A rapid access centre of excellence for diagnostic screening is available at Nuffield Health’s Cardiff Bay Hospital. In addition to the recently installed SIGNA Artist MRI scanner, specialists also offer capsule endoscopy, which is the latest digital procedure to examine the intestine to evaluate small bowel disease.

Capsule Endoscopy is a pill-sized camera, like a cod liver oil capsule, which the patient swallows and which then takes digital images of the inside of the digestive system every two seconds for an eight hour period. Sensors are worn on a belt around the waist, which are attached to a digital recording device in a small carry case. Whilst the recording occurs, the wearer can go home and carry on with normal activities and simply hand in the recorder the following day for analysis.

Carol Adey & Dr Raj

Lead Endoscopy Nurse, Carol Adey explains, “In contrast to endoscopy or colonoscopy, patients do not require sedation.  As long as they drink plenty of water throughout, patients do not feel anything as the capsule passes through their system. The body will naturally pass the capsule from the body the same day. Patients swallow the tiny camera with a glass of water, and then, during a short subsequent visit, the images obtained wirelessly are stored in a ‘walkman sized’ data recorder, downloaded and examined by the consultant.”

Dr Lawrence Sunder Raj says, “Capsule endoscopy is used to examine the small intestine, which is found between the stomach and the large bowel. It can be useful in the evaluation of suspected small bowel diseases. It is particularly indicated for patients with unexplained internal bleeding or iron deficiency anaemia, and also gives valuable information in patients with other suspected small bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease, polyps, tumours or leaking blood vessels.”

The expanding hospital in Cardiff Bay is part of Nuffield Health Cardiff and Vale Hospitals and also supports the tranquilly located Vale Hospital at Hensol. The two hospital sites regularly receive excellent scores of 97% for overall patient satisfaction from both insured and self-pay patients Developments such as capsule endoscopy and the new MRI scanner mean a step-change in imaging quality, enhancing the quality and speed of private healthcare for patients in Cardiff and South East Wales.

For more information, please see: www.nuffieldhealth.com/hospitals/cardiff-and-vale/

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