date for surgery - which was to be for an open hernia repair, and would be performed at The Priory Hospital in Birmingham.
I was scheduled to be a day case patient, however due to my having a reaction to the morphine used, I had very low blood pressure, so stayed in hospital overnight.
On the morning of my operation, Mr Radley saw me on arrival and went through some further questions that I had and put my mind at ease.
Due to my very low blood pressure and unexpected overnight stay in The Priory, he came to see me that evening, as well as the following morning to check that I was recovering satisfactorily and able to be discharged.
Two months after my operation, I am recovering well, am very happy with the treatment that I received with Mr Simon Radley and would happily recommend him to anyone seeking similar treatment.”
David Powell, Worcestershire. November 2016
Mr Radley was quick to put my mind at rest during my consultation. I found him very personable.
My operation was done at at time that suited me & I was made to feel comfortable & rested before my procedure.
Overall I found the clinic to be professional & the staff were caring especially after the operation.
Owen Kingsley. May 2016 - laying open of fistula procedure
I want to cease this opportunity to thank Mr Radley for his dexterity as a surgeon and compassion as a medical doctor.
I was diagnosed for rectal cancer in a hospital about an hour by train from where Mr Radley operates. I had thought I was going to manage the case in this same hospital, so I decided to go home to my home country Nigeria to prepare to come back and undergo the treatment.
After the Drs from the previous hospital had their MDT meeting I got a response from them giving their management option which was a panproctolectomy, this was totally unacceptable to me. I contacted other colleagues who agreed with me that there should be another alternative.
I asked my daughter to look out and search for other surgeons that I can contact to seek out a different management option.
What I observed from the suggestion of the previous hospital was a text book approach in the management of such case, managing the disease but not the patient.
In the course of my daughters search Mr Radley's name came up and she got in touch with him, a meeting was arranged for me to come back to England for the first consultation.
Luckily I was also able to arrange to have a meeting with the head of department of the other hospital that had previously sent me their mode of management.
I was to see her in the morning and Mr Radley in the evening.
In the course of the meeting with the other hospital in the morning it was obvious that their mind was made up and there was nothing I said that made sense to them, as they felt their way is the only way.
I was going to get upset but I remained calm, because what I saw in the course of the discussion is the pride of we doctors that we want to equate ourselves to God whereas we are not.
I thanked her, stood up and left.
Myself and my daughter then went on to Birmingham for the appointment with Mr Radley.
The first meeting with him there was such an atmosphere of ease, and I felt assured inside of me that something good will come out of this.
He gave us his mode of management which I completely agreed with.
In the course of discussion one thing he said that gladdened my heart is that doctors should endeavour to treat the person not just the disease.
He performed the operation and everything went well, one or two set backs because of the temporary stoma but all these where expected and rectified.
One thing that struck me was that he was always at my bedside at 7am to check how I was doing and most times later in the evening, when he was unable to come he would always call the nurses to check on me.
In fact one of the mornings he came I had to ask him how he was able to keep such a schedule to come and see me, because nowadays it is very unusual for busy consultants to do this.
He confirmed to me that even though I am a private patient, he does the same with his NHS patients.
I sincerely want to thank you for bringing a human face to the practice of medicine, for so much care and compassion you show to your patients.
Thank you and God Bless you
Dr Olu Awosika MBBS DTMH Liverpool MMS University of Galway, Ireland.
Letter of Commendation to my Stoma nurse Mandy
If there was anything that scared me so much in this procedure it is the management of the Stoma, because the last case I saw was 36 years ago in my early years as a medical doctor and the patients seem to be having a very unpleasant experience.
So I wondered if I had to have one, how would I manage it.
The day i went to Priory hospital for my pre-assessment before admission, the only question I asked was the Stoma management. And I was given Mandy's telephone number.
I called her, she was in a conference outside Birmingham, but she called me back as soon as she could. She was very pleasant and reassuring.
She arranged to meet with me, when she did she explained about the management process, the marking she was going to do, and she reassured me that I would have nothing to worry about.
That exactly was my experience with her.
I and my family sincerely want to thank you, for your love and care.
I pray that as our profession grows we will have more people like you, so other people can experience kindness, reassurance, professionalism and help just as I did.
Once again thank you and God Bless
Dr O. O. Awosika
Dr Olu Awosika. July 2015
“I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis two years ago. I had returned from a holiday in Greece and had what I thought was holiday- related stomach bug- diarrhoea- which became constant after a week. I saw my GP and was asked to give a stool sample, which showed there was some blood, so I had numerous other tests, a result of which I was referred to my local NHS hospital for a colonoscopy.
During the Colonoscopy I was immediately diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and was prescribed various drugs to suppress the symptoms. The drugs controlled the condition for a few months and gave me some relief, but I then kept having flare-ups which were debilitating and often resulted in me being admitted to hospital for a few days.
Under the care of my local NHS hospital I tried various other drugs to suppress the Ulcerative Colitis but nothing seemed to help. Everything had been tried. My consultant at this stage discussed with me that my remaining option would be to undergo surgery to remove the ulcerated section of my colon.
By this stage I felt dreadful and completely lacked energy. I was losing weight, struggling to walk even short distances and found it took an enormous effort just to take my young son to the park. Everywhere that I went my wife and I were always looking for where the nearest toilets were as I always needed to go. So the thought of undergoing an operation to put an end to how I was feeling didn’t seem like a bad idea.
The only problem was the long waiting time on the NHS- about 5 months- and there was a good chance that in the meantime I would have another flare-up which would mean that I would have to be admitted as an emergency patient in which case the surgery would be much more invasive than if it was elective, planned surgery.
At work colleague suggested that I used my employer’s health insurance policy which would mean a shorter waiting time. I pursued this option and underwent private surgery to remove the infected part of my colon with Mr Keh in December 2013 and a temporary stoma bag fitted.
Knowing that my stoma bag was going to be temporary- about eight months in some ways made it easier to deal with. However I was very daunted by the thought of wearing a stoma bag, people seeing it, whether it was going to leak, what I would wear- would it be visible underneath my clothes? The thought of it was far worse than actually having it- as I had felt so dreadful up to the point of having the infected colon removed and bag fitted, after the operation it felt ok- the positives outweighed the negatives. I even went on holiday to Spain whilst I had the bag fitted and didn’t even try to disguise it whilst wearing swimming shorts.
Early in 2014 just after my operation, Mr Keh advised me that he was relocating to Singapore, however he recommended that I should undergo the rest of my surgery with his well-respected and trusted colleague, Mr Simon Radley. He assured me that I would be in very safe hands with Mr Radley.
I did some research on-line about Mr Radley prior to my appointment with him and it was very reassuring to only find very positive things about him and his work.
At my initial appointment with him I felt confident in him – he told me things exactly as they were, and in an understandable manner. I took to him straightaway.
He explained that I would need to undergo two further operations as part of my recovery and to ultimately close the Ileostomy so I wouldn’t need the stoma bag. I underwent the first operation with Mr Radley in May 2104, and the final one in September 2014. Both were a complete success.
I would highly recommend Mr Radley to anyone in the same situation that I was in- be it privately or on the NHS.
