Best-practice IBD care thanks to the ultrasound at The Alfred

The Alfred has always been a trailblazer in the field of patient care, new treatments and services. So it was no surprise when they approached Gandel Foundation back in 2016/17 to help them purchase a specialised ultrasound machine to establish a new service, the Gandel Foundation Intestinal Ultrasound Centre of Excellence, led by Prof. Friedman (on the left) and Prof. Boussioutas (on the right). Both Gandel Foundation and The Alfred Hospital Foundation contributed funding towards the project.

This centre has provided the infrastructure and facilities to train gastroenterologists in intestinal ultrasound and integrate it with clinical research to enable this technology to become the new ‘gold standard’ in the care and management of patients living with Crohn’s and Colitis (also known as inflammatory bowel syndrome, or IBD) within Australia.

The benefits of intestinal ultrasound are many, including a quick, inexpensive, non-invasive procedure that requires no bowel preparation or fasting. The scan is completely risk free for patients and the results are comparable or superior to other diagnostic methods.

Since establishment the Centre has been hugely successful, scanning thousands of patients annually. According to the Hospital, “The Gandel Foundation Intestinal Ultrasound Centre of Excellence has created an Australian first in best practice care of patients with IBD.”

In addition, the training and accreditation of several doctors each year has led to the rise of intestinal ultrasound being seen as a best-practice alternative for assessment of patients with IBD.

In 2022 Gandel Foundation Board approved an additional grant to purchase one more ultrasound machine – again a project to which both foundations contributed. With the second machine, the hospital is now in a position to double its scanning capacity to more than 2,500 scans annually. The additional funding support will also enable Prof. Friedman to train another five doctors a year in intestinal ultrasound and share this model of care with more practitioners around Australia and the world. Gandel Foundation Grant Manager Nicole Brittain (middle) visited the Gandel Centre in late 2022.