Thanks to fundraising for new equipment by the South Muskoka Hospital Foundation, Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) is pleased to introduce endoscopic ultrasound services at the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital (SMMH) Site.
Endoscopic ultrasound combines endoscopy with ultrasound imaging to diagnose certain diseases. A special endoscope uses high-frequency sound waves to produce detailed images of the lining and walls of the digestive tract and chest, as well as nearby organs such as the pancreas and liver, and lymph nodes.
“Endoscopic ultrasound is considered the standard of care for assessing benign disorders of the common bile duct, pancreas, and sub-epithelial masses in the esophagus, stomach and duodenum as well as assessment, diagnosis and staging malignant rectal, esophageal, gastric, pancreatic, and biliary cancers,” explains Chief of Staff Dr. Khaled Abdel-Razek. “Fewer than 20 hospitals in Ontario are able to provide endoscopic ultrasound services, which can help identify signs of gastrointestinal and lung disease through a low-risk, minimally invasive procedure that carries very little risk to patients, without any exposure to X-rays or radiation.”
MAHC is fortunate to have a specially trained surgeon/endoscopist, Dr. Rohit Gupta, who is qualified to perform these procedures locally, and through generous donations to the South Muskoka Hospital Foundation totaling $300,000, SMMH now has an endoscopic ultrasound machine.
Since obtaining the equipment, Dr. Gupta travelled to Paris, France for additional training on endoscopic ultrasound with a perioperative nurse, and has since completed a dozen endoscopic ultrasound procedures locally in Bracebridge.
Dr. Gupta is excited about how this latest advance will change local practice and keep Muskoka residents close to home for their health care whenever possible, decreasing the need to travel to other major centres.
“We are planning to do all types of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures including pancreatic cancer biopsies, celiac plexus block for pain management, esophageal cancer staging, gastric cancer staging and biopsies, lymph node biopsies, looking for bile duct stones and alleviating the need to do MRIs,” says Dr. Gupta. “As we feel comfortable and gain more experience, advanced procedures like gastrojejunostomy, bile duct stone management in altered anatomies, choledochoduodenostomy, hepaticogastrotomy, gall bladder drainage, pancreatic fluid collection drainage, etc. will come on stream.”
Chief of Surgery Dr. Hector Roldan says it’s so important, especially in this COVID era, to provide care to patients as close to home as possible.
“We anticipate that approximately 25-50 procedures will be completed in the first year and grow from there,” says Dr. Roldan. “We are proud to introduce new surgical services that help MAHC deliver on our mission of ensuring high-quality care and the best patient outcomes and care experiences. We are so grateful to the Foundation and the generosity of the community for supporting the tools and technology to do so.”
The South Muskoka Hospital Foundation is grateful for the support from our Muskoka community including our seasonal residents and cottagers who helped fund this important piece of equipment.
“We are thrilled about the medical advancements our generous donors have allowed us to realize,” says Leah Walker, Executive Director, South Muskoka Hospital Foundation. “This year we are in need of over $2 million in new equipment and hope that our community will continue to show their support. If you would like to donate to the equipment needs of South Muskoka Hospital, please visit www.healthmuskoka.ca/donate.”
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