I also have nothing but praise for Mr Radley’s Colorectal Nurse Specialist- Mandy Smart- she is nothing short of phenomenal. She was in constant contact with me and my wife throughout – nothing too much trouble- no matter what time of the day or night if I had a problem she was always easily contactable- even if I needed some advice by text. Nothing was too much trouble for her, she was fantastic- and it was very reassuring both for myself and my wife knowing she was easily contactable if we needed her- almost like a comfort blanket- especially if I had a problem on a Friday evening I knew she’d be contactable over the weekend and I wouldn’t have to wait until Monday morning. I am even on a phased return to my work as a Marketing Manager- which of course was Mandy’s suggestion. I cannot thank her enough."
Lee Young. Cradley Heath - Ulcerative Colitis
I had a vaginal prolapse resulting in a hysterectomy eleven years ago. A few years later I underwent surgery for a rectal prolapse which wasn’t successful. I was told at the time by the consultant treating me that my only other option would be to undergo major surgery, which I was advised against by my local private surgeon in Derbyshire. So I resigned myself to the fact that this would be something I would have to just live with.
My life was ruled by always looking for where the nearest toilets were as some days I needed to go up to 15 times. It also became a psychological issue.
On family holidays I would be very anxious and would take Imodium tablets to stop me from having to go to the toilet for the whole day if we were going out for a day of sightseeing.
My mother knew how much I was suffering and convinced me that after 11 years there must have been some advances in prolapse surgery. So, I took the step that I found the hardest throughout my entire journey- I made an appointment to go and see my GP. I found it so difficult and embarrassing due to physically where the prolapse was.
I also did my own research online, and found out more about the surgical options that were now available. I came across Mr Simon Radley’s profile on the Priory Hospital website, and also looked on the Birmingham Bowel Clinic website and learned about the surgical techniques for pro-lapse that Mr Simon Radley performed. I found the information on the website easy to understand which also really helped. I had been a patient at the Priory Hospital before so I felt confident about potentially having treatment there. I was also reassured to read some good patient testimonials about Mr Radley; however I also knew I’d need to see a gynaecologist as well due to the nature of my pro-lapse also being vaginal as well as rear.
My first outpatient appointment was with Mr Simon Radley, and he was very easy to get on with and he explained that I would need to undergo a series of tests which were very thorough. When these results came back, I then saw Mr Tooz-Hobson, who operates with Mr Radley on prolapse patients.
I also met with Mr Radley’s Colorectal Nurse Mandy Smart was there for my appointments and she offered me the option of being able to have a standard disabled access toilet RAD key due to the urgency and frequency that I needed to go to the toilet.
I felt in safe hands with both consultants at my appointments, and decided to proceed with the surgery- a laparoscopic (key hole) rectopexy and laparospic sacrocolopexy.
The operation was performed by both Mr Radley and Mr Tooz-Hobson.
I was advised that I would need to stay in hospital for 4 nights, but was actually well enough to be discharged after 3 nights. On the night of my operation I was on the Intensive Care Unit which I was told was standard procedure.
On the day of my operation both consultants came to see me along with the anaesthetist prior to my operation and came to see me in intensive care. I felt very well cared for and looked after.
I was discharged from Mr Tooz-Hobson quite soon after undergoing the procedure.
At my last follow- up appointment with Mr Radley he told me that my results had been exceptional. I had great pleasure in telling Mr Radley that I thought the same, as for me the proof that the operation had been a success was that I had been able to make a journey to the top of Mount Etna in Italy and back to base toilet free which was such an achievement for me.
6 months after the operation, with such small scars to show I am living life to the full.
I like to keep fit and cycle twice a week, however I left it until my final consultation to resume all activities and religiously do my pelvic floor exercises daily.
The operation has completely changed my life as prior to it I would have needed to use the toilet up to 15 times in a day. Mr Radley has made a massive difference to my quality of life and I am now like any normal woman, using the toilet between 1- 2 times a day. I would recommend undergoing this type of surgery with Mr Radley and Mr Tooz -Hobson to anyone who is having problems with a prolapse.
I should have found the courage to go far sooner. Thank you
Mrs J.D. North Warwickshire - Ventral Mesh Rectopexy - November 2014
I will be grateful to Mr Tariq Ismail for the rest of my life- he has given me back my quality of life. Before I underwent treatment with him last month I had no quality of life. My entire treatment in his capable hands has been wonderful and I could not have had any better care...
I’m seventy years old and feel like I have just got my life back. I was diagnosed several years ago with Diverticulitis. It was so severe that it got to the point that I had no energy and couldn’t eat due to the pain. My son, who has kept strong throughout my entire journey was very worried about me and said we need to do something. I have private healthcare, and have had treatment with Mr Ismail about 6 years ago, and he has also operated on several family members so we knew that he would be the surgeon we needed to see to make me better.
At the beginning on this year I felt so poorly and depressed about feeling ill and not being able to eat due to the discomfort in my stomach that I didn’t even want to leave the house.
So when my son insisted that I couldn’t continue as I was, I knew that I would be in safe hands with Mr Ismail. I had various tests, including a colonoscopy, CT scan and lots of other tests. The worst thing about the whole time was having to drink the pickle axe drink to flush out my bowels for the procedures.
Mr Ismail explained to me the operation he would need to perform- a Laparotomy, Proctosigmoidectomy, small bowel resection and that he would need to create a stoma- which would mean that I would have to have a colostomy bag. I also had a large fibroid.
Mr Ismail and his colorectal nurse Mandy Smart and all of the nursing staff at the Priory Hospital were wonderful. The treatment I have received was second to none. Even the food in hospital was amazing, as well as the nurses who looked after me during my stay in hospital.
After the operation Mr Ismail came to see me and told me that he had to remove 2 feet of my infected intestines, as well as the fibroid and he also had to remove my womb and ovaries as they had become attached to my infected intestines- as I am 70 I don’t need them anymore!!
This sounds all very painful but in fact it has been wonderful- I feel fantastic- I feel like I am living my life again now. I can eat again and all of my horrible pain has totally gone. At first I did get upset looking at the colostomy bag- but now it symbolises the new quality of life that I have as before the operation with Mr Ismail I was unable to eat, I felt sick and had to spit my food out and I simply felt like I was going to die.
Mandy has been brilliant with helping me with my Stoma bag, as currently my stoma is still shrinking so when it goes to a normal size she will show me how I can do it all for myself at home.
I have nothing but praise for Mr Ismail and Mandy. We joke in our family that I would like to nominate Mr Ismail for a Knighthood and in our house we call him Sir Ismail..! I will be grateful to him for the rest of my life and nothing but total praise for him. I couldn’t have had any better care.
Mrs Johnson. Bournville, Birmingham | Laparotomy, Proctosigmoidectomy, small bowel resection and formation of stoma
On the12th February 2014, two days after my 92nd birthday, I finally underwent an operation, in the safe hands of Mr. Tariq Ismail to treat my impacted bowel.
Seven weeks before, on Christmas Eve, I suddenly began to feel very ill. I gradually got worse over the Christmas period so a visit was made by my GP on Friday, 28th December who told me that I had 'flu. I progressively got worse, to the point where, on the 3rd January following a diagnosis of urinary retention by my GP, I was admitted to my local hospital as an emergency case.
Whilst I was in my local hospital, I was examined by various doctors but none of them was able or willing to diagnose what had caused the retention; I was also constipated but the significance of this was overlooked. I was catheterized for the retention and discharged 4 days later. I then went on to develop persistent diarrhoea.
