Upper GI Surgery

e have a strong interest in minimally invasive laparoscopic (key hole) surgery and specialize in benign upper gastrointestinal conditions. We work closely with the colorectal surgeons and the gastroenterologists in our hospital to provide an effective multidisciplinary service.

Your health is very important to us and our patient pathways have been carefully developed to provide patients with the best experience from referral through to post-operative care. We aim to perform most of our surgery as a day case or overnight stay (one night in hospital). As a result we have one of the shortest waiting lists in the country and one of the highest-rated services by our patients in the NHS friends and family test.

Upper GI cancer surgery is performed in the regional centre, Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, as per National Guidelines, however, the unit is part of the Cancer Network and provides the whole range of initial management, including investigations & diagnosis. The North Devon unit is supported by a multidisciplinary team consisting of Cancer Nurse Specialists, Gastroenterologists, Radiologists, Oncologists and Pathologists. A video-conference is held fortnightly with Derriford Hospital in Plymouth to agree management plans for our patients and ensure timely treatment.

The unit also participates in the Emergency Surgery service, providing specialist care for complex Upper GI conditions such as severe pancreatitis and gastric volvulus. We have a well-developed fast-track pathway for patients with acute cholecystitis and gallstone pancreatitis ensuring timely surgical intervention where appropriate.

Our services

We provide a number of services including the assessment and treatment of:

  • Diagnostic and Therapeutic Upper GI Endoscopy
  • Treatment of diseases of the gall bladder and bile duct problems as well as pancreatitis
  • Investigation and treatment of gastro-oesophageal problems including reflux (GORD), hiatus hernia, Barrett’s oesophagus and ulcer disease
  • Investigation and treatment of disorders of the spleen
  • Achalasia of the oesophagus
  • Treatment of hernias – inguinal, femoral, umbilical, spigellian, lumbar, incisional and epigastric hernias

We also carry out a number of procedures including:

  • Laparoscopic cholecystectomy and Bile duct exploration
  • Laparoscopic antireflux Surgery
  • Laparoscopic hiatal hernia repair
  • Splenectomy – laparoscopic and open
  • Heller procedure (Cardiomyotomy)
  • Inguinal hernia repair – laparoscopic and open
  • Incisional and ventral hernia repair – laparoscopic and open

Meet the team

  • Mr David Sanders BSc, MBCHB, FRCS, MD, PGDipMedEd (Clinical Lead for Upper GI Surgery)
  • Mr Anjum Arain MBBS, FRCS, PGdipLapSurg (Locum Consultant GI Surgeon)
  • Mr Maciej Pawlak MD, PhD (Consultant Upper GI and Abdominal Wall Surgeon)
  • Mr John Findlay BMedSci (hons) BMBS (hons) PhD FRCS



Ms Angela McEnaney (Secretary for Mr D Sanders and Mr K Natarajan)

(Internal Ext 2749)

Direct Tel: 01271 322749

Fax: 01271 335917

Email: angela.mcenaney@nhs.net

Mrs Alison Ravenhill (Secretary for Mr Arain)

(Internal Ext 2749)

Direct Tel: 01271 322749

Fax: 01271 335917

Email: angela.mcenaney@nhs.net

Sonia Woodage

(Internal Ext 2749)

Direct Tel: 01271 322749

Fax: 01271 335917



Cancer Nurse Specialists

Mrs Sarah Dowson

Direct Tel: 01271 314147

Mr Martin Peters

Direct Tel: 01271 314147

Email: plh-tr.HPBPeninsulaSurgery@nhs.net

Mrs Sarah Hine (Upper GI Theatre Sister)

Helpful videos


Patient information leaflets

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Blood transfusion

Breast Care Nursing Service

Breast clinic

Cardiac surgery (advice following)

Care of your child after their operation

Caring for your eyelid after surgery

Carpal tunnel decompression (discharge note)

Cataract surgery

Circumcision (child)

Cyclodiode laser (eye treatment)

Dacryocystorhimostomy (DCR)

Day surgery advice for breast care patients

Day Surgery Unit (welcome to)

Discharge from the Day Surgery Unit

Discharge from the Day Surgery Unit (child)

Enhanced recovery programme (bowel surgery)

Fasting before operation (easy read)

Fundoplication (anti-reflux surgery)

Gallbladder operation (Laparoscopic cholecystectomy)

Going into Day Surgery (easy read)

Gynaecological procedure – aftercare

Hernia repair

Nerve blocks for surgery on the shoulder, arm or hand

Para-oesophageal hernia repair

Petter Day Treatment Unit

Preparing for your planned procedure: coronavirus precautions

Pruritus ani

Reasonable Adjustment Pathway for children and young people

Removal of Haemorrhoids (Haemorrhoidectomy)

Rubber band ligation

Selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT)

Spinal surgery

Squint surgery (adult)

Squint surgery in children

Suppression treatment before surgery

Surgical emergency clinic

T.U.R.P. (Transurethral Resection of the Prostate)

Trabectome surgery (eye operation)


Ultrasound guided drain insertion

Ultrasound scan (surgery)

Waiting for have an operation – what happens next?



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Last updated: January 03, 2023