Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital Opens Outpatient Endoscopy Center to Diagnose and Treat Gastrointestinal Problems
New center also features convenient direct access endoscopy
Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital opened a new 7,600-square-foot Endoscopy Center for patient care today. Located on the fifth floor of the hospital, the Endoscopy Center features state-of-the-art technology used to detect and help treat digestive problems, such as acid reflux, stomach ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease, colon polyps, early signs of cancers, and more. Procedures offered in the Center include colonoscopy, upper endoscopy, wireless video capsule endoscopy and flexible sigmoidoscopy.
“We now have a more spacious area to accommodate the growing volume of outpatient gastroenterology procedures,” says Karen Javie, executive director/administrator of Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital. “We look forward to better serving our community with this new center and providing them the access they need to important screening tests.”
The hospital converted former office spaces, and the former neonatal intensive care unit and nursery into three endoscopic procedure rooms, two private pre- and post-procedure rooms, seven semi-private bays, and a dedicated waiting and reception area.
“The Endoscopy Center is designed with our patients’ convenience and comfort in mind, especially since we know many aren’t exactly thrilled to get procedures, like colonoscopies, done,” adds Steven Lichtenstein, DO, director of the division of gastroenterology at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital. “But we also know that colonoscopies are very effective tools in finding polyps and pre-cancerous lesions in the colon. When found early, the cure rate for colon cancer is excellent. That’s why it’s so important for people to receive regular screenings.”
Dr. Lichtenstein recommends most people begin regular screenings for colonoscopies at age 50. For African Americans and those with a family history of colorectal cancer, he advises to begin regular screenings at 45 years old or sooner, depending on when your family member was diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
“We hope this new center will give people a great option to have their screenings done closer to home,” says Dr. Lichtenstein. “We are also offering Direct Access Endoscopy that lets patients bypass an additional GI consultation, if and when appropriate.”
Direct Access Endoscopy allows patients to schedule an endoscopic test themselves, as long as they are generally healthy with no medical complications. A physician assistant will review their medical history, risk factors, current medications and indications for an endoscopic procedure to ensure that a GI consultation is not needed and Direct Access Endoscopy is appropriate.
Indications for Direct Access Endoscopy may include screening for family history of colon cancer, screening colonoscopy for African-Americans over 45 years old and for non-African American patients over 50 years old, suspected stomach ulcers, follow-up of polyps in the bowel, indigestion, heartburn, acid reflux and iron deficient anemia.