I had had treatment at The Priory Hospital in Birmingham 6 years earlier, and as I was very pleased with the treatment I received there, my son arranged an appointment to for me to be seen there with the hope of finally getting a diagnosis. Although The Priory is a half an hour drive from where we live in Pedmore, Stourbridge, it was worth the distance to know I would get the diagnosis that I was desperate for.
It was arranged that I would have a consultation with a Colorectal Consultant - I felt immediately reassured when I met Mr. Tariq Ismail.
As soon as Mr. Ismail examined my stomach whilst I was lying on the couch, he said, "I know what is wrong with you". Imagine my relief! After being seen by so many different doctors and being in so much discomfort, it totally put my mind at rest that a Specialist was able confidently to tell me and my family what was wrong with me - it was fantastic! At this first meeting with Mr. Ismail I also met with his Colorectal Nurse Specialist, Mandy Smart, who was also on hand to answer questions me and my family had.
I was prescribed various drugs, and on 10th February I was to undergo the operation to have my blockage removed. However, in the early morning of that day I suffered heart problems and I was place in the Intensive Therapy Unit at the hospital.
Fortunately The Priory Hospital team were able to co-ordinate for a cardiologist to fit a pacemaker, and following that procedure, on the 12th February, I was able to undergo my operation in the safe hands of Mr. Ismail to correct my impacted bowel.
Mr. Tariq Ismail was fantastic. My family and I cannot speak more highly of him. I felt in very safe hands under his care. Everyone at The Priory Hospital was brilliant - the nursing staff and especially Mr. Ismail's Nurse Specialist, Mandy Smart, who helped to look after me from start to finish. I was particularly impressed with Mr. Ismail's approach to me as his patient - I felt I could ask him anything which made life much easier at what was a stressful time.
I would highly recommend Mr. Tariq Ismail to anyone with bowel problems.
Mr V.Morgan. Stourbridge
I’d had a turbulent couple of years with my health before I underwent laparoscopic surgery with Mr Radley last month which has finally put an end to me being in pain.
After undergoing IVF treatment in September 2012, a lump of tissue was found in my abdomen, which was extremely painful and I was in hospital for a week- however fortunately was diagnosed as being a mass, not cancer which I had feared. I was under the care of a Consultant Gynaecologist and it was diagnosed that I had a very rare gynaelogical condition called “Ovarian Hyper stimulation Syndrome”.
I was retaining fluid on my lungs and was in and out of hospital.
When I returned back to work after a week I still felt very unwell and I suspected I had appendicitis due to the terrible pain in my lower abdomen.
I could feel a lump when I pressed, especially when I was doing yoga. I was in constant pain. I had a CT scan and a MRI scan which showed a mass around my appendix.
Under the care of a gynaecologist I underwent a Laparoscopy procedure. Whilst I was an inpatient my consultant gynaecologist arranged for me to undergo a colonoscopy with Mr Simon Radley, a colorectal surgeon who had treated me four years before for an anal fissure. I had liked Mr Radley then and felt confident in his skills to operate on me again.
The colonoscopy revealed that I had endometriosis stuck inside my bowel.
On 6th January 2014 I underwent my final laparoscopic bowel procedure with Mr Radley. I met with Mr Radley and Mandy Smart before I went down to theatre and they both came to see me in ITU after the operation.
I felt very relaxed on the day that I went into the Priory Hospital for my operation, but I do feel in hindsight that I had underestimated the impact it was going to have on me immediately afterwards.
I was looked after very well on the Intensive Care Unit – the drugs had a very bad effect on me but I was confident I was in safe hands.
Mandy Smart, Mr Radley’s Colorectal Nurse Specialist came to see me everyday whilst I was in hospital, I had met her before whilst I was having an outpatient consultation with Mr Radley. As I was preparing to leave hospital Mandy gave me lots of tips and advice of what do to and expect when I got home. Nothing was too much trouble for her- she would text me to check how I was doing, and I felt I was able to ask her anything- no matter how small it seemed at the time yet was important to me.
For the first time in years I am not in constant pain- which was caused by the endometriosis inside my bowel. I no longer feel a “pulling” type pain and I am looking forward to going back to work soon on a phased return and getting on with living my life back to the full.
I’m really pleased with my lack of scars from the operation. Mr Radley made the cut inside my belly button, and although my belly button is now deeper than it was there are no visible scars- so much so that I confidently wore a bikini at a spa day 4 weeks after undergoing major abdominal surgery.
Ms M. - West Midlands
I had an Ileostomy formation after being diagnosed with bowel cancer in April 2012. At 66 I was fit and healthy, my only symptom being abdominal pain. I underwent all treatment in my local NHS hospital.
In November 2013 I took the decision after much consideration and discussion with my wife to undergo a closure of Ileostomy procedure, and I would no longer need a colostomy bag. I decided to use the private healthcare insurance that I had through my work so I spoke to my GP who recommended Mr Simon Radley, from the Birmingham Bowel Clinic.
Mr Radley’s secretary offered me a prompt appointment to see him for an initial outpatient consultation, and during the first consultation Mr Radley inspired confidence.
He drew me a diagram of the closure of Ileostomy procedure and as I was dubious as to whether to undergo the procedure he explained fully to me what the operation would involve.
I decided to proceed with the operation, and was an inpatient at The Priory Hospital for 9 days.
Following the operation I did have some sickness which was diet related, and Mandy Smart, Mr Radley’s Colorectal Nurse discussed diet with me and gave me some dietary advice.
Almost 3 months after my surgery I am happy with the outcome. I found Mr Radley to be an exceptional surgeon with a very confident, approachable and calming manner and someone who you would certainly recommend.
Mr S. - Birmingham
I went to see my GP as I was having some problems with my chest, whilst she was examining me she found that I had a lump in my abdomen, which I hadn’t noticed before.
I had been so distracted by my chest problems that when I came to think of it, I was having some constipation, but nothing of any concern. So I was referred to my local NHS hospital for some tests and I was told I would be referred to a colorectal surgeon on the NHS for more investigations.
In the meantime one of my friends thoroughly recommended a Mr Simon Radley to me who practiced from the Birmingham Bowel Clinic at the Priory Hospital in Edgabston, Birmingham. She had undergone treatment with him and spoke very highly of him. Although it wasn’t on my doorstep as some other private hospitals were, as Mr Radley was so highly recommended and I had made the decision to pay for my own treatment, I decided to go and have a consultation with Mr Radley and haven’t looked back since.
I found Mr Radley to be reassuring and very quietly confident which in turn gave me confidence. He put me at ease and I found him very easy to talk to and quite simply a lovely man to deal with.
Further tests revealed that the lump in my tummy was quite a large benign tumour. I was very lucky that my GP had found it, as otherwise as I was having no bad side-effects from it, I wouldn’t have sought any medical attention and it would have got bigger, and possibly turned cancerous if it had been left longer. So Mr Radley explained that I needed to undergo a procedure called a Laparoscopic Hemicolectomy to have it removed.
On the day of my operation Mr Radley talked me through the operation again; I had no qualms about it all. His anaesthetist was also super, which was also very reassuring - like Mr Radley he was professional yet approachable.
