Why should I have a Preventicum Check-Up?
Prevention is better than cure. If we pick up risk factors or specific conditions early, i.e. before symptoms appear, the likelihood is that treatment will be simpler and more effective. A Preventicum Check-Up can give peace of mind as well as the ability to modify your lifestyle to reduce your long-term risk for certain diseases. 40% of men and women in the UK die from cardiovascular diseases, which are in the main, preventable if risk factors or symptoms are found early on.
How do I know if a Preventicum Check-Up is suitable for me?
If you are over 30 and interested in your long-term health, then a Check-Up at Preventicum is definitely suitable for you. We use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to obtain detailed images of specific areas of the body. MRI is radiation-free and has no known side-effects. We use the latest technology, together with experienced doctors in a '6-star' clinic to provide the most advanced and safest full-body Check-Up available in the UK.
Why should I book in for an MRI Colonoscopy as well?
An MRI colonoscopy can detect colonic tumours and other abnormalities in the bowel in their early stages. 90% of cancers develop from polyps in the colon and if detected, they can usually be easily removed. We advise the MRI colonoscopy for anyone aged 40 or over, or anyone with a family history of colon cancer. The MRI colonoscopy is less invasive and less uncomfortable than a conventional colonoscopy.
Do I need to prepare for the Check-Up?
If you are not having the MRI colonoscopy as part of your Check-Up, then we simply require you to fast from midnight the night before your Check-Up. If you choose to have the MRI colonoscopy, you will have to follow a low-fibre diet for 48 hours before the scan and take a laxative the day before to empty the bowel.
When will I get my results?
All your examination results, including the blood analysis, will be ready in time for your final consultation with your Preventicum doctor. He will explain everything to you and answer any questions you may have, as well as offering lifestyle advice. Before this consultation, you will meet our radiologist and go on a unique 'virtual tour' of your body when he shows you all your MRI images. A full written report of all your results, with a CD of your MRI images, will be sent to you within ten working days.
Why is Preventicum different?
Preventicum is the only clinic to offer this level of Check-Up in a '6-star' environment. We use radiation-free MRI technology to scan the brain, heart, arteries and colon for any signs of risk factors or existing underlying problems. We combine the latest technology and consultations with experienced doctors with more traditional examinations such as ECG, exercise test, ultrasound, blood and urine analysis to offer the most advanced and safest full-body Check-Up available.
What will you look for?
We look for the main killer diseases and their principal risk factors.
Cardiovascular disease: 40% of adults in the UK will die from CVD.
Colon cancer: 2nd most common cause of cancer deaths in the UK.
Signs of heart attack: 1.2million people in the UK have had a heart attack.
Prostate cancer: most common cancer in British men and affects nearly 30,000 each year.
Ovarian cancer: 4th most common cancer in British women and nearly 7.000 are diagnosed each year.
High blood pressure: affects 16 million people in the UK.
Will you scan my lungs?
We look for symptoms and signs of respiratory disease in our detailed medical questionnaire, clinical examination and spirometry (lung function) test. The benefits of scanning the lungs using CT or chest x-rays in health assessments are debatable and medical research shows a significant number of false positives can be picked up, which can cause anxiety and further unnecessary investigations. CT scanning also involves radiation exposure, which can be harmful. Until there is more evidence of the benefits of using radiation based screening, it is not something we will carry out at Preventicum. High risk individuals may be referred for further investigation, if our medical team feels it appropriate.
Do you offer breast screening as part of your Check-Ups?
Mammography is still considered the gold standard for the screening of breast cancer. All our Check-Ups routinely include a breast cancer risk assessment, a breast examination and advice on breast awareness.
We also offer an additional full breast screening service for women who require this either because it is clinically recommended based on their history or because they would like it and it is clinically appropriate. It is a consultant-led service, which can include breast ultrasound and digital mammography and is performed by a dedicated consultant breast radiologist in a nearby centre of excellence. If necessary a suspicious lesion can be sampled using FNA (fine needle aspiration) at the same consultation. This breast screening capability is supplementary to our full screen and costs a small additional fee. We can arrange a taxi from Preventicum if planned in advance.
Women 45 and over who book a Preventicum check up should be asked if they would like this service but at an additional cost. Generally it would be offered annually between 45 and 50 and two yearly after 50.
Why don’t you screen the breasts using MRI?
We do not currently offer MRI breast screening. MRI is good at detecting breast cancers, but this technology is still at the research stage in terms of screening. It is very good in younger women with fatty dense breasts and will probably soon surpass mammography in this context. However, it is time-consuming – screening one individual takes 40 minutes compared to ten minutes for a mammogram. If a suspicious lesion is found it may be so small as to only be detectable with MRI so it may only be possible to biopsy it under MRI control. There is thus much research to be done in this field before it becomes more widespread and we continue to monitor the situation.
Do the scans expose me to any x-rays or nuclear radiation?
No. At Preventicum we do not use scans that emit any ionising radiation (“X-rays”) nor do we use any radioactive substances. We have purposely chosen ultrasound and MRI scanning technology which use sound waves and radio waves in a magnetic field to look inside the body. There is no x-ray exposure in ultrasound or MRI scans.
