Ithaca, N.Y. — The Cayuga Medical Center has opened a new endoscopy center on North Triphammer Road in Ithaca.
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The new center, which opened on March 16 after three years of planning, features the “latest and greatest — the most innovative equipment that’s out there,” according to Liz Bilinski, director of the center.
The center, located on the corner of North Triphammer Road and Craft Road, specializes in colonoscopies — a test that allows physicians to look at the inside of the large intestine — and uses “high-definition” equipment that Bilinski says is essential to preventing colon cancer.
“The pictures are just incredible,” Bilinski said in a phone interview on Tuesday. “Colon cancer generally can be prevented with good colonoscopies.”
Bilinski stressed the importance of those over the age of 50 getting preventative screenings, but she added that colonoscopies are typically not a subject that people like to discuss.
“This isn’t something people necessarily like to talk about, or have done,” she said. “Our nurses and our physicians understand that. We take all measures to keep people private and efficient.”
In addition to the center’s ability to screen for colon cancer, physicians at the center can also treat and diagnose various other medical issues ranging from heartburn to ulcers, Bilinski added.
Before this center opened, the endoscopy center was operated out of Cayuga Medical Center hospital, “with generally no pre-procedure area” for patients and only three procedure rooms, Bilinski said.
At the new location, there are four procedure rooms, in addition to nine “very spacious, and very large” pre- and post-bays for patients, she said. Two rooms for these types of procedures are still located within the hospital, however, for emergency cases.
The new center — which cost $4.2 million, according to John Turner, Vice President of Public Relations at the medical center — is estimated to see approximately 5,200 patients annually.
The new center “isn’t putting anything out of business,” Turner said, rather than just moving the endoscopy headquarters of the medical center to a new location.
Prospective patients can contact the Gastroenerology Associates of Ithaca’s office at 607-272-5011 to schedule an appointment.
“What we’re doing is just offering it in a much more convenient location, with the best equipment you can get, which is what’s really, really important,” Bilinski said. “Highly-trained physicians and really good equipment.”