CO2 Laser Will Help Expand Women’s Care

March 8, 2022

The CO2 Colposcopy Laser team is this year’s Dragons’ Den winner.

Back in December, Humber River Hospital hosted its first-ever “Dragons’ Den” Event. Inspired by the show, members of Humber’s surgical program gathered to present their pitches for new technology and equipment that would help our teams provide better care for patients. All were vying for $100,000 in funding from Humber River Hospital Foundation donor Phil Evershed.

Ultimately, the panel of judges or “Dragons” crowned the CO2 Colposcopy Laser team this year’s winner. This will help the Hospital further expand care for women, building on new services added just last year.

Changing and Expanding Women’s Care

Humber River Hospital’s Women’s Health Centre is an outpatient clinic that helps women experiencing abnormal uterine bleeding. While the causes are varied, our teams are able to diagnose and treat patients on the spot using minimally invasive procedures.

In 2021, Humber became the second site in Ontario to create an outpatient hysteroscopy suite. Moving these cases to the outpatient setting allows us to tackle the surgical backlog brought on by the pandemic by creating more time in the operating room for complex cases. This allows more procedures, like Beverly’s, to be done in just a day without requiring overnight stay in hospital.

With the addition of the CO2 laser, this type of technology will enhance gynecology into a full-service and comprehensive Women’s Health Centre at Humber.

Dr. Lynn Sterling, OBGYN Physician and Colposcopy lead at the Hospital, who pitched the CO2 Laser at the Dragons’ Den Event with colleague Navdeep Badwal, Program Manager of the Surgical Clinic, said: “Receiving that kind of institutional support reflects very highly on Humber River Hospital as a place that prioritizes women’s health… it speaks really well to our values and desire to care for our community as a whole.”

The Impact of the CO2 Laser at Humber River Hospital

Dr. Lynn Sterling, OBGYN Physician and Colposcopy lead at Humber River Hospital.

Colposcopy is an important component of Humber River’s Women’s Health Centre. This is a common procedure where a doctor examines a women’s cervix and lower genital tract to diagnose and treat pre-cancers, which are often identified on abnormal pap smears, before they progress into cancer.

The CO2 laser will allow our team to utilize the most minimally invasive approach for treating pre-cancers of the lower genital tract, by vaporizing abnormal cells without resecting nearby normal tissue.

The technology allows for treatment of vaginal, vulvar and cervical precancers, as well as restoration of anatomy in certain skin disorders. Humber is uniquely positioned to offer this service to our community due to our high volume colposcopy unit and opportunity for outpatient procedural sedation in a clinic setting.

“We value our patients’ time. It takes a lot for a patient to attend a consultation, undergo a biopsy, and wait for a result,” Dr. Sterling said. “Currently, we need to refer some of these patients out for treatment to other institutions, which can be stressful and inconvenient. Once we acquire the CO2 laser we will be able to keep women with their care providers at Humber, which has a very positive impact.”