As a consultant surgeon for more than eight years, Colin Elton is used to treating patients with a range of conditions.

Treating them in front of more than three million viewers, however, is a more unusual experience - something he discovered when he appeared on an episode of Channel 4's Embarrassing Bodies last week.

The consultant general and colorectal surgeon at Spire Bushey Hospital, in Heathbourne Road, treated a patient on Friday's episode of the popular health programme.

"It was a privilege to be part of the programme," he said. "I organise a show every year so I'm used to being on the stage, but the difference with this was that it was being televised to people I don't know."

In the pre-recorded show, Mr Elton, performed surgery on London patient, Hannah Parry, who was suffering from haemorrhoids (piles) and chronic constipation.

As well as successfully treating his 26-year-old patient, the father-of-two got an insight into the tricks-of-the-trade used during the programme.

"I would speak to Hannah about something and then the crew would ask me to do it again to the camera," he said.

"It was the same during surgery. Afterwards the crew got me to repeat things I'd said in theatre and they would get a different angle, or they would get me to pretend I was still operating."

Despite the presence of the film crew, Mr Elton said he was not distracted.

"As a surgeon, you are used to being in theatre, with a lot of people looking on and you are used to switching off and concentrating," he said.

Patients who put themselves forward to feature on Embarrassing Bodies, which pulls in about 3.5 million viewers per episode, receive free private healthcare in exchange for the hospital gaining publicity.

Mr Elton added: "In this country we tend to sit on our problems - we do not like to talk about them, so a lot of people suffer in silence.

"I think there is a voyeuristic pleasure in watching the show because you see people exposing themselves completely, and sharing problems they would not tell a friend or relative.

"Looking back, there was an element of enjoyment about being on the show, and I hope more patients will come to us with their problems because of it."