I was in hospital for 3 days, during which time I did have a worry about quite a sudden burst of bleeding, however the nurses arranged for the hospital doctor on duty to see me and I was assured everything was fine. I also saw Mandy, Mr Radley’s specialist nurse when I was in hospital- I felt so well cared for and looked after.
Overall I am fortunate to say a very good experience at the hands of Mr Radley and his team and I couldn’t have asked for anything more. My husband has been involved in this experience with me and he also was delighted with Mr Radley and the care that I received at the Priory Hospital and am pleased that at 75 I can start to live my life to the full again.
Ms M. - West Midlands
I feel like a “new woman” since having my operation a few months ago with Mr Simon Radley.
Scans showed that I had suffered from two burst abscesses in my colon, both in the same place which had caused a colo-vaginal fistula.
I was terrified and although I live on the Herefordshire/ Worcestershire border which is quite a way from Birmingham, when I asked my GP who he could recommend privately for treatment he highly recommended Mr Simon Radley from the Birmingham Bowel Clinic.
When I met Mr Radley for the first time in outpatients at the Priory Hospital I knew why my GP had recommended him and that he was the best consultant to treat me. He was very reassuring, explained everything in great detail to me about my treatment plan and I felt so confident that I was in very safe hands. At my first consultation I also met with Mandy Smart, Mr Radley’s nurse. She was equally as reassuring and kind.
On the day of my operation where I had part of my colon removed (a laparoscopic anterior resection for a colo-vaginal fistula), Mr Radley, his anaesthetist and Mandy all came to see me. I was in hospital for 4 nights, and spent a short period of time after coming out of theatre on the Intensive Care Unit. Mandy called me at home when I was discharged from hospital to check on my progress and I have since seen Mr Radley in outpatients as part of my follow-up treatment, where again he was brilliant!
Last December I became ill with the Norovirus which left me severely dehydrated. I underwent lots of tests as I felt so poorly, and the results showed that I had a growth in my bowel. I was relieved when I was told the growth wasn’t cancerous, but it was making me so ill as it was draining all of the fluids and salts from my body and I was having to drink between 5-6 litres of water a day just to keep me hydrated. As the growth was benign there was at least a 6 week wait at my local NHS hospital to undergo a colonoscopy, which was a further diagnostic test that I needed; so I asked the physician whose care I was under, and he didn’t hesitate in recommending a Mr Simon Radley to me, who is a consultant colorectal surgeon and practices privately at the Birmingham Bowel Clinic.
As I wanted to be “put right” as quickly as possible I decided to pay to see Mr Radley on a private basis, and as he was so highly recommended by another consultant, I didn’t hesitate in travelling from near Bridgnorth to Birmingham to see him.
To have the growth removed Mr Radley explained that I needed to have an operation called a laparoscopic assisted low anterior resection and formation of ileostomy. Mr Radley went through everything I needed to know with me in thorough detail- including that that I would need to have a temporary colostomy bag fitted for about 12 weeks which would give my bowel time to heal, then I could have it reversed. During this time I also dealt with Mandy, Mr Radley’s specialist nurse who I found to be extremely caring and efficient.
At a prior consultation Mr Radley drew me a diagram to assist in him explaining to me the operation- he explained everything so well. I liked his “belt and braces approach” he was very thorough and also explained to me what could go wrong. My husband also felt very confident in Mr Radley which was also reassuring.
So, in April I had my first operation and was an inpatient at The Priory Hospital for a week. 12 weeks later I had an operation to have stoma reversed and was in hospital for 3 nights.
During both of my hospital stays Mr Radley visited very regularly to check how I was doing. I am now almost 4 weeks post-op from my 2nd and final operation. I am doing very well, and no longer need to take any pain-killers, I just need to be patient and give my bowel time to heal. At 62 I am looking forward to living life to the full again, and resuming my hobbies, which include tennis, ice skating, gardening and walking. I am looking forward to going for a nice meal in a few weeks to celebrate my husband’s birthday! I am very lucky - thank you Mr Radley!
Almost 2 years ago I began feeling absolutely dreadful! Words cannot really explain how ill I actually felt- I just felt ground down- constantly unwell, always tired, to the point I would get up in the morning, feel OK for an hour, get to work and just want to come home I just felt so awful. I thought my symptoms were gynaecological- at 43 I was conscious of the changes that the menopause would at some stage bring and put my main symptom of a bloated tummy down to that! I also thought it was a gynaecological issue as I began to experience discomfort during sexual intercourse.
With bloatedness being my main symptom, as well as feeling dreadful, I went to see my GP. Looking back, at the time I don’t even think I could explain properly to my GP how unwell I actually felt.
This was very out of character for me. I was never ill, if anyone in the family caught a cough or cold, I never caught it. I ate well, and didn’t drink or smoke. In my early thirties I lost weight the healthy way through diet and exercise and maintained a healthy weight and lifestyle, and had even started to cook all the food I ate from scratch. I worked in McDonalds, and even took my own home- cooked food into work.
I had no problems in going to the toilet- however in hindsight my stools had got looser, but nothing dramatic, and I put this down to my change to an even healthier diet. I started to feel unwell in early August 2011. I felt so bad so quickly that after just 2 weeks I saw my GP, who diagnosed with me with having Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). I was given medication and told to change my diet to an even healthier one. I also totally cut out red meat and my biggest vice was black coffee, which I cut out completely. None of this made any difference, and a few weeks later I went back to my GP who maintained the diagnosis of IBS.
My partner of 30years had booked for us to go on holiday to Las Vegas and the west coast of America, something I had been really looking forward to; however I feel that I missed out on a lot of the holiday as I just felt so constantly tired and poorly. Without my knowing my partner had secretly arranged for us to get married in Las Vegas!! Him seeing me so ill had made him realise how important I was to him and how precious life was and wanted us to get married!! As a double celebration whilst we were on holiday my son and daughter-in-law had a baby and we became grandparents for the first time in November 2011.
Not long after we returned from Las Vegas, I knew I had to press my GP to refer me for some gynaecological scans and tests to investigate ovarian cancer- my friends were also urging me to do the same as they couldn’t help to notice how ill I looked. I had two ultrasound scans- a basic one and an invasive one. Both came back as negative, which I was relived about but at the same time I just couldn’t understand what was happening to me- at times I actually thought I was going mad!
A few weeks later in early December I noticed when I’d been to the toilet and I wiped that there was some blood on the toilet paper. Having had 2 children I put this down to possibly being piles and mentioned it the next time I saw my GP. She examined me and referred me straightaway to my local NHS hospital for a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy where I also had some biopsies taken. As none of my symptoms had obviously indicated bowel cancer, and there was no family history of bowel cancer (although my Dad did have stomach cancer) I was shocked and devastated when I was diagnosed with Rectal Cancer just 3 days before Christmas- although at the same time I felt a strange sort of relief that I finally knew what was wrong with me and I wasn’t going mad.
A friend of mine recommended that I see someone she knew to be the best consultant around to deal with bowel cancer, Mr Tariq Ismail at The Priory Hospital. Christmas passed by in a blur (on Christmas Day I just managed to eat a piece of toast!), and early in January I used my private health insurance and met with Mr Tariq Ismail, who confirmed my diagnosis and said that from the size of the rectal tumour it had probably been there for about two years.
