Mercy Unveils Latest Technology For Pancreas And Bile Duct Stone Treatment, Tissue Samples

Mercy Unveils Latest Technology For Pancreas And Bile Duct Stone Treatment, Tissue Samples

Posted on: May 22, 2009

Canton, Ohio: Mercy Medical Center recently unveiled state-of-the-art, minimally invasive technology that helps physicians more accurately diagnose and treat gallstones and other obstructions – as well as obtain conclusive biopsies – in bile and pancreatic ducts without surgery. Called SpyGlass® Direct Visualization, this system is the first of its kind in Stark and Summit Counties.

Nearly half a million people annually in the U.S. undergo ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) to diagnose problems in their liver, gall bladder, and bile and pancreatic ducts. However, according to Nabil M. Fahmy, M.D., medical director of Mercy Gastroenterology, conventional procedures have drawbacks.

He says, “Traditional ERCPs capture only two-dimensional, black and white x-rays and take biopsies that are inconclusive up to 40 percent of the time, resulting in additional testing and even surgery.”

With SpyGlass, one physician operates a 6,000-pixel, fiber-optic probe and miniature accessories that can be steered in four directions to directly view bile and pancreatic ducts, administer stone-blasting therapy, remove polyps and acquire biopsies. 

Both Dr. Fahmy and Sameh S. Kamel, M.D., Mercy gastroenterologist, have performed SpyGlass procedures and believe this advanced technology is a major step forward in treating conditions that arise in the biliary and pancreatic systems.

“The same-day, minimally invasive procedure allows us to clearly see abnormalities, rupture elusive stones and get good biopsies in 30 to 90 minutes, which all translates into less trauma, less pain, faster results and fewer – if any – surgeries for the patient,” Dr. Kamel says. “That is a remarkable improvement.”

In addition, Dr. Fahmy notes that outcomes have been excellent. “We’ve increased our diagnostic accuracy to more than 90 percent,” he says.

Mercy Medical Center, a nonprofit corporation of the Sisters of Charity Health System and University Hospitals Health System, operates a 476-bed hospital serving Stark, Carroll, Wayne, Holmes and Tuscarawas Counties and parts of Southeastern Ohio. It has 550 physicians on its Medical Staff and employs 2,500 people. Mercy operates outpatient health centers in Carrollton, Jackson Township, Lake Township, Louisville, North Canton, Plain Township and Tuscarawas County. A Catholic hospital, Mercy Medical Center upholds the mission and philosophy of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine and continues to be responsive to the needs of the community, including the provision of care to all, regardless of their ability to pay. For more information, see

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