Our doctors are available by appointment to discuss your gastroenterological issues.
Please phone (07) 3809 2893 to make an appointment.
You may also view our Contact Us section for more details.
Please note that you must have a current, valid referral to be seen by one of our specialists.
These are usually obtained from your general practitioner (GP) but are sometimes written from other specialist doctors.
We accept mailed and faxed referrals as well as those sent through Medical Objects.
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, there may be restrictions regarding who is able to attend the appointment with you.
Please discuss with our reception staff if you have any questions.
Endoscopy involves the use of a flexible video instrument to examine the upper intestinal tract including the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum. The procedure is commonly undertaken if your doctor suspects that you have inflammation, ulceration or other abnormality of the oesophagus, stomach or duodenum.
You should not smoke or have solid food for 8 hours, but clear fluids are allowed up to 4 hours before your procedure – after this you should be "NIL BY MOUTH" (nothing at all to eat or drink).
At the beginning of the procedure your throat may be sprayed with a local anaesthetic, and you will be given a sedative by injection into a vein to make you more comfortable. The procedure will take between 10-15 minutes and you will be sleeping for about a half-hour afterwards.
The endoscope is a flexible tube about 9 mm in diameter and will be passed via your mouth. It allows full colour inspection of the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum. It also allows biopsies to be taken from the stomach, small bowel and other areas.
If you have serious heart or chest problems, special precautions need to be taken to reduce any possible risks.
You should therefore inform your doctor of any serious illness of any nature. The precautions taken will usually include providing oxygen during the procedure and/or monitoring the heart and oxygen levels during the procedure.
It is important to tell your doctor about use of any blood-thinning medications (e.g. aspirin, clopidogrel, ticagrelor fish oil, warfarin, dabigatran, rivaroxaban, apixaban).
Gastrointestinal endoscopy is usually simple and safe. It is unlikely to cause problems but rarely patients may have a reaction to the sedation or damage to the oesophagus, including perforation at the time of examination.
Bleeding is a rare complication following upper endoscopy and biopsy.
Damage to loose, decayed teeth or dental bridges rarely can occur. Such complications are extremely rare.
Full details of all possible rare complications can be discussed with your doctor before the procedure.
Colonoscopy is a procedure used to examine the large bowel. It allows a variety of functions to be carried out through the instrument. Such functions may include taking tissue samples (biopsies), the removal of polyps, dilation of narrowings, and various treatments to arrest certain forms of bowel haemorrhage.
Prior to your colonoscopy, you will be provided with a preparation kit containing full instructions. For at least three (3) days before the procedure, you will need to follow a low residue diet.
Starting the day before your colonoscopy, you will need to take laxatives and further preparation of a quantity of salty-tasting solution which completely flushes out the colon.
You will be given a sedative before your procedure begins and usually you will not remember the actual examination.
The colonoscope is a long and highly flexible tube about the thickness of the index finger. It is inserted through the rectum into the large bowel and allows inspection of the whole of the large bowel.
Occasionally, narrowings of the bowel or other diseases may prevent the instrument being inserted through the full length of the colon.
As cancer of the large bowel can arise in pre-existing polyps, it is generally advisable that if polyps are found at the time of examination they should be removed.
Most polyps can be removed by placing a wire snare (loop) around the base and, if necessary, applying an electric current.
Few investigations in medicine are perfect. Colonoscopy has been shown to be significantly more accurate than barium enema in detection of bowel polyps and cancers. When the instrument cannot be passed all the way around the colon, there is significant risk of missing polyps and cancers in the unexamined portion of the bowel. For this reason, if your colonoscopist is unable to pass the instrument the entire length of the colon, other procedures may be recommended.
Even with a complete colonoscopy, up to 3% of bowel cancers can be missed. This risk appears to be smaller for highly-trained colonoscopists. Small benign polyps can be missed in up to 6% of cases. The detection of small polyps is seriously hindered by poor bowel preparation.
You must advise the nursing staff if you are allergic or sensitive to any drug or other substance.
