Improved care for pancreatic disease

More patients with pancreatic disease in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs will be able to avoid surgery thanks to a new endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) scope at Epworth Eastern in Box Hill.

The $110,000 scope, funded by generous donations to the Epworth Medical Foundation, is the second endoscopic ultrasound scope at Epworth Eastern.

The EUS scope is inserted through the mouth, down into the stomach.

Gastroenterologist Dr Paul Urquhart said the cutting-edge technology allows more rapid diagnosis and treatment for a range of patients with cancer and other benign diseases.

“The Endoscopic Ultrasound is an innovative way to assess the internal organs like the pancreas, liver and bile ducts,” Dr Urquhart said.

“In addition to providing us very accurate pictures of those organs from the inside, it allows us to very precisely sample any growths or cancers that we might find in any of those organs.”

Used for both diagnosis and treatment, we can arrive at a more rapid and informed diagnosis and undertake treatment for a range of patients with cancer and some benign diseases.

“Being able to sample the internal organs using the EUS means patients don’t have to undergo invasive and complicated surgeries to achieve the biopsies,” Dr Urquhart said.

EUS can also be used for therapy in patients with pancreatic disease. This includes blocking pain receptors in patients with severe pain, as well as internally draining fluid collections by placing a stent across the stomach wall.

Earlier this year the Jreissati Family Pancreatic Centre at Epworth was launched to provide improved care to people with pancreatic cancer.

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