Dr. Hamish Hwang and Brenda Stevens with VJH Ambulatory Care show off a new colonoscope. (Photo submitted)

Vernon hospital’s long wait for new scopes pays off

Through their annual Light A Bulb campaign, eight new colonoscopes were purchased

Ambulatory Care at Vernon Jubilee Hospital has just received eight new colonoscopes thanks to $275,000 raised by the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation through the December 2017 Light-A-Bulb.

Interior Health has joined all the health authorities in B.C. to increase buying power for certain purchases. Colonoscopes were including in this new process, which took a long time to work out, said Lisa Westermark, executive director.

“The result, however, is fantastic – the lower price allowed us to purchase more scopes and get even better mileage from your generous donations,” Westermark said.

Last year, 6,387 endoscopic procedures were performed at Vernon Jubilee Hospital. VJH surgeons are excited to have these new scopes to provide the best service to patients in the North Okanagan.

Related: Light A Bulb campaign picks up momentum

“Half of the patients we scope have benign polyps removed. These are small tumours that can turn to cancer,” said Dr. Hamish Hwang, VJH general surgeon. “By removing these polyps, we prevent hundreds of people in our community from getting colorectal cancer every year.”

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in Canada.

Colonoscopes allow non-invasive procedures for surgeons to view inside a person’s body. Scopes are specialized, flexible tubes with tiny high definition cameras on the end. These scopes will be used to diagnose a number of different conditions, including cancer.

During a colonoscopoe images from the camera appear on a screen where the surgeon can see if there are any abnormalities. Many times, they can address problems right at the moment of discovery and take action to avoid any future issues for the patient. Colonoscopes give surgeons the information needed to take immediate life saving measures.


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