You should cease iron tablets and drugs to stop diarrhoea at least seven (7) days before the procedure.
You should tell your colonoscopist about your medical conditions, particularly if you have diabetes or use blood-thinning medications as changes may need to be made to these during your preparation.
Aspirin: If you are taking aspirin as a lifestyle measure, then it should be ceased a week before your procedure. If you are taking it for a medical condition which is being treated by a doctor, then you should continue your aspirin.
Other antiplatelet agents (e.g. clopidogrel - Plavix or Iscover; ticagrelor - Brilinta) and anti-coagulants: (e.g. warfarin - Marevan or Coumadin; dabigatran - Pradaxa; enoxaparin - Clexane; rivaroxaban - Xarelto; apixaban - Eliquis): Removal of polyps while on these agents may result in serious haemorrhage. This is a complex problem where the risk of ceasing blood-thinning medication must be balanced against the risks of post-polypectomy haemorrhage. Depending on your medical background, these may or may not be stopped before your procedure and should be discussed with the doctor prior.
The majority of bowel cancers arise from adenomatous polyps. Some polyps never become cancerous. It is impossible to predict which polyps will progress to cancers and which will remain as benign polyps.
For this reason it is advised that polyps be removed at the time of colonoscopy. It will not be possible to discuss this during the colonoscopy itself as you will be sedated. If you have any queries or reservations about removing polyps, please inform the staff before the procedure.
In the unlikely event that a haemorrhage occurs after removing a polyp, a blood transfusion or operation may be necessary and your will be transferred to a hospital for this treatment.
If large polyps are removed, a small metal clip may be placed around the base of the polyp stalk to reduce the risk of bleeding. These will usually be passed later at a later time, although the exact timeframe for this varies.
If a polyp is detected with some worrying features, then black ink is used to tattoo a mark adjacent to the polyp site. This permanently marks the site so it can always be checked again in the future; or, if the area of bowel requires surgery, so that your surgeon will be able to easily identify the site where the polyp was removed.
The sedation/analgesia you are given before the procedure is very effective in reducing any discomfort. However, it may also affect your memory for some time afterwards. Even when the sedation appears to have worn off, you may find you are unable to recall details of your discussion with your doctor.
For a straightforward diagnostic procedure, you can return to normal food intake as soon as your sedation has worn off. You should, however, be careful to avoid alcohol over the next 12 hours as traces of sedation remaining in your blood steam may combine with alcohol to produce a far more intoxicating effect than normal.
During the procedure, it is necessary to fill the colon with gas to ensure that all areas of the bowel are examined. Not all of this can be removed at the end of the procedure and you are likely to feel some bloating and discomfort for a few hours afterwards.
If you have any severe abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, fever or other symptoms which cause you serious concern, then you should contact your doctor immediately.
It is not our intention to frighten or dissuade you from having the investigation, but we must outline the risks. With this knowledge, you may either accept the risks and proceed with the procedure, or decide not to have it.
Depending on the reason for the procedure, there may be significant risks of NOT having the procedure (e.g. missed disease or delayed diagnosis). These risks may be fatal (e.g. delayed diagnosis of cancer).
For inspection of the bowel alone (diagnostic colonoscopy without removal of polyps or other operative measures), complications of colonoscopy are uncommon. Many surveys report complications in less than 1 in 1000 examinations. These complications will include intolerance of the bowel preparation and reaction to the sedatives used.
Major complications such as perforation of the bowel, bowel haemorrhage, injury to the spleen or other internal organs are very uncommon but if they do occur, surgery may be required.
When procedures such as removal of polyps are carried out, there is a slightly higher risk of perforation or bleeding from the site where the polyp has been removed.
Complications of sedation are uncommon and are usually avoided by administering oxygen, monitoring the blood oxygen levels by a finger probe, or monitoring by electrocardiograph (ECG).
Rarely, however, particularly in patients with severe cardiac or lung disease, serious sedation reactions can occur.
A number of rare side-effects can occur with any medical procedure. Full details and rare complications can be discussed with your doctor before the procedure.
