Mr Brian Stephenson

Consultant General Surgeon

BSc (Hons) MBBS FRCS (Ed) FRCS (Eng) Master of Surgery (Univ. of London)

Professional profile

I have a wide experience in all aspects of elective and emergency surgery having trained in London, Leeds and South Wales. 

I see private patients at St Joseph's Hospital. I have a busy NHS practice and run the Trusts Hernia pathway to streamline and improve patient care.

I have a busy surgical practice having spent some time as a missionary surgeon in South Africa in my early career. I am fortunate to be able to continue operating in many foreign countries on a charitable/humanitarian basis, primarily on groin hernia patients.

Whilst I am a trained general and colorectal surgeon my main sub-specialist interest is in groin hernia surgery and, on request, I wrote an authoritative review on open hernia repairs in 2003.

I reviewed the ‘Clinical and cost-effectiveness of laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair’ on behalf of NICE in 2004 and co-authored the UK Groin Hernia guidelines as an 'Issue in Professional Practice' on behalf of the ASGBI (2013) and the BHS consensus statement on the management of groin pain in athletes (2014).

I have given Plenary lectures for the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain & Ireland and the British and European Hernia Societies.

As a general surgeon, I am proud that my audited recurrence rate for primary groin hernia repair in over 3000 cases is less than 1% (UK average 5-10%).

I have taught my techniques to many colleagues in the UK and abroad including on humanitarian missions. I co-founded the British Hernia Society (BHS) ( in 2003. I have set up a hernia database to assess care pathways and have introduced a one-stop hernia service in my NHS practice.

My personal day case rate is over 90% (national rate ~ 60%) and 96% of patients surveyed rating the service as excellent (published 2010). 

Day case groin hernia repair rates in Wales have lagged behind the rest of the UK. Since 2003 I have improved my NHS Trust’s considerably by increasing the number of repairs under local anaesthesia with recommendations published in 2008.

Through the BHS, I have helped set measurable quality standards (infection and length of stay) for hernia repair across the NHS.

I was elected to the Court of Examiners at the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 2004 and appointed to the Intercollegiate Speciality Board in General Surgery in 2009 to maintain the quality of UK consultant surgeons. I am one of only two surgeons recruited by the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain & Ireland to its Welsh Disciplinary Panel.

I am committed to clinical research and have given over 200 presentations at regional, national and international meetings and over 150 publications in peer-reviewed journals with over 2500 citations (inc 43 high-index) (please see

I review for a number of the Journals including Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons, Colorectal Disease and Hernia.


I am committed to the charity; Hernia International that addresses the global problem of hernia by delivering modern techniques of hernia surgery in low-income /resource settings.

I personally investigated the safety and cost-effectiveness of sterilised mosquito net mesh in groin hernia repair, recently visiting: Tanzania (2014), Trinidad (2015), Sri Lanka (2016) and rural India in 2019.

Lower GI surgery

Abdominal pain

Alteration in bowel habit

Diverticular disease

Rectal bleeding


Anal Fissure management (including non-surgical)

Anal Fistulae

Inguinal hernia (including recurrent)

Femoral hernias

Groin pain

All areas of colorectal and anal surgery; I accept Bowel Cancer Direct Access patients who are concerned about their symptoms based on NICE guidelines such as anorectal bleeding, a persistent altered bowel habit and unexplained weight loss.

Abdominal wall hernias; including inguinal hernia and other groin hernias. I specialise in repairs carried out under local anaesthesia for the less fit patient.

Conditions and Treatments

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