As any patient who has experienced a conventional colonoscopy will attest, it is not one of the most pleasant experiences, and can be very painful. Sedation is required for an essential diagnostic process that involves inserting a scope into what is often an inflamed intestine. Sedation requires expert administration and normally around two hours of recovery time following the procedure. The new 'painless' procedure does not require sedation or any recovery time and can therefore be provided as part of a more normal outpatient clinic basis. This less involved approach is therefore a very welcome development for both patients and the endoscopy team.
Pioneering Consultant Gastroenterologists
The new painless colonoscopy procedure has been pioneered in the UK by Clinical Lead Consultant Gastroenterologist, Dr "Prem" Premchand and his team including Dr Sergio Coda, Consultant Specialist Gastrointestinal Endoscopist and Clinical Director for Bowel Cancer Screening at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals (pictured right).
The Premchand explained how patients who previously failed conventional colonoscopy due to pain, have subsequently tried the new robotic procedure, received a successful diagnostic outcome and experienced no pain. Anything up to ten to fifteen per cent of patients will not be able to tolerate a conventional colonoscopy.
revolution in endoscopy across the country
Dr Coda said that following many years of work that the implementation of this new approach will hopefully mark a revolution in endoscopy services across the country.
First hospital in UK to offer painless colonoscopy
Following many years of development, the first UK clinic to commence use of the new self-propelled, robotic Endotics system was formally opened on Friday 3rd February at King George's Hospital by Sir David Sloman Chief Operating Officer at NHS England. This makes Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust the first trust and hospital in the country to offer this substantially improved service. After his visit, Sir David said: “The Trust is doing some brilliantly innovative things. It was a pleasure to visit a unit that is clinically led, patient centred and driven by a leadership community that is absolutely focused on improving things for patients and staff alike.”
Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust is the first trust and hospital in the country to offer this substantially improved service. Furthermore, the robotic endoscopes are disposable which means that hospitals do not have to install the decontamination units that are normally associated with conventional endoscopy.
Motion inspired by nature
The Endotics System is CE-marked for diagnostic colonoscopy. Development came about as the result of research into robotic biomimetics which is the application of biological methods and systems found in nature to the study and the design of robotic systems. Dr Premchand explained how the new technology was inspired by the motion seen in nature, and says that this does not involve any pushing of the endoscope, but the the whole instrument advances itself from the front. "There is no pushing, there is no pain and any perforation risk is extremely low. It is inherently safer".
More acceptable for patients
Dr Premchand who is also the Medical Director of the NHS insourcing company medcareworld went on to explain how this new robotic procedure is, "much more acceptable for patients".