Mr Ismail referred me to Dr Ian Geh and then I began a six week course of radiotherapy and chemotherapy and I actually started to feel better. I had a scan to determine the effect of the treatment on my tumour and then met with Mr Ismail to discuss what would be the best course to take.
He informed me that the tumour had responded well and the plan was to remove the tumour and a small amount of bowel- an Anterior Resection of the Rectum and he would hopefully be able to do this using laparoscopic surgery but to be aware that he couldn't guarantee that. I would also have a loop ileostomy and this would be there to help my bowel heal and to aim for a resection a few months further on.
It was reassuring to have everything explained so there were no unknown elements. As for the ileostomy Mandy Smart was amazing in the way she handled every aspect of the care of a stoma. Making it feel so normal and giving me confidence to do everything I'd always done.
So in April 2012 I underwent the operation to have the tumour removed and woke with my stoma and although keyhole surgery hadn't been possible, I have the faintest of scars and was happy with how everything had gone. It was also nice to have my own room and for my family to visit when it suited them, not at set times. It was then decided I would need extra chemotherapy to make sure that all of the cancer cells were gone.
After my chemotherapy was over I met again with Mr Ismail to discuss the option of stoma reversal and in November 2012 I had the stoma reversed.
I'm now one year on from my surgery and have just had a Colonoscopy and Mr Ismail made me feel at ease with this procedure and completed it as a day case and came and gave me a lovely 'All Clear' at the end of the day.
When I look back it seems like so much happened in a year and I almost can't believe it happened to me!
But without the amazing team of Mr Ismail, Mandy Smart and Dr Ian Geh I don't know if I'd have coped as well as I did. A huge thanks to everyone at the Birmingham Bowel Clinic.
Delia Hollingworth | Rectal Cancer
As a family, it was a difficult time when my 86 year old mother was finally diagnosed with bowel cancer. She knew she had a problem as she was experiencing some bowel problems, she saw her GP and underwent 2 colonoscopies on the NHS. No biopsies were taken- however there was some form of blockage but there was no diagnosis made.
We wanted to see what other options were available to at least reach a diagnosis so my sisters did some research on the internet and were impressed with Mr Tariq Ismail’s CV.
As my mother had no private medical insurance, she would be paying for everything herself, and although initially she wanted to see Mr Ismail to confirm a cancer diagnosis with then possibly going back to the NHS for treatment, I think at this early stage she had already mentally allocated how she was going to fund all of her treatment in the private sector.
We were impressed with Mr Ismail when we met him, we liked his manner. It was also good to have his colorectal nurse specialist- Mandy Smart who gave us her card and told us to call her whenever we needed to.
She had an MRI scan and also a CT scan, and another procedure to have some polyps removed. By this stage my mother decided she wanted to undergo all of her treatment with Mr Ismail on a private basis at the Birmingham Bowel Clinic at the Priory Hospital and within a week of meeting him, on 2nd February 2013 she underwent surgery – a Right Hemicoloectomy operation. Mr Ismail did clearly explain prior to surgery that the exact prognosis couldn’t be confirmed until surgery had been performed.
My mother was in hospital for a week, and she was reassured when Mr Ismail visited her on a daily basis. As a family we felt confident in her having treatment at the Priory where we felt reasonably assured that her chances of catching secondary post operative infections such as MRSA, would be greatly reduced.
We also appreciated the convenience offered by the private hospital- in particular no visiting restrictions, easily accessible medical staff, easy- access free car- parking and her being visited by a physiotherapist and a dietician every day. We feel she had the service that she paid for and good value for money. The operation she underwent was as described; she has received good aftercare and is making a good recovery under the watchful eye of one of the best colorectal surgeons.
She was well within days of coming out of hospital. It’s been seven weeks now since her operation and I can describe her as being “perky” which is reassuring; she is making a good recovery.
At her post- operative outpatient check with Mr Ismail he confirmed that the blockage was cancer and that there was some evidence it had spread elsewhere. This then enabled us to have a conversation with both him and our family doctor to ensure any on-going treatment was appropriate and in the best interests of my moms health, well-being.
My mother was very delighted with Mr Ismail and he was very sensitive to her condition and for this we are all grateful.
Anonymous patient | Bowel Cancer | Right Hemicolectomy
Four and a half years ago I was diagnosed with bowel cancer. Luckily I had private medical insurance and my GP automatically referred to me to my local private hospital where I was given the devastating news that if I underwent surgery to remove the cancer then I would have to have a permanent stoma. At the age of 48 this was devastating news.
So I undertook a huge amount of research into surgical options available to remove my tumour, yet without having to live with a colostomy bag for the rest of my life. Throughout my research into various surgical options Mr Simon Radley’s name kept cropping up, and I knew that he was a surgeon who was definitely worth talking to- I decided I had to at least meet with him to discuss my options, even if I didn’t actually undergo any surgery with him.
During my extensive research into Mr Radley and his CV, I was reassured by the fact that he had undergone part of his colorectal training in America, where I was aware that they were making advances in medical science and at the leading edge of sensible surgery.
When I met with Mr Radley for the first time, I was immediately reassured by him. We are of a similar age and I knew that he was at the top of his profession from what I had researched about him. I had to put my faith into somebody and during my meeting with him he was optimistic of being able to remove my tumour but allow for normal bowel function afterwards, avoiding a colostomy. I felt so assured by him and his surgical expertise that I decided to put my faith into him and soon afterwards underwent surgery. The outcome was what I had hoped- my cancer was removed and I didn’t have to live with a permanent stoma.
Throughout the entire process Mr Radley at all times told me the absolute truth- good or bad, and never let me down.
I would wholeheartedly recommend him (and often do) to other patients who are seeking the best possible surgery for bowel disorders.
To read more about Mr Mark Bullock’s treatment and recovery click here to a feature in the Shropshire Star.
Mark Bullock | Bowel Cancer
At 20 years old I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and after trying numerous medications, having an operation to remove a section of the bowel, my only option was to have an Ileostomy. About 8 weeks ago at a private hospital in Wolverhampton I had surgery to create my stoma. After the operation I started to have major problems with my stoma bag leaking everyday.
For my stoma aftercare I was referred to another healthcare provider, where the Colorectal nurse tried numerous bags to try and stop the leaks but eventually said that there was nothing they could do to stop my daily stoma bag leaks. At almost 24 years old to be told that nothing would work and this would have to be something I would need to get used to it seemed like the end of the world!!
A leaking stoma bag becoming part of everyday life is not something anyone wants to have to get used to- especially a busy young woman in my final year at university training to be a secondary school teacher. It was like the final straw after having a bad three years where at times I didn’t leave the house for fear of not knowing where the nearest toilets were.
So I contacted my insurance company who weren’t able to recommend any Colorectal nurses who could offer me any help. Instead my insurance company suggested I see a Colorectal Surgeon and was referred to Mr Tariq Ismail at The Priory Hospital in Edgbaston. As the problem didn’t lie with my actual Stoma itself and I didn’t require any further surgery Mr Ismail kindly referred me to his Colorectal Nurse Specialist Mandy Smart who I saw promptly within just a few days of my initial consultation with Mr Ismail.