Capsule endoscopy is a method of examining the small intestine by using a tiny video recording device inside a plastic capsule, which is swallowed.
Clinical studies have confirmed that capsule endoscopy is effective for observing the small intestine. The capsule takes pictures as it moves through your gastrointestinal tract. The pictures are then transmitted from the capsule to a recorder unit secured to a belt around your waist. All the pictures are stored on this recorded unit.
After about 8 hours, the belt and the recorder unit are removed. The images recorded will then be saved ready to be viewed by your doctor.
The capsule will be excreted naturally in your faeces. The capsule contains metal parts. Stay away from any equipment that prohibits the wearing of metal objects close to it (i.e. MRI equipment) until the capsule is excreted.
If the capsule has not been excreted, it may be necessary to retrieve it either by a specialised endoscopy or a surgical procedure.
The day of the examination:
Most medication can be taken with a sip of water 2 hours prior to the examination.
Do not use any form of talcum powder.
Arrive at the hospital at the requested time and wear loose fitting, two-piece clothing (i.e. top and bottoms; not dresses). As you will be wearing a sensor belt, you need to wear thin natural-fibre clothing next to your skin (i.e. cotton singlet).
If you have not already done so, you will be asked to sign a consent form. Once the documentation has been completed you will be taken into an examination room. The nurse will attach the sensor belt to your abdomen. The belt will then be attached to a recorder which will be placed in a pouch on a belt around your waist.
You will be given a tablet to swallow with a small amount of fluid. The capsule and recorder box will be checked to ensure they are working correctly. You will then be asked to swallow the capsule.
During the examination:
Once you have swallowed the capsule, do not eat or drink for 2 hours. After 2 hours you may have something to drink and after 4 hours you may have a light snack.
You are requested to record any event (eating, drinking, activity and unusual sensations on the event form provided. Bring this event form with you when you return to your doctor’s room to have the equipment disconnected.
During the examination you should not be near any source of powerful magnetic fields such as, and MRI device or amateur radio.
Avoid sudden movement and banging of the recorder box. Do not operate any of the recording device switches. Do not wet the equipment.
Capsule endoscopy lasts approximately 8 hours. During this time, do not disconnect the equipment or remove the belt. Check the data recorder approximately every 15 minutes to verify the small light on the box continues to flash. If the box ceases to flash, record the time and contact the hospital.
On completion of the examination:
Return to the hospital at the arranged time. The nurse will disconnect you from the data recorder box and remove the belt. You are then free to leave.
The doctor will be able to remove the data from the recorder box and view the results of the procedure. Once the results are available, your doctor will contact you with the results and arrange any further tests or treatments.
You cannot undergo the examination if any of the following medical conditions apply to you:
You have a cardiac pacemaker or other implanted electronic devices;
You have a known intestinal obstruction, significant intestinal strictures, or fistulae;
You have difficulty swallowing;
You are not suitable for any type of surgery;
You are pregnant;
You have been diagnosed as having radiation enteritis.
If you are taking iron tablets, please check with your specialist and stop 1 week before you capsule endoscopy.
Iron is usually given intravenously (IV) for those in whom oral tablet preparations have not been sufficient, or are unlikely to adequately replenish the iron stores.
It may also be given to those experiencing blood loss and need to have iron replaced quickly.
Please inform the doctor of any underlying medication conditions such as heart or lung conditions, as these may affect the safety of giving the injection.
Side-effects such as temporary nausea, palpitations or a slight rise in body temperature may occur. Allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis are rare.
One of our nurses will check your general health on the day including assessment of your pulse rate, blood pressure and temperature.
A doctor will talk to you about the injection and an IV "drip" will be inserted.
The iron will be slowly injected and you will be monitored in the day surgery to check for side-effects before allowing you to leave.
Phone: (07) 3809 2893
Fax: (07) 3809 2895
Mobile: 0481 394 818
7:00 am - 5:00 pm
Monday to Friday
(excluding public holidays)