The radiology department at St Mark’s provides access to a comprehensive group of investigations, using x-ray, ultrasound, CT and MRI to look at the abdomen and bowel. Most patients attending the hospital will visit the radiology department and, for many, the results of those investigations are critical to the management of their disease.
The intestinal imaging department has two dedicated imaging fluoroscopy rooms specialising in small bowel imaging (barium follow through), water soluble contrast studies of the large bowel, proctogram and pouchograms. The unit also specialises in upper gastrointestinal studies, having both a video and barium swallow service. The department also has a dedicated GI Ultrasound imaging room and perform ultrasound guided interventions. Internal ultrasound scanning of the anus and rectum were developed at St Mark’s in the 1990s and we remain one of the few hospitals in the country able to scan the rectum and anal sphincter muscles. It is used to inform clinicians whether there is damage to the muscles in the pelvic floor (Endo-anal US) or whether there is an early stage cancer (Endo-rectal).
The radiology team is led by Clinical Director and GI Consultant Dr Michele Marshall, and consists of GI Consultants Dr David Burling, Dr Arun Gupta, Dr Raj Ilangovan and Dr Uday Patel. Ms Rachel Baldwin-Cleland is the GI Superintendent Radiographer, and they work alongside a team of Specialist Radiography Registrars.
The radiology department supports education and training through the nationally recognised courses they run at St Mark’s Hospital; 2-day CT Colonography courses for radiologists, 5-day CT Colonography courses for radiographers and 2-day training the CT Colonographer trainer courses.
The role of radiology in the management of inflammatory bowel disease has in the last 10 years become pivotal; the radiologists have a critical role in the weekly IBD multidisciplinary meeting to discuss patients with complex IBD; this is now recognised nationally and internationally as a critical requirement for services providing high quality patient care.