Dr McLaughlin performs colonoscopy at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital and the Nuffield Hospital Bournemouth. He and a fellow consultant colleague provide the complex colonoscopy service. This provides a dedicated service to remove the larger more difficult polyps, dilated strictures and perform other specialist techniques. He is fully JAG accredited in both diagnostic and therapeutic colonoscopy.
Background to the test
Colonoscopy is usually performed as a day case procedure and is a test which allows examination of the large bowel (and the last part of the small bowel) using a special camera (a colonoscope). During the test tissue specimens (biopsies) can be taken which can help with diagnosis and abnormal growths (polyps) can be removed.
The test itself usually takes about half an hour and is commonly performed following a sedative and painkiller but can also be performed under general anaesthesia. In patients who receive sedation most find the test uncomfortable at times but tolerable.
Common indications for colonoscopy include
A change in your bowel habit (to either diarrhoea or constipation)
A strong family history of bowel cancer (one first degree relative under the age of 45 years or two first degree relatives with bowel cancer)
Anaemia (low blood count)
Bleeding from the back passage
Surveillance (follow-up) after the removal of colonic polyps
Surveillance in patients with known ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
Evaluation of known ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
Investigation following abnormal X-ray tests including MRI or CT.
Investigation following abnormal faecal occult blood testing
Preparing for the procedure
Patients will need to follow a special diet which starts the day before the procedure; you should only drink ‘clear fluids` and avoid eating. Clear fluids include black tea and coffee (no milk), fizzy drinks, cranberry juice and thin soups (without any bits in or strained). In addition the bowel preparation (laxative) will also need to be consumed. Specific details will be provided on an information sheet before your procedure and will depend on what time of day your procedure is scheduled.
Some medications may need to be stopped before the test.
If sedation or general anaesthesia is given you will need to be collected by a responsible adult and you should not drive, operate machinery or make any legal decisions for 24 hours.
What to expect during the procedure
A sedative will be given via a needle in the back of your hand. You will usually be asked to lie on your left side and the doctor will examine your anal canal (back passage) before inserting the colonoscope. The colonoscope will be gently guided around the large bowel and air inflated to help the doctor examine the bowel properly, this may make you feel bloated. During the procedure a nurse will monitor your oxygen levels and pulse.
Colonoscopy is usually very safe, rarely however complications may occur (usually in less than 1000 procedures). Complications include perforation (a tear or hole in the lining of the gut) and bleeding from taking biopsies, removal of polyps or other therapeutic procedures. Rarely a reaction to the sedative given may occur.
Private colonoscopy Bournemouth, Dorset
To arrange a private colonoscopy at the Nuffield hospital Bournemouth please contact Dr McLaughlin’s private secretary;