DIAGNOSTICS & TESTS WE OFFER

Tests, Scans and Endoscopies

 Mr Stellakis offers a range of tests, scans and endoscopies to determine the cause of your symptoms and diagnose a potential colorectal or abdominal condition. These can take place at the Warwickshire Nuffield (Leamington Spa) or The New Foscote Hospital (Banbury). The following are some of the more common tests requested.

Imaging and Scans

 Ultrasound creates images of tissue layers using high-frequency sound waves and it is used to diagnose and visualise conditions such as gallstones, muscle problems and very occasionally hernias. Ultrasound is also very useful to look at the female pelvis to check for gynaecological disease and scrotal and testicular disease in men.

An ultrasound exam is a very safe, painless procedure and no there are radiation is used.

An MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging scan uses a strong magnetic field to create images of the tissues, organs and nerves. It works by realigning the protons in our body which emit radio signals that are transmitted to a computer. The computer can then create images.

There is little or  no preparation required for an MRI scan. You will be asked about whether you have a pacemaker, hearing aids or any fixed metal objects in your body. If you have a pacemaker, you will not be able to have an MRI scan. The procedure takes between 15 and 40 minutes and, for some patients, a dye may need to be injected to give a clearer picture.

An MRI is safe and painless and does not use radiation. It is used to assess gallstone, liver and pancreatic problems also sports hernias and other abdominal wall issues. Occasionally it is used to look more closely at the small bowel or rectum and anus. It is one of the staging tests in rectal cancer.

A CT or computed tomography scan takes multiple images of a specific part of the body. Using computers and rotating X-ray machines, cross-sectional images of the body are created which are more detailed than normal X-ray images and can capture our internal organs, soft tissues, blood vessels and bones.

You do not need to prepare for a CT scan, but you should remove any jewellery and metal objects. Oral and intravenous contrast materials are sometimes used to enhance the images.

A CT scan is a painless procedure and although there is a radiation dose, none remains in the body once the scan is done. It is used in a whole variety of scenarios to look more closely at the organs and structures in the abdomen, pelvis and chest. It is used to stage colorectal cancer and if used in conjunction with bowel prep and air it can give good images of the colon (large bowel). It is therefore an alternative to colonoscopy in certain situations.

Endoscopy

A colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure to examine the bowel. A thin, flexible fibreoptic tube with a camera on one end, which is called a colonoscope, is inserted and Mr Stellakis will then be able to see inside your bowel as images from the camera can be seen on a screen.  Mr Stellakis can also take tissue samples, known as biopsies, through the colonoscope which will then be sent for analysis. Polyps (benign growths) that can be pre-cancerous can also be removed at the time.

A colonoscopy takes approximately a 30 minutes and your bowels need to be empty, so Mr Stellakis will advise you to eat a special diet and take a laxative the day before your procedure. The instructions will be sent to you separately but can also be found here (Nuffield scope only) (hypertext). Patients having their scope at The New Foscote Hospital will be sent instructions directly from the unit.

A sedative is used to help you relax and then the colonoscope is inserted. Although you may experience some intermittent mild discomfort it is not painful. If you opt to have sedation then you need to be aware that you can not drive nor sign legal documents for 24 hours. A responsible adult will need to accompany you overnight.



This is similar in some ways to colonoscopy (see above) but the scope is only past to about a 1/3rd of the whole way round. For this procedure you do not need sedation nor bowel prep the day before. You do have to have a rectal washout or enema just before the procedure and this administered by a nurse in your room. For many this is an adequate and less invasive procedure but does have some drawbacks. Mr Stellakis will advise whether this or a colonoscopy is appropriate for you.

During a gastroscopy or upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, a thin, flexible fibreoptic tube called an endoscope is inserted down the throat to look inside the oesophagus, stomach and the first part of the small intestine, known as a duodenum. The endoscope has a camera at the end sending images to a screen. A gastroscopy generally only takes about 5 minutes or can be longer if a procedure such as biopsies is also being performed. Your throat will be numbed with a local anaesthetic spray and you can also choose to have a sedative.  People worry about this procedure a they fear they will choke or be unable to breathe. Actually, neither of these ever happens and often people are pleasantly surprised at how easy it is. If you have very strong gag reflex (for example when brushing you teeth) then sedation is advised.

If you opt to have sedation then you need to be aware that you can not drive nor sign legal documents for 24 hours. A responsible adult will need to accompany you overnight.

Bowel cancer screening

There is a national bowel cancer screening programme that is run very effectively by the NHS but only starts at 60 and finishes at 75. Some of you may have already partaken in it where you have to send off a tiny sample of stool to check for blood. The general consensus among bowel specialists is that this is age band is too narrow and the hope is that with time it will expand to include men and women in their 50s.

If you are worried about bowel cancer or if you have strong family history you can discuss your options with Mr Stellakis who can put together a bespoke screening programme for you and your family. The tests used are a combination of FIT tests, colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy or scans depending on what is most appropriate.