Prior to my first meeting with Mandy we spoke over the phone where she listened to my issues, by then I was distraught and ready to give up with my stoma. I was very impressed when I first met Mandy, she was prepared with about 4 different types of stoma bags from different suppliers for me to experiment with. Mandy noticed that stoma was a slightly odd shape and fell to one side which could have been one of the reasons I was having the leakages. Time just wasn’t an issue with Mandy and my first meeting with her lasted well over an hour, she gave me lots of advice about bags and diet to try and stop the leaks. Mandy was very positive and told me that leaks were not normal and together we would stop them.
After going home after my first consultation with Mandy my bag did still leak and the following week I saw her twice in the same week- and had started to have some success. After continuing to experiment with different bags that Mandy obtained for me from different manufacturers I’m pleased that I’ve only suffered two leaking bags in almost 3 weeks but I am hopeful this will settle. Compared to having leaks everyday this is a big relief and already has had a positive impact upon my life and I can start to lead a normal again and for a long time I can finally see light at the end of the tunnel, though it still not perfect. Mandy was a great support to me throughout this trial and error process, even texting me on a weekend to see how I was getting on and this I did really appreciate.
It has only been 8 weeks since I had my operation where I had my Stoma bag fitted- the first few weeks post-op where I was told by the NHS nurses that I would have to get used to having a leakage everyday made me question whether I had done the right thing having the operation and I was considering having a reversal- this was a question that I asked Mr Ismail when I met him and he said to wait until I had met with Mandy until I considered this any further. Mandy has made a big difference- before I met with her and tried various options, I was having regular leaks I thought it was the end of the world. Although things still aren’t 100% perfect as it has only been 8 weeks since my operation and I am still getting used to the physical changes of having a stoma bag, thanks to Mandy’s help I know things have improved and for the time she spent with me I feel grateful to have had her expertise and that I can begin to look forward to my future.
Nikki | Crohn's Disease | Ileostomy Formation
Almost ten years ago when I was 41 I was diagnosed with an anal fistula and had surgery at a private hospital in Warwickshire. What started out as being quite a treatable condition with surgery became complex due to the nature of the fistula- it was long and narrow abscess that was poisoning me. I was referred to a colorectal surgeon in Harley Street London who recommended more exploratory investigations.
Due to the inconvenience of having to travel from the Midlands to London to undergo operations, as well as issues with my health insurance, my top Harley Street colorectal surgeon- highly recommended that I transfer my care to the highly reputable, Midlands based Colorectal surgeon Mr Simon Radley of the Birmingham Bowel Clinic.
I was immediately put at ease when in February 2012 I met with Simon Radley at the Priory Hospital in Birmingham. I found him really easy to talk to and that year I underwent 2 further operations with him to treat my anal fistula. However I was still having problems and in November 2012 Mr Radley recommended the best way forward would be to bite the bullet after undergoing a total of 40 operations in ten years and have a colostomy formation - meaning I would have a colostomy bag fitted. At the same time I also met with Mr Radley’s Colorectal nurse Mandy Smart, who was extremely helpful throughout- offering me lots of relevant literature and kept in touch with me after the consultation via phone to make sure all my questions were answered leading up to my operation.
As a 51 year old professional man who enjoys sport, especially Rugby I found the prospect of living with a colostomy bag a very psychologically daunting one. Mandy was again a great help during this anxious time with me having consultations with her where I was able to try out fitting the bags on my stomach and went through the practicalities of how to fit the bags, dealing with the adhesives and we experimented with different ones she had sourced and she would encourage me to see how they looked underneath my clothes. I was really relieved to that I couldn’t see the bag underneath my shirt, which was a much needed psychological boost before undergoing my operation. This was a help as I didn’t know anyone who wore a stoma bag so knew little about them and what they looked like.
Mr Radley came to see me whilst I was an inpatient every day- both morning and evening for the 5 days that I was in hospital after my operation. On my discharge from hospital Mandy telephoned me every other day to check on how was getting on with my stoma bag and still sends me samples of the different stoma bags available. I think Mandy is extremely suited to her role- extremely kind and caring and for this I will always be very grateful.
The first week after the operation was a very trying time for me and psychologically a very difficult transition having a stoma bag fitted. However a trying time made a lot easier thanks to the care and support offered by Mr Radley and Mandy and I know that thanks to Mr Radley’s surgical skills I have not been in any pain since my operation.
I have been pleased that having the bag on hasn’t interfered all with me resuming normal everyday activities- including exercise. I do lots of walking, cycling and enjoy county league golf – in fact not long after the operation I was still hitting my golf shots! I had my operation 7 weeks ago and returned to work sooner than anticipated as I felt so well after 6 weeks. It all went a lot smoother than I thought it would thanks to the expertise of Mr Radley and Mandy and I would recommend anyone that needs this type of operation to seek treatment with them- I now wish I’d had it done years ago!
Dean Baxter | Anal Fistula | Colostomy Formation
For about 2-3 years I’d developed piles and was starting to become more concerned about them for hygiene reasons. I was also becoming very conscious- if not over-conscious about them- and they were restricting what I could wear- especially during the summer months I wasn’t able to wear light trousers.
I underwent a banding of haemorrhoids procedure about 12 months ago which was very painful at my local private hospital in Leicester. However the haemorrhoids returned and I did some research on the internet about other treatment options and was pleased when I found out that there was a more minimally invasive option out there called the HALO procedure.
I finally bit the bullet again and went to see my GP and told him that I had found out about the HALO procedure – he was unable to tell me anymore about it as he had never heard of it – probably as it’s not available on the NHS. However he was able to recommend a surgeon in Birmingham called Mr Tariq Ismail, who coincidentally my wife and I had seen feature on the health programme “Embarrassing Bodies”.
When I saw Mr Ismail of the Birmingham Bowel Clinic in his outpatient clinic at the Priory Hospital in Birmingham he gave me a quick examination and chatted to me further about the HALO procedure. I also saw Mandy Smart the Colorectal Nurse who was very professional.
His secretary offered me a date for my surgery and a few weeks later on 17th November 2012 I underwent the HALO procedure with Mr Ismail. It can be done as a day case but as I had a catheter fitted I did have to stop in hospital overnight. I then developed problems with my waterworks and had to have the catheter in for 10 days. Mr Ismail referred me to one of his Urology Consultant colleagues at The Priory Hospital where it was discovered that I had also been suffering with an enlarged prostate, so I underwent a Green Light Laser procedure to sort this out, which entailed another overnight stay in hospital.
I was 100% for Christmas!!! Everyone was amazed by how well I looked. I am truly grateful to Mr Ismail and his team for this. I would absolutely 110% recommend Mr Ismail and the HALO procedure.
Mr K. | HALO Procedure
I’d been plagued with health problems since I was just 18 years old- I am now 42 and feel that thanks to the treatment that I have received by Mr Simon Radley I can make up for lost time and start to live my life to the full again!
I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis at just 18 years of age, which I found difficult especially as had no-one of a similar age to talk to who had been through the same experience.
I had an operation to have a pouch fitted four years later when I was 22. For almost 20 years I lived with the pouch and although had no problems with it I never quite trusted the pouch fully.
At the end of 2010, early 2011 I had more issues with the pouch which suddenly escalated very quickly which saw me being admitted to my local NHS hospital one evening as an emergency patient as my symptoms suddenly flared up and I was in lots of pain. As I was still under the private care of another Consultant, my local NHS hospital made me as comfortable overnight as possible and the next day I was transferred to The Priory Hospital in Birmingham as a private patient.
