New Endoscopy Center at Colorado State’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital Equipped, Funded by Equipment Manufacturer Karl Storz

A newly remodeled education and medical service center for performing endoscopies on companion animals will open Nov. 13 at Colorado State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

The endoscopy center consists of a remodeled, 350-square-foot room in the hospital at 300 W. Drake Road. Karl Storz Veterinary Endoscopy-America contributed $30,000 to remodel the space. The firm donated $120,000 worth of endoscopic equipment and accessories for the two-station surgery and diagnostic facility that faculty believe will enable them to make advances in endoscopic techniques.

Endoscopy is the viewing of internal organs and cavities through an endoscope, which is a tube – either flexible or rigid – equipped with fiberoptics, a miniature television camera and light source. A well-established, non-invasive technique in human medicine, it has found increasing application in veterinary procedures in recent years, according to Dr. David Twedt, professor of clinical science in Colorado State’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and a specialist in endoscopy. "The opening of the teaching center represents the beginning of a new era for continuing education in minimally invasive procedures for animals," said Dr. Christopher Chamness, director of Karl Storz Veterinary Endoscopy-America and an alumnus of Colorado State’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science. "Now veterinary practitioners will have even more opportunity to develop the skills necessary to perform these procedures."

The facility will be used to teach veterinary medicine students, residents and interns and provide a place for graduate veterinarians to develop or refine skills and take continuing education classes on endoscopy, Twedt said.

"Endoscopic techniques often provide a quick and relatively non-invasive means of obtaining answers that would otherwise require major surgery or expensive diagnostic testing," he said. "Further advantages of endoscopy for the patient include a shortened anesthesia, better patient comfort and more rapid recovery.

"Many of these procedures can be done with the animal going home the same day, which reduces expenses as well."

Dr. Wendell Nelson, director of Colorado State’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital, said, "Enhancement of the endoscopic capabilities by the generous contribution of Karl Storz Veterinary Endoscopy-America has greatly improved our ability to provide excellent educational opportunities in endoscopy. The enlarged facility and increased diversity of equipment will benefit our patients and our students.

"On behalf of the doctors, staff and students at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital and the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, I wish to thank the Karl Storz American subsidiary for this donation to our hospital."

Twedt began work with endoscopic techniques in 1972 as a veterinary student at Iowa State University and continued his work during an internship and medicine residency at The Animal Medical Center in New York City. Besides providing an easy way to make diagnoses, he said, endoscopy has provided opportunities for therapeutic veterinary procedures such as arthroscopic surgery, in which microsurgery is performed inside joints, and laparoscopy, which allows surgery using only a small slit in the skin. Flexible endoscopes in some cases carry remote-manipulation surgical tools in addition to providing a view of an internal body part.

An endoscope or its variants also are used for biopsies, foreign body removal, feeding tube placements and examinations of respiratory and urinary systems in animals, said Twedt, who has trained more than 50 residents and numerous interns in small-animal endoscopy at Colorado State.

Karl Storz opened his business in Tuttlingen, Germany, in 1945, producing endoscopic systems for medicine and industry. Eighteen subsidiaries now are located in North and South America, Europe and Asia. The American veterinary subsidiary opened in 1992, offering products and continuing education seminars throughout North America for equine, small animal, avian and exotic animal veterinary practices.