New colonoscopy equipment in use at Mercy Hospital

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Physicians at Mercy Hospital of Defiance are using a new system that features high-definition television (HDTV) for better, clearer images that aid in diagnosis during colonoscopy and gastroscopy.

The hospital has purchased a new Olympus endoscopy system that combines HDTV with narrow band imaging (NBI), a light filtering tool that provides images with greater contrast. NBI gives enhanced pictures of fine capillary structures on mucosal surfaces and helps with identifying abnormalities. The new system also has wide angle and zoom capabilities.

"Taken together, all these features give us much improved visualization of gastrointestinal structures," said Souheil Al-Jadda, MD, general surgeon at Defiance Clinic and Mercy Hospital of Defiance (MHD). "The equipment enhances our ability to look at abnormal surfaces and blood vessel patterns and make a diagnosis."

The system's HDTV signal is designed to produce 1,080 lines of resolution, more than twice the number of scan lines used by conventional systems. The clarity of the images makes subtle lesions easier to detect, according to Jeffrey L. Pruitt, MD, general surgeon at the clinic and MHD.

"The new system helps in the detection of polyps, a big reason for colonoscopy," Pruitt said. The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends testing for removal of polyps before they become cancerous as well as early detection of colorectal cancer. According to ACS, the five-year survival rate for patients whose colorectal cancer is treated in an early stage, before it has spread, is greater than 90 per cent.

"Another advantage is the potential to shorten the examination time," said John W. Shaw, MD, general surgeon at the clinic and MHD. "The wide angle scope allows the physician to observe a larger area, so the time needed for a complete examination may be less."

Acquisition of this equipment reflects Mercy's commitment to meeting the health care needs of the community. "We are pleased to offer this advance in diagnosis and treatment," said William Sutton, MHD administrator.

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