Leading Liver Specialist

Rare liver disease specialist

About Professor Aftab Ala


GMC number: 3567533
Practising since: 1992




General (internal) Medicine






Professor Aftab Ala is a Consultant Physician at the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Royal Surrey County Hospital since 2015.

He is Professor of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at University of Surrey, Guildford and Professor of Hepatology at Institute of Liver Studies at Kings College Hospital, London.

He qualified from Charing Cross & Westminster (Imperial College Medical School), London in 1992.

Specialist training

He trained in specialist Gastroenterology and Hepatology at King's and Royal Free Hospitals London, before being awarded an Advanced Hepatology Fellowship at Mount Sinai Hospital New York, USA 2003-4 with a focus on rare liver diseases and liver/bowel transplantation.

As a rare liver disease specialist, he was awarded a PhD from University College, London winning a Welcome Trust Research Training fellowship in immune and inflammatory mechanisms linking liver and gut disease.



Treatments and Tests

  • Gastrointestinal tract
  • Liver
  • Colonoscopy
  • Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
  • Diagnostic endoscopy
  • Therapeutic Endoscopy
  • Fibroscan




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Recognised international expertise

Professor Aftab Ala is qualified to perform a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in endoscopy, colonoscopy and fibroscan.

His recognised expertise is in the diagnosis, treatment and management of gastroenterology, liver and pancreato-biliary disease (HPB) and cancer.

The Royal Surrey County Hospital is one of the National HPB and Hepatology centres.

Collectively, Professor Aftab Ala has written or contributed to over 100 peer reviewed international publications and oral presentations.


Clinical Experience


Internal Medicine (GIM)

Read about Professor Aftab's Internal Medicine experience 

  • Professor Aftab has worked effectively with his Consultant Colleagues to provide a 1:7 - 1:13 Acute General Medical on-take commitment with acute GI Bleeding on call service shared with my Surgical Colleagues. He has witnessed change over the years as a consultant with experience of managing large numbers of takes (n>40) with the ability to change and adapt to change in parallel with evolving medical models whilst maintaining safe practice.
  • He have managed in-patients with a variety of acute and chronic general medical conditions including, cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine, renal, neurological, endocrine, haematological, infectious conditions.

Gastroenterology and Endoscopy

Read about Professor Aftab's Gastroenterology and Endoscopy experience 

  • Assessment and management of patients with severe or complex inflammatory bowel disease and appropriate selection of candidates for biological therapy or surgical Intervention.
  • Assessment and management of inpatients with a wide variety of gastrointestinal conditions including intestinal failure and patients with complex parenteral and enteral nutritional requirements, neuro-gastroenterology, upper gi bleeding, gastrointestinal malignancy and hepato- pancreato-biliary disorders.
  • Therapeutic upper endoscopy (non-variceal bleeding, balloon dilation, PEG/PEJ/NJT insertion, enteroscopy).
  • Performed >10,000 endoscopies with therapeutic upper endoscopy including non- variceal bleeding -including clips and Argon Plasma Coagulation(APC), balloon dilation, PEG/PEJ/NJT insertion, enteroscopy.
  • Treatment of refractory oesophageal or primary gastric variceal bleeding (including histoacryl glue/thrombin injection, balloon tamponade)
  • Endoscopic Ultrasound. Oesophageal and pancreatic-biliary, radial and linear modalities diagnostic n=71(with supervision), 19 (independent) and FNA n=12 (with supervision)
  • Colonoscopy (with polypectomy and stricture dilation). Performed >3000 colonoscopies with extensive experience of flexible sigmoidoscopy, diagnostic and therapeutic colonoscopy (with snare polypectomy, stricture dilation, hot biopsy, APC of angiodysplasia/irradiation telangiectasia and terminal ileoscopy). My caecal intubation rates has been 85% with an adenoma detection rate of 20%. 2021-22. 


Video Capsule Endoscopy 

Read about Professor Aftab's Video Capsule Endoscopy experience 

Professor Aftab developed and led the capsule endoscopy service at the Trust, the first in South East Coast (2008-2012). The current provision receives referrals from the neighbouring counties. He have experience of reporting capsule endoscopies and have single reported 64 and double reported 26 capsule endoscopies so far with excellent agreement in the detection of both positive and negative findings including therapeutic suggestions. 

Hepatology and Liver transplantation:

Read about Professor Aftab's Hepatology and Liver transplantation experience 

  • Professor Aftab extended training (gastroenterology and general internal medicine [GIM] - 3 year, Hepatology and liver transplantation[with PhD research]-5 1/2 years) and 18 years as Consultant has allowed me to develop a broad range of clinical skills, techniques and collaborations (see management and leadership section). With his joint post with Kings College Hospital, London this has allowed to further focus on his expertise in genetic metabolic liver disease
  • His particular expertise is in the management of: decompensated liver disease, liver cancer, alcohol liver disease, TIPSS and complications of portal hypertension, auto-immune liver disease, dedicated complex viral hepatitis and community Programmes, bile duct/pancreatic pathology and 6 identification/selection of liver transplant candidates and care of post-transplant patients, rare liver disease including genetics metabolic liver disease including Wilsons disease, alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency, haemochromatosis and porphyria.



Transient elastography (Fibroscan 502 with Mini Probe competence)

Read about Professor Aftab's Transient elastography experience 

  • Professor Aftab has developed, raised funds, manage and lead the liver fibroscan service. The service has grown significantly (n=1112,34.1% increase 2021-3) with further growth from portable Fibro scan n=81 2013- 14. I have trained 1 nurse specialist, I health care worker, 1 consultant and 5 specialist registrars.
  • The Service has received referrals from 5 different subspecialties locally and regionally across South East Coast. 






Professor Aftab Ala is Chair of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at University of Surrey and Professor of Hepatology at Institute of Liver Studies at Kings College Hospital, London.

He is a rare liver disease specialist and is Principal and Chief Investigator in national and multicentre international clinical trials and research related to:

  • Liver disease including hepatitis, fatty, alcohol, autoimmune and rare diseases 
    e.g. Wilsons disease, Alpha-1 antitrypsisn
  • Gastrointestinal inflammation
  • Liver cancer
  • Health inequality

His research is funded by the National Institute for Health and Research (NIHR).

Professor Aftab Ala actively supervises clinical research fellows on the MD/PhD Research Programme in Clinical and Experimental Medicine related to Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the University of Surrey and Institute of Liver Studies, Kings College Hospital, London, and has established international collaborative links to key European and North American Medical Centres.

As a gastroenterologist and rare liver disease specialist, Professor Aftab Ala is supported by a number of international, national and regional grants.




Clinical Research Trials

Professor Aftab's research interests are focused on early diagnosis and developing novel / experimental therapies of liver diseases with particular emphasis towards: (i)rare genetic metabolic liver diseases including Wilson disease, (ii) inequalities of health e.g. viral hepatitis, COVID-19 and its impact on ‘underserved' communities (iii)hepato-pancreatico biliary(HPB) cancer(iv) developing and building ‘big date' with particular emphasis on liver disease