A new endoscopy suite at Epworth Eastern will play a key role in the early detection of cancer and other diseases, providing better outcomes for patients.

The Epworth Eastern Endoscopy Suite is part of the hospital’s $162 million dollar development.

Kerry May, Executive General Manager, Epworth Eastern, said the endoscopy suite provides a range of diagnostic and therapeutic services in a state-of-the-art facility.

"The facility plays an integral role in providing the best possible care for our patients,’ Ms May said.

“An early cancer diagnosis not only increases the likelihood of survival but also improves the quality of life for patients."

It is estimated Epworth Eastern has performed over 106,500 diagnostic, therapeutic and bronchial procedures since the commencement of endoscopy service, more than 25 years ago. Demand for these services is anticipated to grow due to the backlog caused by the global pandemic.

The endoscopy suite will be used in diagnosis and treatment of:

  • gall stones
  • stomach and duodenal ulcers
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • pancreatitis
  • infections
  • cancers/tumours - both gastroenterological and respiratory
  • unexplained bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract
  • polyps, including removal of large polyps
  • Barrett’s oesophagus
  • oesophageal strictures

The endoscopy suite is attended by over 100 consultants, including gastroenterologists, general surgeons, respiratory physicians and anaesthetists.

Using the latest technology to achieve the best treatment outcomes is one of the goals of the endoscopy suite, according to Dr Nicholas Wilsmore, a respiratory and sleep physician.

"In most cases, a general practitioner refers a patient to us due to symptoms or a history that warrants further investigation."

Among the features of the endoscopy suite are seven-bed bays, eight discharge chairs and three theatres, all equipped with high-definition endoscopes, processors, and sterilisers.

High-frequency endoscopic ultrasound is used to produce detailed images of the digestive tract and surrounding organs and tissues, including the lungs, pancreas, gall bladder, liver and lymph nodes. This service complements cancer and gastroenterology services at Epworth Eastern and can be used to treat stones and cysts of the pancreas and bile ducts.

"The endoscopy suite was designed to ensure patients have a comfortable and private experience during their endoscopy," said Dr Wilsmore

"Patients initially recover in a bed then transfer to a private chair to complete their recovery, in a relaxed and calm atmosphere."

“It helps us to return patients to their regular activities quickly, while maintaining a more pleasant patient experience.” Dr Wilsmore said.

The new endoscopy suite brings cancer services together under one roof.

Earlier this year, expanded cardiothoracic services launched at Epworth Eastern, with the commissioning of a hybrid theatre, complete with the latest technology, Ms May said.

"These expanded services ensure Epworth Eastern is well positioned to cater for the growth in demand for health care services well into the future," Ms May said.


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