For Patients

What is a gastroscopy?

A gastroscopy is a day procedure that involves the passage of a small, flexible tube with a camera at the tip down the throat to examine the oesophagus, stomach and intestine. It is a very safe procedure that is useful to investigate symptoms of reflux, abdominal pain, bloating, difficulty swallowing, coeliac disease, Helicobacter infections, iron deficiency and internal bleeding, as well as other conditions. Patients are required to fast for 6 hours prior to the procedure but no other preparation is required.  Most tablets can be taken with a sip of water on the day of the test, but please discuss this with Dr Mahady beforehand, particularly if you have diabetes or are on blood thinning medications.

How long does it take?

A gastroscopy generally takes around 15 minutes to complete. When you are fully awake, you will be given something to eat and drink, and then you can go home. Someone else must drive you home or go home with you in the taxi. You cannot drive yourself home as you are not able to drive after having an anaesthetic. Most patients can return to work, driving and normal activities on the following day.

When do I get the results?

Straight after the test, you will be given preliminary results. Biopsies taken during the procedure are usually available 1-2 weeks later.

Are there any risks?

All medical procedures carry some risk, but the risks for gastroscopy are generally rare. A sore throat after the test is not uncommon, but generally mild and disappears the next day. Serious risks are rare but may include bleeding, perforation (a tear in the intestinal tract), reaction to the anaesthetic or aspiration. If you are concerned about any of these risks or have any specific questions, please discuss with Dr Mahady.

What is it?

A colonoscopy involves the passage of a long flexible tube with a camera at the tip to examine the large intestine, done under a sedation anaesthetic. Colonoscopy is recognised to be the most effective way to prevent bowel cancer, and many thousands of colonoscopies are done in Australia every year. Colonoscopy allows the doctor to find growths such as polyps on the bowel wall and remove these, so that the risk of developing bowel cancer in the future is significantly reduced.
Colonoscopy is also used to detect possible sources of bleeding from the bottom, to look for inflammation of the bowel (called ‘colitis’), to investigate low iron stores and in the investigation of many other conditions. A clean bowel is vital to ensuring a good quality test and detection of polyps, and it is very important to follow bowel preparation instructions carefully to get the best results.

How long does it take?

A colonoscopy generally takes around 30 minutes to complete. When you are fully awake, you will be given something to eat and drink, and then you can go home. Someone else must drive you home or go home with you in the taxi. You cannot drive yourself home as you are not able to drive after having an anaesthetic. Most patients can return to work, driving and normal activities on the following day.

When do I get the test results?

You will receive the preliminary results on the same day, but all polyps and other tissue samples will be sent for testing and may take up to one week for results.

Are there any risks?

All medical procedures carry some risk. Serious risks resulting from colonoscopy may include bleeding or perforation (a tear in the intestinal tract), estimated to occur at 1 in 1000 cases, reaction to the anaesthetic or aspiration. Sometimes the test cannot be completed if the bowel is unclean because the bowel preparation has not worked, or due to technical or anatomical difficulties. If you are concerned about any of these risks or have any specific questions, please discuss with Dr Mahady before the test.

For further information on colonoscopy, you can download an information sheet here:

In order for your test to be accurate as possible, a clean bowel is essential. The day before your colonoscopy, you will need to take bowel preparation as instructed. There are a number of preparations that are available, and the choice may depend on your health and the presence of any kidney disease. All preparations involve drinking a large amount of fluid slowly, as the ‘flushing’ aspect of bowel preparation is very important.
Common preparations in use include Colonlitely, Picoprep and Glycoprep, and the timing depends on whether you are having your colonoscopy in the morning or afternoon. Dr Mahady will give you your individual instructions prior to the test.

Further information on bowel preparation can be found here:

For people with inflammatory bowel disease:

 

For people with coeliac disease:

Consulting Location

614 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn VIC 3122

Endoscopy Locations

Warringal Private Hospital

216 Burgundy St, Heidelberg, VIC 3084

Epworth Richmond

89 Bridge Rd, Richmond, VIC 3121

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ConsultationGastroscopyColonoscopy