Wednesday 20 July 2016Media release2 minutes to read
A new endoscopy tower at the Grey Base Hospital means surgeons can see more clearly when they need to carry out gastroscopies and colonoscopies.
The equipment replaces technology that was about eight years old. It is used to visualise areas of the stomach and bowel to look for potential health problems
Grey Base Hospital Clinical Nurse Manager Wendy Stuart says along with the new endoscopy tower, a new gastroscope and colonoscope have been obtained, and further scopes will be ordered annually, as older technology is retired.
“On an average day, we would do maybe four colonoscopies in the morning and four in the afternoon. On a day when we are just doing gastroscopes we can do between 10 and 12. These special scopes are rotated through a complex cleaning cycle after each use. We have been incredibly efficient at looking after our equipment, so the most recent scope that became unrepairable is 13 years old. Generally they have a lifespan of between five and eight years,” Wendy says.
The new tower, gastroscope and colonoscope will assist in detecting illnesses such as bowel cancer, which is the most commonly reported cancer in New Zealand, with approximately 3000 cases and 1200 deaths each year.
On the days when these colonoscopy and gastroscopy procedures are arranged, it is important that people attend their appointments. If patients cannot attend, it is preferable that they let the hospital know (03 769 7400) several days beforehand, so another patient might be able to use that appointment time. As much notice as possible is helpful as our patients are required to prepare for procedures with a special diet and medication in advance.
People who are diagnosed with bowel cancer, and receive treatment when it is at an early stage, have a 90 percent chance of long term survival. If there is a delay in diagnosis and treatment, and the cancer may become more advanced, it is harder to cure. This is where the new DHB equipment comes in as it provides better tools to detect the likes of bowel cancer early on.
Common signs and symptoms of bowel cancer include:
Although these symptoms are often caused by other conditions, it is important to get them checked by your doctor.
Page last updated: 17 April 2019
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