The Consultant whose care I was under, Professor Keighley had reduced his private practice and was no longer performing operations, however he was continuing to see patients in an outpatient capacity. Professor Keighley referred me to see one of his reputable and trusted colleagues Mr Simon Radley of the Birmingham Bowel Clinic, who also practiced at the Priory Hospital.
When I had my first consultation with Mr Radley I found him to be extremely reassuring, easy to talk to, as well as nice and relaxed in his approach. This in turn made me feel very relaxed and comfortable. At my first meeting with Simon Radley I also met his specialist Colorectal Nurse Mandy Smart who is an absolute star! She was always there and contactable whenever I needed her, and still is, a few months on from having my final operation.
Between June 2011 and November 2012 I underwent eleven operations with Mr Radley. As my internal pouch was 20 years old it developed complications, as well as fistulas forming and I had to undergo operations in order for these to be drained. An Ileostomy operation was going to be the last resort and I am thankful to Mr Radley for trying other options first; however I was relieved when it was decided in that I should have my intestines removed and have an Ileostomy created.
As I am now a “regular” patient with Mr Radley I have nothing but praise for him, his nurse Mandy and all of the nursing staff at the Priory. Before each operation Mr Radley would come and see me and discuss the procedure, however as I had such confidence in him I was never nervous about the operation, more so about the recovery afterwards. Mandy was such a great support to both me and my parents though the time I was constantly in and out of hospital. Mr Radley would always explain often quite complex medical information in a way which both me and my parents could understand. I felt that I could ask him any question, no matter how silly it may have sounded. I would totally recommend him and both my parents and I cannot sing his praises enough.
A few months after undergoing a major life-changing operation I feel fantastic! I no longer have the constant worry about finding toilets; I only have to change my pouch every other day and can empty it in less than a minute! I feel that I have my life back again and it has made me realise that life is for living and I am making up for lost time where I have been ill! I am about to start a new job which is very exciting and I would have felt apprehensive about doing before undergoing treatment with Mr Radley as my health was holding me back.
I would be more than happy to talk to anyone who is considering having an Ileostomy fitted. I am glad I did- I feel like a different person now- and all of my family and friends feel like they have got the “old Mike” back!!
Mike Beard | Ulcerative Colitis | Ileostomy Formation
I underwent very invasive surgery with Mr Simon Radley 8 weeks ago to treat my haemorrhoids and I’m very glad that I did!
For several years I’d had quite excessive anal skin tags which were bothering me for cosmetic reasons. Not only that but they were uncomfortable, and would get irritated by my underwear. I was also becoming worried how they were going to affect me as I got older. I spoke to my GP about it a few times when finally 4 years ago I was referred on the NHS to see a consultant at my local hospital. However, due to a change of address my appointments got mixed up and I never got around to seeing a consultant on the NHS.
I eventually got around to speaking to my GP again about the skin tags, and he highly recommended that I should go and see Mr Simon Radley, a local colorectal surgeon based at the Birmingham Bowel Clinic who had an excellent reputation. Mr GP wasn’t wrong! I saw Mr Radley in his outpatient clinic at the Priory Hospital and I found him to be a nice man- very clear, concise and easy to talk to- despite this being quite a personal issue.
I was glad of this, as what I had thought were excessive skin tags and had been suffering with for years, actually turned out to be a bad case of haemorrhoids. Mr Radley was able to assure me in a nice matter of fact manner that this operation was something he performed on a regular basis and would easily be able to sort out for me. My piles and skin tags were so severe that I wasn’t suitable for the more minimal invasive operation, instead I had to undergo the more invasive surgery- a haemorrhoidectomy.
Also at my initial outpatient appointment I met with Mr Radley’s nurse- Mandy Smart who was also able to answer some of my questions- it was nice to have a lady around when talking about such a personal subject and she also acted as a chaperone when Mr Radley examined me.
I had my operation a few weeks later- a date at my own convenience at the beginning of October. On the morning of my operation I saw Mr Radley again who explained more about the stitches and recovery- that I had to be aware about keeping my bowels regular through diet and fluid intake. I was only in hospital for the day after having a general anaesthetic. I didn’t actually feel as bad as I thought I was going to and I was able to go back to work the following week, although it was uncomfortable.
Two months after my haemorrhoidectomy, I would say that I am 90% recovered. It was a very uncomfortable and invasive procedure, but well worth it. Cosmetically I’m really pleased with the end result- I now feel “normal” again. I felt disfigured before the operation.
I'm exceptionally pleased with Mr Radley (who I saw 6 weeks post-op) and also with his nurse Mandy.
I have already recommended Mr Radley to some of my friends who also suffer from haemorrhoids. I would 100% recommend him to anyone else who is looking for haemorrhoid treatment.
K. E. | Haemorrhoidectomy
About three years ago whilst I was out shopping I smelt something awful, and saw a baby nearby and immediately thought it needed to have its nappy changed.
I was mortified when I realised the smell was actually coming from me, and that I had actually soiled myself and not even realised.
After this embarrassing episode, faecal incontinence became a regular occurrence and part of my everyday life, with me constantly worrying about having an “accident” and it actually happening about once every two weeks.
I absolutely hated what was happening to me and it had a huge impact upon my life and daily activities. I could never go far from home and if I had to go anywhere I was always checking and making sure I knew where the nearest toilets were.
I always had to wear faecal incontinence pads so I was always prepared just in case, and to make matters worse I couldn’t feel if I had leaked and didn’t feel the sensation if it had happened. It was always on my mind that I could soil myself at any time. I was so embarrassed that I only wanted to tell my husband about my incontinence- none of my friends or family knew. I had heard of Mr Simon Radley at the Birmingham Bowel Clinic and went to meet with him as an outpatient at The Priory Hospital. He diagnosed me as having a weak back passage and about a year or so ago in 2011 I underwent an operation to treat the problem.
Unfortunately the operation didn’t resolve my faecal incontinence and I was still having “accidents” about once every two weeks.
Mr Radley suggested a new non-surgical treatment for me called Percuataneous Posterior Tibial Nerve Stimulation which was just about to be implemented at the Birmingham Bowel Clinic. In May 2012 I was one of the first patient to undergo this treatment programme, which was performed by Mr Radley’s Colorectal Nurse Specialist - Mandy Smart.
The Percuataneous Posterior Tibial Nerve Stimulation treatment was a 12 week course of thirty minute sessions where Mandy inserted a needle into my ankle which then stimulated the nerves leading to my back passage. I attended the treatment every week where I always saw Mandy, and occasionally would see Mr Radley. Overall it was a very pleasant experience - during my treatment I would sit and relax, have a cup of coffee and a chat with Mandy. It was a huge relief when I noticed an improvement after 9 weekly sessions.
I have now completed the 12 week treatment programme. It is a huge relief that I no longer suffer with incontinence and I feel that I am getting my life back. I still get an occasional mucus type discharge from my back passage and for my own peace of mind still wear a pad “just in case” but it’s only been a few weeks since I completed the course of treatment and I’m sure the longer that the longer that time passes with not having any mishaps, the more confident I will be in not having to wear any pads at all.
I have been very pleased with the treatment that I have received under the care of Mr Radley and his nurse Mandy and would recommend the service to anyone suffering from similar problems.
