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2014 Press Releases
BayCare Hospitals Bring Advanced Endoscopy Equipment to Tampa Bay Area

One of the first EUS of its kind in Florida is in use at Morton Plant, St. Anthony’s and St. Joseph’s Hospitals

CLEARWATER, Fla., (April 15, 2014) - Patients in the Tampa Bay area needing advanced diagnostic endoscopic ultrasounds now may benefit from new technology which can mean less time in a procedure and a more detailed diagnosis thanks to a new endoscopy processor at three BayCare hospitals that offers the latest, most precise imaging technology.

Located at Morton Plant, St. Anthony’s and St. Joseph’s hospitals, the new endoscopy processor, also called an EUS or Endoscopic Ultrasound, is used if a standard endoscopy exam has determined the need for further investigation.

EUS may be used to evaluate stages of cancer, chronic pancreatitis or other disorders of the pancreas. It is used to study: abnormalities or tumors in organs, including the gallbladder and liver; bumps in the intestinal wall; or the muscles of the lower rectum and anal canal. EUS also is used in diagnosis and staging of tumors of the esophagus, and in the diagnosis and staging of certain tumors of the chest cavity.

“With this new processor and the 360 degree view, you don’t miss anything because you were trying to move the scope to get the full view,” said Morton Plant gastroenterologist Gourisankar Degala, MD. “You also are able to complete the scan much more quickly because the picture quality and the definition of the tissue you’re looking at is more precise.”

Endoscopic ultrasound combines the advantages of endoscopy and ultrasonography. During the procedure, a thin, flexible endoscope mounted with a camera is inserted into the upper or lower digestive tract. “The benefits of EUS are that it uses ultrasound, provides unrivalled image resolution and allows for higher detection rate of small lesions that are not accessible by regular endoscopy,” said Ramesh Ashwath, MD, St. Joseph’s gastroenterologist.

“The new processor also offers the option to collect tissue samples in a minimally invasive way at areas that can under normal conditions only be reached via invasive surgery,” said St. Anthony’s gastroenterologist Abhitabh Patil, MD. “In addition to the diagnostic use of EUS, it also has a therapeutic use in which we can insert a stent to allow fluids to pass through.”

The EUS technology offers radial and linear scanning. The 360 degree scanning offers the advantage of a full panoramic view and a Doppler functionality to display blood flow dynamics inside the blood vessels. This adds valuable information to the examination, simplifying the orientation within the gastrointestinal tract and therefore speeding up the examination time.

The linear scanning technology provides a scanning range of 180 degrees. Linear scanning technology is designed to continuously visualize the progression of needle insertion into the tissue when performing a EUS-Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) procedure to collect tissue samples or other therapeutic procedures.

About BayCare Health System
BayCare Health System is a leading community-based health system in the Tampa Bay area. Composed of a network of 11 not-for-profit hospitals, outpatient facilities and services such as imaging, lab, behavioral health and home health care, BayCare provides expert medical care throughout a patient’s lifetime. With more than 200 access points conveniently located throughout Tampa Bay, BayCare connects patients to a complete range of preventive, diagnostic and treatment services for any health care need.

BayCare’s family of hospitals are: Mease Countryside, Mease Dunedin, Morton Plant, Morton Plant North Bay, St. Anthony’s, St. Joseph’s, St. Joseph’s Children’s, St. Joseph’s Hospital-North, St. Joseph’s Women’s, South Florida Baptist, and Winter Haven. For more information, visit BayCare on the Web at


Beth Hardy
(727) 298-6199 Phone
(727) 402-5975 Pager
Lisa Patterson
(813) 554-8134 Phone
(813) 227-3430 Pager