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Welsh hospitals trial pill-sized cameras to check for bowel cancer

05 Nov 2022 2 minute read
The PillCam

Miniature cameras that patients can swallow to get checked for bowel cancer are now being trialled in Welsh hospitals as part of a national project.

The Pillcam Colon capsule is an easy to swallow pill with two cameras inside.

It provides clear images to help clinicians detect polyps, which can progress to bowel cancer, and helps them determine if a colonoscopy is necessary.

Traditional colonoscopies involve patients having a tube inserted into the large intestine.

This new technology will offered to a small number of suitable patients initially, and means that after swallowing the capsule, people can continue to go about their normal daily activities.

The first patient to undergo this procedure as part of this project in Wales was seen at the Endoscopy Department at Ysbyty Gwynedd.

Sandra Ewing, Nurse Endoscopist at Ysbyty Gwynedd, said: “We are really excited to be the first hospital in Wales to pilot this new technology as part of the national project.

“It’s a great step forward in working towards improving the experience for patients needing these types of investigations.”

Early diagnosis

Consultant Gastroenterologist, Dr Jonathan Sutton, at Ysbyty Gwynedd, added: “We are always keen to use new technology within our department to benefit our patients.

“We are privileged to be part of this national project as this has the potential to make a huge difference for patients and will help diagnose cases of cancer early, giving patients the best possible outcomes from treatment using a less invasive procedure.”

This innovative procedure is new to Wales and is currently being trialled at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Cardiff & Vale University Health Board, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board and Swansea Bay University Health Board.

The success of the project and the benefits of the test for patients will be reviewed in partnership with Cardiff University early next year.

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