Mrs P. | Faecal Incontinence | Percutaneous Posterior Tibial Nerve Stimulation
Four months have now passed since I underwent life-saving and life-changing surgery under the diligent care of Mr Simon Radley and his talented team and his surgical colleagues across other surgical specialities, including urology, plastic surgery and orthopaedics.
After undergoing an eleven hour operation and subsequent 5 and a half week stay in hospital I feel extremely fortunate as if I had not undergone the operation then I wouldn’t be here today to share my experience with others. As I feel very lucky, I would like to urge other people to not ignore any symptoms; as if I had ignored mine it would have been too late for me.
About a year ago in May 2011, I felt absolutely dreadful. I was normally a very active 58 year old and I was unnaturally tired for no reason and unusually couldn’t keep up when walking with my husband! I passed small amounts of blood when using the toilet (which made me anaemic, contributing to the tiredness), as well as a change in bowel habit, I knew in my heart it was cancer. I was very pro-active and quickly saw my GP; however, I got the impression that cancer wasn’t being considered at this stage.
As I live in the countryside, I sought treatment locally at a smaller private hospital, where after undergoing some tests (including a flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy and gastroscopy) under the care of a colorectal surgeon and oncologist, it was confirmed I had a cancerous bowel tumour.
I underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy to shrink the tumour- which it did, but they weren’t able to confirm by how much. After further tests (MRI, CT and PET scans) it was discovered that although the tumour was large, the main problem was it was in a very awkward position in the lower end of my bowel which conventional surgery wouldn’t be able to reach as all of my back passage, bladder (including all the organs in my pelvic cavity, including female reproductive organs) and lower end of my spine were in the way.
The consultant told me he wouldn’t be able to help me any further, as the treatment I needed was far too complex. He recommended that I sought the specliased services of Mr Simon Radley in Birmingham, as well as an orthopaedic surgeon, Mr Lee Jeyes who works with Mr Radley on complex cases where the lower part of the spine obstructs the bowel.
I met with Mr Radley in his consulting rooms at The Priory Hospital in December 2011. He was very kind and I appreciated that he offered to examine me under local anaesthetic as he needed to see exactly where the tumour was. After the examination he was able to confirm the procedure I needed to undergo was a “Sacrectomy and Pelvic Extenteration” which would take about eleven hours to perform and would involve a team of consultants from other specialist medical areas including urology, orthopaedics (Consultant Mr Lee Jeyes), plastic surgery (Consultant Mr Peart) and anaesthesia (Consultant Dr Manji).
At all times Mr Radley kept a calm and positive manner and was able to explain the risks of the lengthy operation to me in a positive way that he filled me with confidence. He also offered me the reassurance and explanation that if something did go wrong what they could do to rectify- i.e. loss of bladder control, which I felt was a sacrifice I was willing to make to save my life.
At the outpatient stage I also met with Mr Radley’s Colorectal Specialist Nurse, Mandy Smart who gave me all of her contact details and I was grateful that she encouraged me to communicate with her whenever I liked, and also offering me the right degree of sympathy which was appreciated.
Due to the complex nature of my operation and the multi-disciplinary team approach it required, it was performed at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and that it where I stayed for the five and half weeks afterwards. Mr Radley came to see me everyday to check on my progress, and if he couldn’t attend due to being on holiday for a week or on some weekends, one of his surgical registrars came to check on my progress instead. I was also visited by the other consultants who were involved in my operation, as well as being under the watchful care of the on duty doctors on the ward.
Although I wouldn’t wish what I have had to go through on anyone, the service and level of care that I received couldn’t have been any better and was as excellent as it possibly could have been. I was treated with the upmost levels of respect and dignity throughout everything by everyone involved in my care, and was treated as an individual and was always spoken to personally by the team. Importantly also my family (husband and three children) were also treated with the same respect and made to feel very welcome throughout and we all appreciated this very much.
I was always encouraged to ask as many questions that I wanted- no matter how trivial they may have seemed.
Four months after my life-saving operation, I now have quarterly follow- up appointments with Mr Radley. Although I am experiencing a few issues regarding my bladder, this hasn’t come as a surprise as I was forewarned it could be an issue from the outset and I have some urology appointments and scans soon. I feel that I have been fortunate to maintain a good quality of life and have had a good outcome.
Nobody would want to have such an operation performed, but the manner in which I was treated makes such a positive difference. I would thoroughly recommend Mr Simon Radley and will be eternally grateful for his kindness and professionalism.
Heather Davies | Bowel Cancer
I had been experiencing some problems, and had an idea what my condition was- which I suspected was a rectal prolapse and was causing me some discomfort.
My daughter is a local GP and she recommended that I should see a consultant based at the Birmingham Bowel Clinic at the Priory Hospital in Edgbaston called Mr Simon Radley, who specialises in treatment for these types of problems.
I underwent surgery with Mr Radley (a laparoscopic rectopexy and sacrocolpopexy) and spent a few nights in hospital at the Priory Hospital where all of the nursing staff were very pleasant towards me.
I am no longer in any pain or discomfort. I still experience some problems when using the toilet, however when I saw Mr Radley as an outpatient a month after undergoing my procedure he assured me this was normal. I also try to help myself as much as possible by following a good diet and eating lots of fruit and vegetables.
I am glad I underwent my procedure with Mr Radley and would recommend him to anyone suffering with similar problems.
Mrs Clarke | Anal Incontinence | Laparoscopic Keyhole Surgery
I am recovering well after undergoing a laparoscopic anterior resection and formation of ileostomy operation under the care of Mr Simon Radley in December 2011, to remove a cancerous growth that was discovered in my rectum.
Although I am a normally fit and healthy 81 year old it was during an appointment with my GP about a totally unrelated medical complaint that I happened to mention to her about my very vague bowel symptoms which included a slight mucus discharge and slight bleeding from my back passage. Although I had no pain I had a suspicision that something wasn’t quite right.
I decided to use my private medical insurance and my GP recommended that I see Mr Simon Radley from the Birmingham Bowel Clinic which is based locally at The Priory Hospital for further investigation of my vague symptoms.
When I met Mr Radley for the first time in my outpatient appointment found him to be very concise, polite and clear in his explanation to me of my symptoms, possible diagnosis and way forward. I very much appreciated this. I then had some further tests and scans which quickly confirmed my diagnosis and was soon given a date to undergo surgery to remove the tumour.
On the day of my operation, and following my operation (I was an inpatient for ten days) Mr Radley diligently came to see me everyday to check on my progress. He was very approachable and I felt that I could freely ask him any question I had without any hesitation. He would always take the time to answer all of my questions in a clear manner which I appreciated.
Since the operation now have a Stoma bag, something which I may consider having reversed in the future if possible. Mandy Smart the Colorectal Nurse has been extremely helpful with helping me get to grips with the stoma bags. Mandy has been wonderful- so kind and caring and always available to help me whenever I need her.
I would 110% thoroughly recommend the services of Mr Simon Radley and his team at the Birmingham Bowel Clinic. Going through the diagnosis of rectal cancer and surgery cannot be a pleasant experience but thanks to Mr Radley I feel that the entire experience has been made as pleasant and comfortable as it possibly could have been.
I feel very lucky to have received such excellent care in your hands- thank you.
Heather Davies | Bowel Cancer