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 identify the lifestyle modification needed 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 suitable for you. We use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to obtain detailed images of specific areas of the body. MRI is x-ray free and has no known side-effects. We use the latest technology, together with experienced doctors in a ‘6-star’ clinic to provide one of the most advanced and safest full-body Check-Ups available in Europe.

Is there a downside to having a comprehensive Check-Up?

In theory there could be.

The health assessment is very thorough and in theory a ‘background finding’ of no significance could be discovered which may cause you to worry despite reassurance to the contrary. We are however very used to identifying “normal variants and incidental background findings of no consequence to health” and we expect to find these as part of the process. In our experience this is more a theoretical risk as we counsel about this hypothetical  possibility. Generally, our client’s feedback that they find the whole Health Assessment process to be empowering, reassuring and informative.

Secondly there is a theoretical risk of ‘health complacency’ following a normal Check-Up. However we do emphasise the importance of a continued healthy lifestyle and future vigilance in reporting any new symptoms to your GP after the Check-Up even if everything is found to be normal on the day.  No test or process, no matter how vigorous, can ever be a 100% guarantee of future good health and it is important to make this clear.  Our aim is to try to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to our most important asset, our health.

Thirdly, any test or investigation has the potential risk of a false negative (missing a significant problem), or a false positive result (identifying a problem which later turns out not to be significant).

Fourthly something could be identified which poses a dilemma as regards future management.

There are of course recognised limitations in any testing process across all aspects of life no matter how rigorously thorough and we discuss at the consultation.

Could the Check-Up influence my health insurance risk?

Yes it could.

If the results of the health assessment are normal then this can be favourable to your insurance risk.

It is possible that we could find an issue which when declared to an insurance provider at a later stage could negatively influence your future medical insurance risk.

This is however a risk which exists at  any medical consultant or interaction as health  insurance companies normally ask for authority to see all previous medical records before insuring including but not limited to GP records.

What are the benefits of becoming a Preventicum corporate client?

  • A tiered pricing structure and personalised discounts
  • A dedicated account manager to oversee your account
  • A dedicated member of the admin team to deal with your employees bookings and queries
  • Medical Check-Ups offered to employees are tax exempt
  • Benefits to a company include: lower absenteeism, improved productivity, reduction of staff turnover and an improvement of employer-employee relations
  • For more information, please call 020 7605 6900

Why should I book in for an MRI Colonography as well?

An MRI colonography 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 offer the MRI colonography for anyone aged 40 or over, or anyone with a family history of colon cancer. The MRI colonography 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 colonography 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 colonography, 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?

The majority of your examination results, including the blood analysis, will be ready in time for your final consultation with your Preventicum doctor. Your Preventicum doctor 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 DVD of your MRI images, will be sent to you within twelve 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 x-ray 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 alongside traditional examinations such as ECG, ultrasound, blood and urine analysis to offer one of the most advanced and safest full-body Check-Ups 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 increased 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 ½ hours and our Essential Plus Check-Up takes approximately 2 ½ hours.

What can I expect on the day?

Please click here for details of a Check-Up at Preventicum.

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 suggest alternating between our Ultimate and Essential Plus Check-Ups every 18 months. We may suggest 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 is your clinic?

Our clinic is located in West London, please click here for our contact information.

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 want to or need to cancel or reschedule my Check-Up?

If you cancel or reschedule with 5 or less clear* working days notice, a cancellation fee will be charged equal to the full cost of the Check-Up. If you cancel or reschedule with 6 or more clear working days notice and up to 20 working days notice, a £75 administration fee will be charged.

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, pregnancy or failure to undertake the bowel preparation.

*Clear working days, do not include the day of the appointment or the day on which notice is being given

 

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 referral 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.

Is there an upper weight limit for any of your tests?

It is rare that we are unable to perform tests on clients due to size, however, clients heavier than 125Kg (20 stone) need to be aware that image quality and resolution may be significantly compromised in MRI particularly for the colon (bowel) images and in abdominal and pelvic ultrasound images. Our Check-Ups include an exercise ECG treadmill test and there is an upper weight limit of around 160kg (25 stone) for this test.

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 pregnancy 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. We have Preventicum tracksuits and slippers for you to wear for the duration of your visit.  You should bring trainers/running shoes for all Check-Ups as you will be using a treadmill for your exercise ECG. 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.