Patient quote

"I was a patient in the RVI on Ward 36 - during the time I was in hospital I was treated with the greatest care by the nursing staff.  I have been in quite a few hospitals and the treatment didn't compare to the RVI."  Mr JR

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Jargon buster


A long tube that carries food from the throat to the stomach, also known as the gullet and is part of the digestive system.

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Surgical Services

Upper Gastro Intestinal (GI) Surgery

The Northern Oesophago-Gastric (Upper GastrointestinalI) Unit, based at the Royal Victoria Infirmary is the largest oesophago-gastric cancer unit in Europe where our highly skilled clinicians are recognised internationally for their proven track record in cancer related surgery, with outcomes that have been published in peer-review literature for nearly twenty years and are amongst the best in the world.

A full range of cancer and benign (non cancerous) services are provided for the whole of the North East of England and beyond, and we assess over 550 new cases of cancer affecting the oesophagus (gullet) and stomach every year. 

Nationally renowned expertise in treatment of complex conditions

We provide a comprehensive diagnostic and treatment service for all types of oesophago-gastric and duodenal disorders affecting the upper digestive system, as well as surgical treatment of simple conditions such as hernias involving both open and laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery.  Our clinical expertise covers a wide range of conditions including:

  • Detection and management of Barrett’s oesophagus and associated dysplasia (cell abnormalities) with a surveillance programme introduced in 1990 and supported by a comprehensive database. 
  • Management of upper gastrointestinal stromal tumours and sarcomata (rare types of cancer found in the digestive system), and also both simple and complicated gastro-oesophageal reflux disease.  This includes revisional anti-reflux surgery for correction of acidic gastric juices abnormally returning into the oesophagus, and extensive experience of upper GI diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy to diagnose and treat some conditions such as ulcers, intestinal bleeding, chronic heartburn and gastritis (inflammation of the lining of the stomach).

Clinical excellence with a personal touch

Our staff are committed to providing high quality, personalised care in a safe and comfortable environment.  In 1991 we became the first unit in the UK to set up a multi-disciplinary team approach to look after all suspected oesophago-gastric cancer patients referred to our care which means you receive expert advice, treatment and aftercare, tailored specifically for your individual healthcare needs.   

This team consists of oesophago-gastric surgeons, medical and clinical oncologists, specialist radiologists, palliative care specialists and clinical nurse specialists, with input from two histopathologists and a geneticist specialising in this area of medicine.  They are at the cutting edge of all national and international medical trials and two of the team, Professor Griffin and Dr Sumpter, are members of the National Cancer Research Institute’s Upper GI Clinical Studies Group.

Our clinical nurse specialists provide you with a key link to our service and provide advice and support throughout your care.

Contact us

If you would like any further information regarding any aspect of this service please contact:

  • Claire Sedgwick or Maria Bliss - Upper GI Clinical Nurse Specialists - on tel: 0191 282 0582
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