Wairau gets new endoscopy unit
New hi-tech equipment to better detect and treat the early signs of bowel cancer has arrived at Wairau Hospital in Blenheim.
Wairau Hospital service manager Becky Olson said the state-of-the-art endoscopy unit could detect and remove polyps, which could turn into cancers, in the lower bowel without major bowel surgery.
The equipment would be introduced slowly to ensure all clinicians using the machine were fully trained, Mrs Olson said.
The Nelson Marlborough District Health Board bought the base unit, which cost $30,000, while the Marlborough Hospital Equipment Trust chipped in for "add-ons" worth $112,450, including a water jet operating hybrid knife and an argon plasma coagulation unit.
"The new add-ons will more efficiently remove growths with less bleeding and tissue damage," Mrs Olson said.
Endoscopy included a wide range of procedures that used a flexible tube with a small camera that allowed the operator to see inside the body without needing to cut the skin, she said.
Endoscopy derives from Latin, meaning ‘to see within".
The most common scoping techniques used at Wairau Hospital were gastroscopy, looking into the stomach, and colonoscopy, looking into the bowel, Mrs Olson said.
Marlborough Hospital Equipment Trust trustee Greg King said the new equipment was a feather in Blenheim's cap.
Patients from Nelson would have to come to Wairau Hospital for treatment, Mr King said.
The trust had funded about $2 million of equipment in nearly 20 years, either full-funded or in partnership with the board, he said.
They had bought two ultrasound machines, colonoscopy monitors, a mammography unit, CT and MRI equipment and funded the mobility garden at Wairau Hospital, he said.
- The Marlborough Express