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GI Genius for early detection of colorectal cancer

GI Genius is a revolutionary new solution for the early detection of colorectal or bowel cancer. The London Clinic is the first hospital in the UK to offer patients this innovative new system that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance the quality of colonoscopies. 

GI Genius uses advanced AI technology to highlight bowel polyps and pre-cancerous growths. It supports the skills of the world-leading gastroenterologists, helping them diagnose colorectal cancer at an early stage and protecting your future health.

The London Clinic provides colonoscopy using GI Genius in a private, comfortable and stress-free environment. We have a state-of-the-art endoscopy unit run by a highly qualified multidisciplinary team. The Endoscopy Unit pays rigorous attention to COVID safety and infection control. 

What is colorectal cancer?

Colorectal or bowel cancer is a common problem affecting around one in twenty people in their lifetime. Cells within the bowel begin to divide and grow abnormally, developing into tumours. 

Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK, claiming more than 16,000 lives a year. The majority of colorectal cancers develop from polyps, small, slow-growing growths which affect as many as 40% of people over fifty. Most polyps are harmless, but some contain abnormal or pre-cancerous cells. 

The London Clinic’s expert endoscopists can detect and remove polyps during colonoscopy, identify cancers at an early stage, and remove any lesions that could potentially transform into cancers.

What is GI Genius?

GI Genius is a pioneering system that improves the detection of polyps during a colonoscopy. It is an exciting innovation that can increase early diagnosis of tumours, prevent cancer development and improve outcomes for patients with colorectal cancer.

During a standard colonoscopy, the gastroenterologist inspects the inside of the colon using a small camera that relays high-quality images to a computer screen. The GI Genius device acts as a second pair of eyes, assisting the specialists by identifying lesions and small abnormalities that could signal cancer.

The GI Genius system analyses the video stream during colonoscopy, using the latest AI technology to highlight polyps and pre-cancerous lesions. The effectiveness of colonoscopy and the number of cancers identified is highly dependent on the skills of the endoscopists.

Research shows that using computer technology to aid polyp identification can increase cancer detection, especially in smaller polyps which are more likely to be missed.

Dr Rehan Haidry, consultant gastroenterologist at The London Clinic, says: 

“The system represents an important advancement in technology and is a crucial step in the fight against colorectal cancer, supporting both patients and doctors.

"The technology is incredibly powerful and is proven to be extremely precise in identifying lesions in the colonic mucosa that can be difficult to detect. Some polyps can be very small, and during colonoscopy procedures, you are examining the colon, which is five feet long, so it's vital to be as thorough and diligent as possible.

"Having a second set of eyes that can pick up the smallest change in real-time means we can focus our attention on the right places, which can be life-saving for patients."

Who could benefit from GI Genius?

A colonoscopy with GI Genius can help identify colorectal cancer at an early stage so that it can be treated effectively. The procedure is beneficial for routine bowel screening, screening people vulnerable to colorectal cancer, and investigating individuals with new bowel symptoms. 

Anyone can develop colorectal cancer; however, some people are at increased risk of the disease: 

  • Increasing age. Bowel cancer is more common in the elderly
  • Anyone with a close relative who developed bowel cancer, especially if they developed the disease before the age of 50
  • Anyone with inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease
  • Anyone who has had previous bowel polyps
  • Obesity
  • People who have had cancer treatment and radiation therapy
  • Anyone worried about their bowel health because lifestyle choices like alcohol, smoking, or a diet high in red meat and processed meat or low in fibre may increase their risk of colorectal cancer.

A colonoscopy should also be considered in anyone with abnormal bowel symptoms, including bleeding from the back passage, anaemia, change in bowel habit, chronic diarrhoea or constipation, unexplained weight loss or abdominal pain.

Investigation options

The London Clinic offers a wide range of investigations for bowel disease and screening tests for colorectal cancer. 

Stool analysis

Our pathology laboratory can check for hidden blood, including a faecal occult blood test (FOBT), a faecal immunochemical test (FIT) and inflammatory markers.

Flexible sigmoidoscopy

This is a flexible camera examination of the rectum and lower colon. If the flexible sigmoidoscopy shows an abnormality, you will usually need a colonoscopy.

Virtual colonoscopy

An innovative non-invasive bowel investigation. It is a type of CT scan that creates 3D images of the inside of the colon. However, the specialists are unable to take biopsies or remove polyps.

Colonoscopy with GI Genius at The London Clinic

The consultants at The London Clinic carry out colonoscopy with GI Genius as a day-case procedure. The procedure can be performed under local anaesthesia or sedation, depending on your personal preferences. Your consultant will discuss your options and ensure you are comfortable throughout.

You will lie on the examination couch on your side, with your knees drawn up towards your chest. Your consultant will squeeze some lubricant jelly into your back passage to ease the way.

They will then insert the narrow colonoscope into your anus and gently pass it into your colon. They will infuse small amounts of carbon dioxide gas to expand the bowel and give better views.

The endoscopist will guide the thin, flexible tube through the bowel up to the last part of the small intestine. There is a tiny camera on the end of the device, which relays high-quality images to a computer screen.

The GI Genius module works in real-time during the colonoscopy. It uses advanced AI to analyse the video and highlight any polyps and pre-cancerous lesions.

The specialist, supported by GI Genius, will inspect the whole bowel. They can painlessly remove polyps and take biopsies for analysis. The procedure is usually completed within 30 minutes.

Recovery and aftercare

You will be able to go home on the day of your procedure. If you have sedation, you will recover in our purpose-built unit for about an hour afterwards. You will need an escort to take you home. You should avoid alcohol and shouldn’t drive or work for 24 hours, as you won’t be as mentally alert as usual.

Your gastroenterologist will let you know the findings of the investigation and provide individual guidance on aftercare. Many people can return to normal activities following colonoscopy. However, if the consultant has removed any large polyps, you should rest at home for the day to prevent bleeding.

It is normal to feel a little bloated or experience cramping pain after your procedure. This is a result of the gas passed into the bowel and usually settles in a few hours. Over-the-counter painkillers or a hot water bottle can help.

Your consultant may arrange an appointment to discuss the results of biopsies and tests on removed polyps. Pathology laboratory results are usually available in 3 to 4 working days. They may also recommend a follow-up colonoscopy.

Whether you need this will depend on the pathology results, the size and number of polyps, your age and any other risk factors.

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