Gastroscopy

Colonoscopy

Capsule Endoscopy

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Gastroscopy

What is a Gastroscopy?

A gastroscopy is a procedure that enables your doctor to examine the lining of the oesophagus (food pipe/gullet), stomach, and duodenum (first part of the small intestine). Under sedation a thin flexible tube is passed through your mouth into your stomach and duodenum. During the procedure, a tissue sample (biopsy) may be taken and sent to the pathologist. The procedure takes approximately 15 minutes.

Is Gastroscopy safe?

Gastroscopy is a very safe and well tolerated procedure. It is common to feel temporary mild bloating afterwards due to inflation of the stomach. Occasionally there may be nausea or light headedness following the anaesthetic. 

Serious complications are very rare, but may include:

- Perforation (a hole in the bowel wall) which may require surgery
- Aspiration (inhaling of stomach contents into the lung whilst sedated) which may require antibiotic treatment or hospitalization if severe;
- Teeth Damage – whilst a protective mouthguard is used, damage may uncommonly occur
- Death is extremely rare, although this is a possible consequence of any medical procedure.

If you wish to discuss the details of all possible rare complications, you should inform your doctor and/or anaesthetist prior to the procedure. 

Please note, if you have significant heart, lung or kidney problems, you should seek advice prior to the gastroscopy. You can usually take all of your regular medications with a sip of water. If you take Warfarin(Coumadin/Marevan), Apixaban(Eliquis), Clopidogrel(Plavix/Iscover), Dabigatran(Pradaxa), Rivaroxaban(Xarelto), Ticagrelor(Brilinta), or Insulin please seek advice at least 10 days prior to the gastroscopy. Oral diabetes medications should be withheld on the morning of the procedure.


What Preparation is required?

To ensure the safe and effective practice of Gastroscopy, specific preparation of your digestive system is required. Please download the GASTROSCOPY PREPARATION INSTRUCTION found below and carefully read the preparation information

GASTROSCOPY PREPARATION INSTRUCTION PDF


What happens afterwards?

You may feel drowsy afterwards due to the anaesthetic. A friend or family member must drive you home, your procedure may be cancelled if this has not been organized. You must not drive or operate any machinery for 24 hours afterwards. Continue taking all of your usual medications as directed.  

You will be drowsy afterwards due to the anaesthetic. A friend or family member must drive you home, your procedure may be cancelled if this has not been organized. You must not drive or operate any machinery for 24 hours afterwards. Continue taking all of your usual medications as directed. 

You should contact your doctor immediately if you experience any severe abdominal pain, vomiting blood, difficulty breathing, fevers/chills, or any other symptoms you are concerned about. Alternatively, contact the closest emergency department e.g. Sunshine Hospital (03 8345 1333).

Colonoscopy

What is a Colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a procedure that enables your doctor to examine the lining of the colon (large bowel). Under sedation, a flexible tube is gently passed via the rectum (back passage) into the colon. A tissue sample (biopsy) may be taken, or polyps (growths) removed and sent to the pathologist. Colonoscopy is the best test to assess for bowel polyps or cancers, although no test is 100% accurate. 

The procedure usually takes approximately 30 minutes, and most patients will not remember the procedure at all.

Is Colonoscopy Safe?

Colonoscopy is a safe and well tolerated procedure, although it is recommended that you seek advice prior to the procedure if you have significant heart, lung or kidney problems. It is normal to feel temporary bloating following the procedure due to inflation of the bowel during the procedure. 

Occasionally there may be nausea or light headedness following the anaesthetic.

Serious complications are rare, but may include:

- Perforation (a hole in the bowel wall) which may require surgery – this is uncommon, 1:3000 cases
- Aspiration (inhaling of stomach contents into the lung whilst sedated) which may require antibiotic treatment or hospitalization if severe;
- Bleeding if a polyp is removed – this may occur up to 2 weeks following the procedure and rarely requires hospitalization or further procedures to stop the bleeding
- Death is extremely rare, although this is a possible consequence of any medical procedure.

