Urology donation at SMMH improves care

BRACEBRIDGE — Improved kidney stone services are now available here.

Thanks to donor support for a state-of-the-art surgical laser, more advanced kidney stone surgeries are being performed in the operating room at Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare’s (MAHC) South Muskoka Memorial Hospital Site.

New urologist Dr. Jonathan Rhee says the new laser will allow surgeons the ability to provide more comprehensive care here in Muskoka.

“Thanks to the generosity of donors and the South Muskoka Hospital Foundation, this new equipment allows our surgeons the ability to provide more comprehensive care here in Muskoka as patients will be able to undergo certain kidney stone procedures here in our region that previously would have travelled to a larger centre for,” says Dr. Jonathan Rhee, the newest urologist at MAHC. “Our communities are incredibly supportive of the hospitals and deserve to be able to receive as much care as close to home as possible.”

With support from the community, the Foundation contributed $185,000 to purchase a holmium laser and associated equipment for laser lithotripsy, a specialized, less invasive surgical treatment for kidney stones. This laser has the ability to treat stones in certain locations, as well as break up large kidney stones to reduce their size so they can pass naturally.

“This is a really great example of how donor dollars improve access to care locally through capital equipment,” says Natalie Bubela, chief executive officer for MAHC. “Equipment like this can reduce the burden of travel for patients and can also be a critical tool for attracting new doctors to the area. It has also expanded the skills of our perioperative nurses who support the surgeons and patient care during these procedures.”

MAHC pre-op nurses Tracy, left, and Donna with the new laser unit.