Meet the Consultant - Mr Said Mohamed
Meet the Consultant- Mr Said Mohamed, Consultant Laparoscopic Colorectal and General Surgeon
What is the most common problem you see patients for?
I consult with patients that are experiencing bleeding from the back passage. This usually occurs after a bowel movement and understandably, most patients find it very alarming. In most cases, it is due to piles (haemorrhoids) which are delicate blood filled sacs that line the back passage. The piles become engorged and swollen with pressure such as straining and are easily torn by the passage of a firm motion or repetitively wiping the area with toilet paper when cleaning.
Bleeding can also be due to more serious conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s and Colitis) and bowel cancer. Therefore bleeding from the back passage requires careful assessment, so that a definitive diagnosis is reached without delay.
What steps can patients take to ease symptoms?
The most important thing to remember is that bleeding from the back passage should not be ignored. If the diagnosis is certain and the bleeding is from piles, patients can take steps to improve the situation. This requires a holistic approach and starts with dietary intake. I advise patients to keep their stools soft by increasing fibre content in their diet. Patients should avoid straining when opening their bowels and should not sit on the toilet longer than five minutes. Finally, patients should be gentle when cleaning themselves so that they do not traumatise the piles. This simple approach is effective for most patients who bleed from small piles.
What signs should patients look out for to alert them to see a consultant?
Any persistent bleeding, blood mixed with the stool, passage of altered blood and the presence of other symptoms such as altered bowel habits, requires detailed assessment and further investigations. Patients who have these symptoms will almost certainly require a camera examination of the back passage (colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy). This is important so that serious conditions such as bowel cancer are not missed.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
The variety and the intensity of the work appeals to me a great deal. Reviewing patients in clinic after they had recovered from surgery and seeing their level of gratitude is both humbling and extremely rewarding.
How did you decide on your career path?
It is a bit of a cliché but I always wanted to help people. Seeing patients at hospital with a serious condition going through surgery and following their recovery progress was very inspiring and led me to go into General Surgery.
What is it like working at Sevenoaks Medical Centre?
The delivery of healthcare is constantly changing and there is a move towards to a more locally centred diagnostic unit. Sevenoaks Medical Centre certainly fits the bill; it is a modern outpatient and diagnostic centre with fantastic facilities that allows me to deliver the patient experience that I would like to have. It feels part of the local community and I enjoy that aspect of it. I am there every Monday afternoon and evening but it is also possible for me to see patients at short notice, at a time that is convenient for them.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I am married and have two young boys, that takes up most of my time outside work. However, I am lucky that my family share my love of nature. We have a family membership for the National Trust and often enjoy visiting historic and heritage sites or going for long walks at beautiful nature reserves.