If you wish to discuss the details of all possible rare complications, you should inform your doctor and/or anaesthetist prior to the procedure. 

What Preparation is required?

For the procedure to be accurate, the colon must be completely clean. This is achieved using a BOWEL PREPARATION KIT which causes mild-moderate diarrhoea. This is available at the St Albans Endoscopy or at your local pharmacy without a prescription for a small fee. 

When booking the appointment, please check with the reception staff which Preparation Instructions to follow. Download the correct preparation instruction found below and carefully read the information about preparing for the Colonoscopy as well as how to take the Bowel Preparation Kit

CLEAR FLUID DIET COLONOSCOPY PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS (MOVIPREP) PDF
WHITE DIET COLONOSCOPY PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS (MOVIPREP) PDF
EXTENDED PREPARATION FOR COLONOSCOPY INSTRUCTIONS PDF

What happens afterwards?

You may feel drowsy for several hours following the colonoscopy due to the sedation administered. A friend or family member needs to drive you home your procedure may be cancelled if this has not been organized. You must not drive or operate any machinery for 24 hours afterwards. You can continue taking all of your prescription medications as directed. 

Please contact your doctor if you experience any severe abdominal pain, heavy bleeding, fevers/chills, breathing difficulty, or any other symptoms you are concerned about. Alternatively, contact the closest emergency department e.g. Sunshine Hospital (03 8345 1333).

Capsule Endoscopy

What is Capsule Endoscopy?

Capsule endoscopy is a new technology which painlessly examines the small intestine/bowel. It is often used in patients with unexplained iron deficiency (cause not found with gastroscopy or colonoscopy) to determine if there is any bleeding in the small intestine. 

The test involves swallowing a capsule (about the size a large vitamin pill) that takes multiple digital images of the small intestine. The small intestine is about 6 metres long, and the capsule can take about 8 hours to travel through it. During this time, images are transmitted to a data recorder which is placed around your waist. The capsule does not need to be retrieved as it is passed (usually unnoticed) into your stools. 

Capsule Endoscopy is a day procedure. No sedation or anaesthetic is required. You will need to observe some dietary restriction the day prior, and also to take some bowel preparation (see instructions below). 

You will need to attend the centre in the morning for about half an hour (7:30am-8.00am) where the data recorder is attached, and you will be given the capsule to swallow. You may then leave the rooms and return late afternoon (4.00 – 4.30 pm) to return the attached equipment. Subsequently, the recorded digital images are downloaded to a computer and examined by the doctor.


Are there any risks?

There is a small risk that the capsule could become stuck in the small bowel. This is uncommon. The estimated risk is less than 1 in 200. Surgery may be required to remove a retained (stuck) capsule. An x-ray may be requested after the test if the capsule is not seen to enter the large bowel on the recorded images. On rare occasions technical problems or capsule retention in the stomach may mean a repeat procedure needs to be performed. 


Results

Your results will be available within 1-2 weeks following your procedure and will be sent directly to your referring doctor. It is recommended that you make an appointment to see your GP approximately 1-2 weeks after the procedure.


Preparation for Capsule Endoscopy

To ensure the safe and effective practice of Capsule Endoscopy, specific preparation of your digestive system is required. Please download the CAPSULE ENDOSCOPY PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS found below and carefully read the preparation information
CAPSULE ENDOSCOPY PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS PDF

Consultation

St Albans Endoscopy, has highly experienced gastroenterologists who offer consultations in the following areas:

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Gastric and Duodenal Ulcer Disease
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis)
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux
  • Liver disease and Hepatitis including Interferon, Ribavirin, Boceprevir, Telaprevir and Entecavir therapy
  • Chronic Diarrhoea and Constipation
  • Pancreatic Diseases
  • Coeliac Disease
  • Recurrent Abdominal Pain

If you are experiencing any of the above conditions, speak to your GP about getting a referral for a consultation with a Gastroenterologist at St Albans Endoscopy.