We provide a wide range of gastroenterology services, including consultations in rooms, direct access upper and lower scopes and investigation of routine gastroenterological issues such as abnormal liver blood tests and iron overload. Where necessary we also provide hospital admissions for procedures and post-operative care.
Direct Access Endoscopy
Your referring doctor may feel that your problem is simply suggestive of a certain diagnosis, for example, a stomach ulcer. If you are relatively young and have no major medical problems, your doctor can save you the expense of a consultation by referring you for a scope test only. After your endoscopy the results will be sent to your referring doctor who can then explain the diagnosis to you and decide on a treatment plan, if necessary.
Things to remember on the day of your procedure:
- Always bring your referral letter, insurance details and list of medications.
- If your medical history is complicated bring a list summarising your main problems.
- You’ll have a brief chat with the doctor before your scope test and a short explanation of the main findings of the procedure afterwards.
- If you are having sedation you can expect to be discharged about 4 to 5 hours after your appointment.
- You cannot drive after sedation (intravenous medication to relax you). You should arrange to be picked up by a friend or family member and have someone stay with you that night.
- Bring a pair of slippers, a dressing gown and something to read.
- If you are only having a gastroscopy or ‘upper scope’ you can opt to only have a spray which numbs your throat. If you are not having sedation you can drive home after you are discharged. However, if you are particularly anxious or have a strong gag reflex you may prefer to have sedation. The choice is completely up to you.
- Make an appointment to see your referring doctor a few weeks after your scope so they can go through the results with you.
A colonoscopy is a test to carefully and accurately examine the colon (large bowel). It is used to evaluate symptoms such as altered bowel habit, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, weight loss and anaemia. The test is also used to screen for colon cancer. For example, a person whose father developed colon cancer at 60 years of age is recommended to have a colonoscopy every five years from fifty years of age onwards.
This procedure takes over 30 minutes, involves sedation and requires you to take a laxative preparation to cleanse your bowel. You will start taking the laxative the evening before your procedure so you should only need to take the day of the test itself off work. The day after a colonoscopy most patients return to work and resume their regular activities.
The test allows the doctor to look around the entire large intestine and see abnormal tissue and growths, such as polyps. You will be given instructions in advance that will explain what you need to do to prepare for your colonoscopy. Your colon must be completely empty for the colonoscopy to be accurate. To prepare for the procedure your diet will be slightly restricted in the week leading up to the procedure and severely restricted the day before. After a small lunch the day before the procedure you can have the following:
- Consommé soup
- Strained fruit juice
- Plain tea or coffee
- Clear soft drinks such as 7up, cola etc.
- Plain chocolate and ice-cream are also allowed as they are liquid at body temperature.
Be sure to let the hospital staff know if you have any medical conditions (such as artificial hips or heart valves), or medications you take on a regular basis such as:
- Arthritis medications
- Blood thinners eg. Warfarin, Plavix, Clopidogrel, Eliquis, Aspirin etc.
- Diabetes medication
- Iron and Multivitamins
- Herbal remedies
The medical staff will also want to know if you have any medical condition that may need special attention, such as heart or lung disease. You should also arrange for someone to accompany you home and watch over you that evening as you will not be allowed to drive after being sedated.
You will be given sedation to keep you comfortable and help you relax during the colonoscopy. The doctor guides a flexible, lighted tube around the colon. The scope transmits an image of the inside of the colon onto a screen so the doctor can carefully examine the lining of the colon. The scope is flexible so the doctor can move it around the curves of your colon. Most patients sleep through the test and the doctor and nurses will monitor you for any signs of discomfort and give additional medication as needed.
The doctor can also take biopsies and may remove small polyps, which are abnormal growths in the lining of the bowel. Because some polyps are precancerous, they are removed and analysed. By identifying and removing precancerous polyps, a colonoscopy can prevent future bowel cancers. In 96% of patients, a colonoscopy allows for accurate diagnosis and treatment of colon abnormalities and avoids the need for a major operation.
Risks and complications
A colonoscopy usually takes about 30 minutes. You may feel some brief cramping due to gas after the procedure is completed. You can expect to be discharged about four to five hours after your appointment time as the sedation has to wear off.
Rarely, some people experience severe abdominal pain, fever, bloody bowel movements, dizziness or weakness afterwards. If you have any of these side effects, contact Dr Hollingsworth immediately, either through our office or by calling the switchboard of the hospital where the test was performed. Read your discharge instructions carefully. Medications such as blood thinners may need to be stopped for 24 to 48 hours after your colonoscopy if polyps were removed.
Serious complications following colonoscopy are rare and treatable. For example, perforation of the bowel occurs in less than 1/1000 cases and is often treated with bowel rest and antibiotics. Like perforation, bleeding can occur after polyp removal and can be usually controlled with cautery, adrenaline injection in the bleeding point and special clips. Oversedation is rare nowadays due to continuous oxygen monitoring, but is generally easily treated with reversing agents.
To download our instruction sheet for colonoscopy click here.
A gastroscopy is a much briefer and simpler procedure than a colonoscopy. A lighted flexible tube is inserted into the gullet and passed through the stomach and duodenum. Problems like acid reflux, ulcers and gastritis can be seen easily and biopsies can be sent. A biopsy can be taken to find an infection that is associated with ulcers and gastritis. Sometimes repeat gastroscopies are recommended. This is usually every 3 years for specific conditions such as Barretts, Atrophic Gastritis etc.
To download our instruction sheet for gastroscopy click here.
Not every patient is suitable for direct access endoscopy and your referring doctor may want you to see Dr Hollingsworth for a consultation before any procedures are carried out, particularly if you have complicated symptoms or if you are on multiple medications and have medical problems which affect you on a daily basis.
During your consultation Dr Hollingsworth with go through your medical history, any relevant family history, the symptoms you are experiencing and any medications you are currently taking. To help him do this please bring all of your medications or your prescription with you to your appointment. You may also find it helpful to note down your main problems and any questions you would like to ask the doctor. Dr Hollingsworth will examine you, so wear comfortable clothing that is easy for you to take off and on.
Payment is due on the day and can be made by cash or card. We no longer accept cheques.
Venesection/ Iron infusions
If you have too much iron in your blood (or not enough), your doctor may refer you for consultation and investigation, or simply for treatment. Please contact us and we will make the appropriate appointment for you.