KNOXVILLE – A new outpatient endoscopy suite is up and running at Knoxville Hospital & Clinics.

The new suite opened on April 21 and provides surgeons a dedicated area within the surgery department to perform endoscopy. Endoscopy refers to minimally-invasive procedures that utilize various types of flexible instruments known as “scopes,” which may incorporate surgical implements as well as tiny cameras to assist the surgeon’s skill.

Sharon Campbell, Surgery Manager, explained that the endoscopy suite is joined by a processing room for equipment handling after use. The endoscopy suite improves efficiency during procedures and having a separate processing room enhances patient safety by immediately removing used equipment from the operating environment.

“We have a more spacious and comfortable area now to accommodate the growing volume of outpatient procedures,” said Campbell. “That is really beneficial for the safety and experience of our patients and the quality of care provided by our surgeons.”

The new endoscopy suite is part of Knoxville Hospital & Clinics’ construction project to modernize the patient rooms, surgery and emergency departments, and build a new primary care clinic and physical therapy gym. All work is expected to be completed next winter.

Colonoscopy and other screening procedures are vital in identifying and treating gastrointestinal problems including cancer, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis during the earliest stages when treatment options can be the most successful. One of these diseases, colorectal cancer, is the second leading cancer killer in the United States but it doesn’t have to be. That is why it is so important for people to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations that include getting screened for colorectal cancer if you are over 50 years of age. Other risk factors include: having polyps or having a close relative who has had polyps; having inflammatory bowel disease; having a genetic syndrome such as familial adenomatous polyposis. The symptoms of colorectal cancer include: blood in or on your stool (bowel movement); pains aches or cramps in your stomach that don’t go away; and losing weight for no known reason.

If you are over 50, it is important to discuss getting a colonoscopy with your primary care physician.

Knoxville Hospital & Clinics, a Critical Access Hospital serving Marion County and the surrounding area, is dedicated to providing personal, progressive quality healthcare with compassion.  For more information regarding this release and other happenings at Knoxville Hospital & Clinics, call the Public Relations office at (641) 842-1418.