The Aberdeen Clinic continues to lead the way when it comes to the diagnosis and treatment of bowel problems in North-east Scotland. The Clinic has now introduced new innovative wireless technology to make examinations of the bowel easier. Using the new capsule colonoscopy patients can have a complete examination of their whole large intestine while at home. Ken Park, Clinical Director of the Aberdeen Clinic, says ‘We are always looking for ways to make examination of the bowel and screening for bowel cancer more acceptable to patients. The new non-invasive colonoscopy will hopefully encourage more people to seek attention for bowel symptoms and not put it off’.

The incidence of bowel problems is relatively high in Scotland. This is generally ascribed to a combination of lifestyle, genetic and geographical factors. In the North-east high consumption of saturated fats, low levels of plant-derived anti-oxidants and cereals produced from soil which is low in the protective trace mineral selenium, all, play their part.

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Ken Park, explains, ‘It is extremely important that patients with bowel symptoms are seen and assessed rapidly as early detection of bowel disease has such an important impact on outcome. That being said, in most people the cause of their symptoms is not anything sinister – the important thing is to determine this at an early stage. The approach we use at the Aberdeen Clinic starts with a comprehensive risk assessment and consultation process, evaluating personal and family medical history, lifestyle and diet. This points us in the right direction and determines what further investigation is required. We aim to get to the right diagnosis as quickly and simply as possible’.

In many patients a colonoscopy examination of the bowel is required to determine the cause for abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, constipation, chronic diarrhoea and other intestinal problems. A conventional colonoscopy is a visual examination of the bowel, and involves the passage of a fibre optic telescope via the rectum around the entire large intestine. The procedure has generally been performed in hospital but the Aberdeen Clinic has utilised the specialist endoscopy centre in the Aberdeen Health Village to allow a less formal environment but ensure that the procedure is performed to the highest possible standards.

Chas Ogilvie, Director of Nursing says, ‘The thought of a colonoscopy can be very daunting to many patients and it is essential that they receive the best possible care and attention. The specialist staff at the Aberdeen Clinic ensure this is the case and are very adept at putting patients at ease. The Clinic performed more than 3,500 procedures last year, making it the largest independent colonoscopy unit in the North-east’.

The Aberdeen Clinic is now able to offer a new, less invasive, colonoscopy technique that involves swallowing a pill and wearing a recording unit on a belt at home. The pill contains a camera, which takes 35 images per second, as it painlessly transits the colon in
a few hours. This technology potentially offers considerable benefits for those who live in rural areas or those who are very busy, as it can be done at their location.

Ken added, ‘We are one of the first clinics in Scotland to offer this approach. The preparation phase is similar to a conventional colonoscopy but the examination is non-invasive and patients can stay at home during the process. It takes the embarrassment and discomfort out of the process, which can be a major source of anxiety for many people, and can put some people off seeking treatment’.

The system has been used in Germany and Denmark for some time and we have teamed up with a centre in Hamburg to perform the analysis; in this way we can ensure that all of our patients benefit from the very best treatment available.
As for the pill, well, it’s disposable and is simply gets flushed away!’

To find out more about the Aberdeen Clinic services contact 0333 014 3488.

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