Tests, Scans and Endoscopies

 Mr Stellakis offers a range of tests, scans and endoscopies to determine the cause of your symptoms and diagnose a potential colorectal or abdominal condition. These can take place at the Warwickshire Nuffield (Leamington Spa) or Foscote Hospital (Banbury). The following are some of the more common tests requested.

Imaging and Scans

 Ultrasound creates images of tissue layers using high-frequency sound waves and it is used to diagnose and visualise conditions such as gallstones, muscle problems and very occasionally hernias. Ultrasound is also very useful to look at the female pelvis to check for gynaecological disease and scrotal and testicular disease in men.

An ultrasound exam is a very safe, painless procedure and no there are radiation is used.

An MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging scan uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to create images of the tissues, organs and nerves. It works by realigning the protons in our body which emit radio signals that are transmitted to a computer. The computer can then create images.

There is little or  no preparation required for an MRI scan. You will be asked about whether you have a pacemaker, hearing aids or any fixed metal objects in your body. If you have a pacemaker, you will not be able to have an MRI scan. The procedure takes between 15 and 40 minutes and, for some patients, a dye may need to be injected to give a clearer picture.

An MRI is safe and painless and does not use radiation. It is used to assess gallstone, liver and pancreatic problems also sports hernias and other abdominal wall issues. Occasionally it is used to look more closely at the small bowel or rectum and anus. It is one of the staging tests in rectal cancer.

A CT or computed tomography scan takes multiple images of a specific part of the body. Using computers and rotating X-ray machines, cross-sectional images of the body are created which are more detailed than normal X-ray images and can capture our internal organs, soft tissues, blood vessels and bones.

You do not need to prepare for a CT scan, but you should remove any jewellery and metal objects. Oral and intravenous contrast materials are sometimes used to enhance the images.

A CT scan is a painless procedure and although there is a radiation dose, none remains in the body once the scan is done. It is used in a whole variety of scenarios to look more closely at the organs and structures in the abdomen, pelvis and chest. It is used to stage colorectal cancer and if used in conjunction with bowel prep and air it can give good images of the colon (large bowel). It is therefore an alternative to colonoscopy in certain situations.

Endoscopy

A colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure to examine the bowel. A thin, flexible fibreoptic tube with a camera on one end, which is called a colonoscope, is inserted and Mr Stellakis will then be able to see inside your bowel as images from the camera can be seen on a screen.  Mr Stellakis can also take tissue samples, known as biopsies, through the colonoscope which will then be sent for analysis. Polyps (benign growths) that can be pre-cancerous can also be removed at the same time.

A colonoscopy takes approximately 30 minutes and your bowels need to be empty, so Mr Stellakis will advise you to eat a special diet and take a laxatives the day before your procedure. The instruction will be sent to you separately but can also be found here (Nuffield scopes only) (hypertext). People having their scope at The New Foscote Hospital will receive instructions forth until there.

A sedative is usually used to help you relax and then the colonoscope is inserted. Although you may experience some intermittent mild discomfort it is not painful. If you opt to have sedation then you need to be aware the  you are prohibited  from driving and signing any legal documents for 24 hours. You will need a responsible adult to stay with you overnight.



This is similar in some ways to colonoscopy (see above) but the scope is only past to about a 1/3rd of the whole way round. For this procedure you do not need sedation nor bowel prep the day before. You do have to have a rectal washout or enema just before the procedure and this administered by a nurse in your room. For many this is an adequate and less invasive procedure but does have some drawbacks. Mr Stellakis will advise whether this or a colonoscopy is appropriate for you.

During a gastroscopy or upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, a thin, flexible fibre-optic tube called an endoscope is inserted down the throat to look inside the oesophagus, stomach and the first part of the small intestine, known as the duodenum. The endoscope has a camera at the end sending images to a screen. A gastroscopy generally only takes about 5 minutes or can be longer if a procedure such as biopsies is also being performed. Your throat will be numbed with a local anaesthetic spray and you can also choose to have a sedative.  People worry about this procedure a they fear they will choke or be unable to breathe. Actually, neither of these ever happens and often people are pleasantly surprised at how easy it is. If you have very strong gag reflex (for example when brushing you teeth) then sedation is advised.

If you opt to have sedation then you need to be aware the  you are prohibited  from driving and signing any legal documents for 24 hours. You will need a responsible adult to stay with you overnight.

Bowel cancer screening

There is a national bowel cancer screening programme that is run very effectively by the NHS but only starts at 60 and finishes at 75. Some of you may have already partaken in it where you have to send of a tiny sample of stool to check for blood. The general consensus among bowel specialists is that this is age band is too narrow and the hope is that with time it will expand to include mean and women in their 50s.

If you are worried about bowel cancer or if you have strong family history you can discuss your options with Mr Stellakis who can put together a bespoke screening programme for you and your family. The tests used are a combination of FIT tests, colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy or scans depending on what is most appropriate.