State-of-the-art equipment for UCT

04 May 2010 | Story by Newsroom

Prof Marian Jacobs & guestsFor good cause: Prof Marian Jacobs, dean of health sciences, Dr Reno Morar, deputy dean for health services, Prof Jake Krige, of the Department of Surgery, as well as Prof Bongani Mayosi, head of the Department of Medicine show gratitude to a donation by Prof Adrian Hatfield (far right).

The Gastrointestinal Clinic at UCT/Groote Schuur Hospital has been boosted by the donation of an Olympus endoscopic ultrasound system to diagnose complex gastrointestinal diseases.

The R3-million funding was spearheaded by Adrian Hatfield, visiting professor of gastroenterology from University College Hospital in London, who persuaded winemaking entrepreneurs Rhona and Graham Beck to help.

Hatfield, at Groote Schuur on a three-month sabbatical had noticed with concern the absence of any Endoscopic Ultrasound equipment at the hospital. The machine is where an ultrasound scanner is built into the end of an endoscope to give not just an endoscopic view inside the gastrointestinal tract. It also creates an image of the wall of the gut and the structures immediately below.

Hatfield explains that the definition obtained in this way is vastly superior to that of even the most modern computerised tomography or magnetic resonance imaging scanners. "The technique allows for the accurate and direct needle-biopsying of a suspicious area to detect cancer without having to put the patient at risk of any external biopsy technique," he says.

Hatfield has been coming to UCT, first as a consultant and later as a visiting professor since 1979, assisting in the upgrading of treatment techniques.

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