Do you use CT scans at Preventicum?
No. CT scans are a completely different type of scan which also produce detailed images of inside the body but generally use high dose x-rays and so we prefer not to use these for health checks in asymptomatic individuals unless clinically indicated. Some studies have suggested an increase risk of harm from multiple CT scans so we prefer to use MRI.
How long does a Check-Up take?
An Ultimate Preventicum Check-Up takes approximately 5 1/2 hours. We also offer Check-Ups that take between 2-3 hours.
What can I expect on the day?
What happens if I am recommended extra tests on the day?
Although our Preventicum Check-Ups are very comprehensive, after taking a thorough history and carrying out a physical examination, our doctors may sometimes recommend further tests. If the doctor recommends an extra test or scan outside the usual scope of the Check-Up and we are able to perform this for you at Preventicum, then the doctor will discuss this with you at the time and you can make an informed decision as to whether to proceed. If an additional charge applies, you will usually be required to settle the balance at the end of your Check-Up unless we have a prior arrangement with your company. Please be assured we will only recommend extra tests or scans if clinically indicated.
What if there's something wrong?
If we discover a borderline or abnormal result in any examination, we will discuss these with you and you have several options. Firstly, we can send a copy of your report to your GP and you can discuss it with him/her before you decide what course of action to take. Secondly, we can arrange for any necessary further investigation or indeed treatment to take place via a referral to one of our network of specialists. We can organise this for you, if you wish. Preventicum doctors and administrative staff will always be available on the telephone if you need any information or have any questions after your Check-Up. We always recommend that you keep your own GP informed.
How often should I have a Preventicum Check-Up?
Our Check-Ups are very thorough and if your results are normal, we would advise an annual visit for those aged 50 and over, alternating between our Ultimate and Essential Plus Check-Ups. For those under 50 years old, we would recommend alternating between our Ultimate and Essential Plus Check-Ups every 18 months. We may recommend a repeat of a particular examination or blood test within a few months, if results are borderline or abnormal.
Do I need a referral letter to book a Check-Up at Preventicum?
No, you can simply contact us and book your Check-Up without a referral.
Where are your clinics?
We currently have two Preventicum clinics: in Essen, Germany and in London, UK. We have plans to expand across the UK and into other European countries.
How do I book a Check-Up?
Click here to email us or you can telephone us on +44 (0)20 7605 6900. Please note we take a 50% deposit at the time of booking.
What if I need to reschedule my Check-Up?
Please note that if you cancel or reschedule your Preventicum Check-Up with 5 or less working days' notice, a cancellation fee will be charged equal to the full cost of your Check-Up.
What if I want to or need to cancel my Check-Up?
If you wish to cancel or reschedule your Preventicum Check-Up with 6 or more working days' notice, a £75 administration fee will be payable. Refunds will not be given if any part of your Check-Up, including MRI scanning, is not able to be carried out due to factors including, but not limited to: claustrophobia, illness or pregnancy.
Is my information confidential?
Our client's privacy is very important to us. All your personal details, examination results and images are secure and will never be given out without your consent, including to your GP. Preventicum complies with the Data Protection Act.
Is Preventicum registered with a regulatory body?
Yes, before the clinic opened, Preventicum secured registration with the Healthcare Commission, which is now called the Care Quality Commission.
Will my medical insurance cover the cost of the Check-Up?
UK medical insurance policies do not generally cover the cost of preventive Check-Ups. Some European and US policies will cover part of the cost, but you will need to check these details with your insurer. If you have a referal letter for a specific examination or scan, you should check with your insurance company to see if they will cover the cost of this for you.
Do you have facilities for disabled clients?
Yes, Preventicum is suitable for wheelchair access. Please do let us know before your Check-Up if you require any assistance.
What if I don't speak English?
Please let us know before your Check-up and we will try to arrange for an interpreter to be present on the day. Alternatively, you are welcome to bring a friend or relative with you to accompany you during each examination.
I am pregnant; can I still have a Check-Up?
If you are, or think you may be pregnant, please contact us before you book a Check-Up including MRI scanning and ask to speak to one of our doctors. We would not normally carry out MRI scanning as part of a health assessment until after the pregnancy, since these are elective procedures that can be postponed. There are no known risks of ultrasound in pregnancy and antenatal ultrasound is routinely used in the UK. We would not normally perform a smear test until after pregancy even though there is no evidence that this is harmful.
I am breastfeeding; can I still have a Check-Up?
Although there is no known reason not to have MRI scans while breastfeeding, we advise that you wait until 24 hours after your scan before continuing to breastfeed, due to the contrast agent Gadolinium.
Can I bring children into the clinic?
Preventicum is registered by the Quality Care Commission and our status does not permit anyone under the age of 18 within the clinic.
What should I bring with me?
When you book your Check-Up we will send you a confirmation pack and check-list. If you have undergone a health screen, medical examination or any other significant test in the last 3 years, please bring reports and/or results with you, including any significant x-ray or MRI films.
If you have any other questions, please contact us.