Spring Campaign Impact: Endoscopy Departments

Dr. Denis Petrunia is a Gastroenterologist with Island Health & the Colonoscopy Lead for the Provincial Cancer Screening Program

If you or a loved one have faced cancer, you know just how suddenly you rely on your physicians and care teams to have the best diagnostic and treatment tools. Sadly, 40% of us will be diagnosed with cancer in our lifetimes.

And all of us will likely see someone we love depend on our hospitals for lifesaving care.

Right now, the Victoria Hospitals Foundation needs your help to replace outdated important diagnostic and treatment equipment and technology in our hospitals’ Endoscopy units. This new equipment will help nearly 15,000 patients every year. As part of the campaign for upgrades to cancer care and diagnostic equipment, your donation will support high-resolution monitors and an electrosurgical tool for the Endoscopy units at Royal Jubilee and Victoria General hospitals.

This specialized equipment gives us clearer video images of lesions in the gastrointestinal tract. These images guide physicians as we use the electrosurgical tool to precisely remove the lesions and cauterize the surrounding tissue, removing the cancerous cells.

If we can identify and remove cancerous and pre-cancerous lesions in the early stages, patients have a far greater chance of survival and complete recovery. In the case of my patient Betty French, this equipment was vital to the success of her procedure.

Betty is a retired university professor and writer. During a regular screening, we found a large pre-cancerous lesion in her colon. With her family history of cancer, it was absolutely imperative that we remove the lesion.

A pre-existing medical condition, however, made surgical intervention with full sedation more risky. Thankfully we were able to use an electrosurgical tool to perform minimally invasive surgery without anesthesia. High-resolution monitors allowed the entire medical team, including Betty, to easily see the lesion. In the same short procedure, we used the tool to completely remove it and stop any bleeding. Betty experienced no pain and didn’t require an overnight hospital stay. One significant benefit of the electrosurgical tool is that it is designed with smart technology. The risk of bleeding or damaging healthy tissue is greatly reduced, providing an exceptional amount of safety. The new technology makes the procedure more effective, exact and predictable.

We need your help to fund this specialized endoscopy equipment so that everyone can benefit from the same high-quality care as Betty. She asked that I share this with you:

“Knowing that in approximately 20% of cases pre-cancerous lesions become malignant, I am so thankful the lesion was detected and removed successfully through endoscopy instead of a more invasive surgery which, for me, meant a higher risk. This medical technology truly enabled the best treatment option for me.”

Betty has recovered fully and continues to give back to her Victoria community, mentoring young people and youth at risk.

When you give toward this equipment or any area of hospital care, you help everyone from children to seniors in communities across Vancouver Island, who so urgently need your help.

Please help us enhance our ability to quickly identify and treat cancer and other gastrointestinal illnesses. Your donation is crucial.

Please give to the Foundation’s Spring Campaign today to help keep our hospitals at the highest standard of care. You can donate below.

                                – Dr. Denis Petrunia