Putnam County Hospital is among the first hospitals in central Indiana to introduce the technology as part of a new endoscope platform to help doctors diagnose diseases in the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths for men and women combined in the United States.
Compared to conventional systems, high-definition endoscopy, combined with Narrow Band Imaging (NBI), provides doctors with sharper images and better contrast, which in turn may help them to better detect lesions during examinations when using the wide-angle colonoscope.
As a result, patients may receive more accurate diagnoses. The new system can also shorten procedure times for patients.
"Along with the NBI, we have also employed the use of carbon dioxide (CO2) insufflation during our colonoscopy procedures. This has allowed our patients to be more comfortable after undergoing such procedures, because of the relative quick absorption of the gas as compared to conventional air," said Lucio Palanca, MD, general surgeon at Putnam County Hospital.
Palanca and general surgeon Katherine Liu, MD, are currently using the new endoscope platform, the world's first to deliver both HDTV and Narrow Band Imaging (NBI) technologies.
The HDTV signal from the endoscope platform's video processor is designed to produce an impressive 1080 lines of resolution, more than twice the number of scan lines used by conventional systems, offering doctors breathtaking images of the colon with a high level of detail and color.
NBI is a new image processing technique which takes advantage of the scattering and absorption properties of human tissue, thereby improving visual contrast on mucosal surfaces during endoscopic observation of the GI tract. The result is remarkably clear views of anatomical structures and fine capillary patterns of colon surfaces, or mucous membranes, which are normally difficult to distinguish.
"Screening colonoscopies have been the time tested diagnostic modality of choice in our battle against this dreaded disease. Through the use of this latest technology, we are able to provide the local residents of Putnam County a service that one would only receive in larger tertiary centers," Palanca said. "Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths and like most cancers, primary prevention, early diagnosis and treatment are very important to allow a successful outcome."
The American Cancer Society (ACS) projects that colon and rectal cancer will kill 55,170 Americans this year. The ACS also points out that the 5-year survival rate for people whose CRC is treated in an early stage, before it has spread, is greater than 90 percent.
The ACS recommends that beginning at age 50, both men and women should be screened for colon and rectal cancer.
People with CRC risk factors, such as a personal history of CRC or adenomatous polyps or a strong family history of CRC or polyps, should talk to their doctor about starting CRC screening earlier or undergoing screening more often.