Elmstead Endoscopy Unit
Our endoscopy unit is based in the Elmstead Day Unit.
Endoscopy is used to diagnose or monitor the progression of disease by allowing doctors and nurses to look inside the gut using a fibre-optic camera.
More information is available in leaflet form on the ‘Information Leaflets’ page.
We run gastroenterology and surgical outpatient clinics, as well as a regular specialist multi-disciplinary IBD clinic. This one-stop-shop gives patients the chance to access gastroenterology, surgical and stoma care services, as well as our dietitians and IBD specialist nurses, in one place and at the same time.
We also hold paediatric gastroenterology transition clinics to help young people to make the change from children’s to adult services. For more information, click here.
Any patient who is having surgery at Colchester Hospital will be asked to come to our pre-assessment clinic, where a nurse will talk them through what to expect as well as organising blood tests and an ECG to look at the health of their heart. During the appointment, patients will be given the chance to ask any further questions they may have, as well as discussing consent.
Langham Ward is run by the gastroenterology team and cares for patients who are receiving medical treatment for their IBD rather than surgery. Our nutrition team and dietitians will visit patients on the ward whenever necessary to provide nutritional support and supplements, for example, as well as advice about special diets, such as low fibre or liquid diets.
All patients who have planned surgery for IBD will be looked after by a specialist team of nurses on the Mersea Ward, which is made up of four four-bedded bays and 16 side rooms. Patients will see the surgical team at least twice every day during their admission, and will also be able to take part in our enhanced recovery programme, which aims to help them get better more quickly.
During their stay on the ward, patients will be able to see our specialist dietitians, stoma care nurses and pain teams whenever necessary, and will also have input from the physiotherapy team.
Elective Care Centre
Patients who are having surgery will go to the Elective Care Centre on the morning of their operation, where they can stay with their families in an individual cubicle until they are taken to theatre. Here, their observations will be checked and further blood tests taken if required.
Patients will see the surgical and anaesthetic teams and will be given the chance to ask any further questions about their surgery. They will the sign the consent form before they are taken the theatre suite.
Many patients with IBD will need scans and these happen in our radiology department.
IBD patients who need to have surgery will be operated on in our main theatre complex. The facility is made up of five state-of-the-art operating suites, two of which are dedicated for gastrointestinal surgery.
Two of our theatres have been upgraded to become high definition 3D-ready integrated laparoscopic operating theatres. This means patients can benefit from the latest keyhole surgical techniques delivered using cutting-edge technology.
Equipment in these theatres is mounted on the ceiling so that our surgical teams can easily reposition the monitors they use when carrying out laparoscopic procedures while avoiding trailing wires. Each operation can also be recorded onto an inbuilt hard drive and written directly to DVD, so that it can be used for teaching or reviewed at a later date.
With the patient’s consent, both theatres can also transmit live images of the operation to other hospitals or universities to help students and other staff to learn, with Colchester regularly sharing expertise by linking with venues as far afield as Rome and Hong Kong.