What happens at a ‘One Stop’ gynaecology clinic?
The term ‘One Stop’ is sometimes applied to specialist clinic or units and refers to the ability to access a range of specialist services within one location and often within a single visit.
This is true for my practice at The Harley Street Clinic in London, where I offer patients an initial consultation, diagnostic tests and scans without any waiting times. Myself and other members of the multidisciplinary team endeavour to provide patients with a clear diagnosis and treatment plan on the same day of their appointment, and when possible, treatment options and minor procedures can also be carried out as part of the same visit.
What are the benefits of a One Stop Gynaecology Clinic?
As a Consultant, I understand that common symptoms of many gynaecological conditions, such abnormal vaginal bleeding, heavy periods, lower abdominal pain and a frequent or urgent need to urinate can all be worrying and have a distressing impact on your daily life. Additionally, early pregnancy bleeding or pain can put a significant concern to the patient and her partner. One Stop Gynaecology clinics rapidly streamline the pathway for patients, so you can begin receiving any necessary treatment for a wide range of conditions without delay.
When patients book in to see me for an initial consultation they often require diagnostic tests and scans. Instead of having to book these in at a later date and make multiple trips into hospital, patients can access these services straight after their consultation. For patients visiting me at The Harley Street Clinic, I can review your scans as soon as possible and work with you to put together an appropriate treatment plan. This efficiency is not only beneficial to patients who will be anxious for a clear diagnosis, but also in managing gynaecological cancers, which generally respond better to treatment when caught early.
The effectiveness of a One Stop Gynaecology clinic is also of great benefit to referrers, such as GPs, who can quickly and easily refer busy patients for a single visit that covers a consultation and diagnosis.
What scans or tests are available at a One Stop Gynaecology Clinic?
After our initial consultation, I’ll be able to advise on whether further tests and scans are needed, and how to prepare for them and what to expect.
The most common scans used in the diagnosis of gynaecological conditions is an ultrasound or an MRI scan. Ultrasound uses high-frequency soundwaves to produce images of your organs and tissue. It is safely used in pregnancy as it uses no radiation, but we also use it to examine the ovaries, uterus, bladder and blood vessels to diagnose various pathologies such as cysts, polyps, fibroids or endometriosis. An MRI scan sees the patient lie on a bed that’s moved into a large scanner, which uses magnetic fields to create a 3D image of changes in the organs and tissue.
Depending on your condition or symptoms, you may also require a colposcopy, a detailed examination of the cervix, or a hysteroscopy, which examines the lining of the uterus. If tests do discover any abnormalities, a small sample of cells can be taken as part of a hysteroscopy or colposcopy and examined under a microscope to rule out or confirm the existence of cancer cells.
I then work closely with each and every patient I see to develop a treatment plan that is personalised to their needs.
What treatments are available within the One Stop Gynaecology Clinic?
I am able to treat a wide range of gynaecological conditions, both common and complex, including ovarian cysts, polyps, endometriosis, congenital conditions and symptoms related to menopause. I am also experienced in diagnosing and treating various early pregnancy conditions, as well as gynaecological cancers, including ovarian, uterine, cervical and vaginal cancer.
Depending on your concerns and needs, I can offer minor treatments on the same day of your appointment at the One Stop Gynaecology clinic, including removal of small polyps, fibroids, IUD (copper coil) and IUS (hormonal coil) insertion, removal and replacement.
If I do not think it will be possible to treat your condition on the day through medications or a minor procedure, then myself and the team will ensure you leave with a clear diagnosis and the peace of mind of a clear treatment plan in place.
For more complex conditions and cancers, I can guide you through the most suitable and effective treatment options available to you, including chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy or surgery - all of which are available at The Harley Street Clinic.
What support is available to me at a One Stop Gynaecology Clinic?
Gynaecological conditions, especially a diagnosis of cancer, can be life-changing, which is why I’m committed to ensuring that patients needing access to specialist complex care can do so as quickly and safely as possible.
The One Stop Gynaecology Clinic benefits from the wide range of services available at The Harley Street Clinic, but also the wider HCA UK network of hospitals that it is a part of. This includes state-of-the-art diagnostic tools and excellent inpatient facilities but also world renowned multidisciplinary care that includes Clinical Nurse Specialists, psychologists, physiotherapists and nutritionists to provide guidance and support throughout your diagnosis and treatment.
When my patients require treatment for severe or deep-infiltrating endometriosis, I work closely with HCA UK’s Endometriosis Centre, who regularly use innovative Robotic and Laparoscopic surgical techniques to treat highly complex cases with great success.
Patients requiring onward support for any fertility concerns that arise as a result of their diagnosis or treatment can be swiftly referred to an affiliated fertility centre of excellence.
Author: Mr Osama Naji
Mr Naji provides advanced gynaecology scanning which is essential when conducting any gynaecology consultation, he is bilingual in English and Arabic and has an NHS base at the highly reputable Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital in London.
He is passionate about raising awareness of various subtle signs and symptoms of gynaecological conditions that are often overlooked by patients.
You can read more about Mr Naji on his about page here.