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HomeNewsBracebridge hospital one of "fewer than 20" to offer new ultrasound service

Bracebridge hospital one of “fewer than 20” to offer new ultrasound service

Endoscopic ultrasound services are now available at the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital in Bracebridge.

According to officials with Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC), endoscopic ultrasound is a combination service that makes it possible to diagnose certain diseases. They explain that a special endoscope uses high-frequency sound waves to produce detailed images of the lines and walls of the digestive tract and chest, as well as nearby organs such as the pancreas and liver, and lymph nodes.

Dr. Rohit Gupta with Registered Practical Nurse Nina Baker completing endoscopic ultrasound training in Paris, France (Photo supplied by: Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare)

“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 Dr. Khaled Abdel-Razek, Chief of Staff for MAHC. “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.”

Dr. Rohit Gupta is a specially trained surgeon/endoscopist and works at the Bracebridge hospital. Officials say he recently received additional training in Paris, France and since returning has completed “a dozen” endoscopic ultrasound procedures in Bracebridge.

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“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.”

Dr. Hector Roldan, Chief of Surgery, expects 25 to 50 procedures will be done using the machine in the next 12 months.

Officials say the machine cost $300,000 and was possible to purchase thanks to fundraising done by the South Muskoka Hospital Foundation.

This year, they say the hospital has a list of needed equipment totalling over $2 million. A link to donate can be found on the hospital foundation’s website. Their fundraising initiatives include the annual Moose FM Radiothon, which is happening this year on Oct. 7 from 6 AM to 6 PM.

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