Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital’s health foundation launched its new Urology Surgical Equipment Campaign today. The Trail Hospital Auxiliary pledged $60

New campaign for urological health kicks off

One of the most important things is that many patients will no longer have to leave KBRH to have surgeries at hospitals in larger centres.

With a new set of eyes, comes new equipment and advanced urologic surgeries that will keep more patients recovering locally instead of in hospital beds at distant city centres.

The Urology Surgical Equipment Campaign launched today through the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital’s (KBRH) health foundation, with a goal of fostering progressive urologic services for both men and women living in the region.

The $400,000 campaign is projected to last up to two years. However, with a new urologist on the way, the foundation received a sizeable donation from the Trail Hospital Auxiliary this week so updated surgical equipment can be ordered in advance of his arrival.

Dr. Michael Robinson will join the area’s longtime physician Dr. Roy Livingstone in July, which means KBRH will have a team of urologic surgeons that will combine almost three decades of practice with new equipment, techniques and skills.

What does this mean, in particular, for men’s health in the region?

One of the most important things, says Dr. Livingstone, is that many patients will no longer have to leave KBRH to have surgeries at hospitals in Vancouver or Kelowna.

“That’s the biggest factor,” noted Livingstone, who’s been the sole Trail-based urologist for 25 years.

“We were lacking equipment to do certain procedures which we will be able to do with Dr. Robinson. With his training he will be bringing some new procedures too, so it’s a combination of both those things.”

New treatments that Dr. Robinson will introduce at KBRH include expanded laparoscopic techniques, such as removal of a kidney, explained Livingstone.

“We’ve been having to send patients to Vancouver so this campaign will help us get new equipment to expand the use of that laser.”

In advance of Dr. Robinson’s arrival, the health foundation is hoping to raise $150,000 by mid-summer.

“Although the foundation will gladly receive donations for the urology campaign until the $400,000 goal is reached,” says health foundation director Lisa Pasin. “We are encouraging those interested to donate early in the campaign, to ensure our new physician will have the necessary equipment on site and ready.”

Treatment of urological diseases at KBRH, like kidney cancer, will be advanced in tandem with updated operative equipment, which is less risky and requires less recovery time than “open” surgeries.

“New laparoscopic equipment, like the harmonic scalpel will enable our new surgeon to perform minimally invasive surgery to treat kidney cancer,” explains Jane Cusden, KBRH’s acute health service director. “In addition to the acquisition of new laparoscopic equipment, updating of open surgical instruments will allow surgical treatment of prostate and bladder cancer without patients having to travel outside the area.”

Aside from specific cancer therapies, treatment of renal stones and benign prostate disease will also be improved with new equipment.

“New flexible ureteroscopes will greatly increase the number of patients who can have their kidney stones treated locally,” noted Cusden.

She said additional flexible “scopes” will further improve the diagnosis and management of benign prostrate disease, bladder cancer, and aid in preoperative planning for prostate diseases.

While both men and women requiring urologic assessment and care will benefit, Cusden maintains that the urology campaign is timely, given the spotlight on men’s health through relatively new initiatives like “Movember,” which raises money for men’s unique health challenges, like prostate cancer.

“This is a multi-faceted area of medicine that requires a multidisciplinary team approach, of which the urologist is a key member,” she said. “Having the requisite surgical equipment to deliver a broad spectrum of contemporary urologic care further enhances the ability to deliver high quality care in the field of men’s health.”

A urologist is a physician with specialized knowledge and skill regarding problems of the male and female urinary tract and the male reproductive organs

Issues that a urologist may manage include male infertility, androgen replacement therapies, sexual health and benign prostate disease, as well as prostate and testicular malignancies.

For information or to donate contact the KBRH Health Foundation toll free at 1.888.364.3424, locally at 250.364.3424 or email info@kbrhhealthfoundation.ca.

Formerly called the Trail Regional Hospital Foundation, the KBRH foundation is in its 27th year of raising money to advance health care in the Kootenay Boundary.

The foundation revenue, over $13 million to date, is generated through donations from private and corporate donors.

Funding priorities include raising endowed gifts and annual funds to support health care equipment needs, staff education, and special initiatives to enhance health care through the Trail hospital and other Kootenay Boundary facilities.

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