Who is a gastroenterologist?
A Gastroenterologist is a doctor who specialises in diagnosing and treating patients with problems affecting their digestive system. The digestive system includes the digestive tract (oesophagus, stomach, small and large bowel), as well as related digestive organs (liver, pancreas, and gallbladder).
What are the common problems evaluated by a gastroenterologist?
Symptoms that are usually evaluated by a gastroenterologist include:
- abominal pain
- swallowing problems
- persistent nausea and vomiting
- change in bowel habit (diarrhoea or constipation)
- rectal bleeding
- weight loss
What should I bring with me when I come for my first scheduled appointment?
- a referral from your General Practitioner or Specialist
- any insurance details
- all relevant x-ray reports and test results from previous investigations
- a list of all medications that you are currently taking
- a list of any known drug allergies
Why do I need a referral?
Most medical specialists will accept only referred patients. This is partly to try to ensure that the specialist you are seeing is appropriate for you and your condition, and also because Medicare requires a referral for you to be billed for the service.
Is there a cost for the consultation?
Yes. There is a fee for a consultation and the receptionist will be able to provide you with details of the fee schedule.
What should I expect during my first visit?
During your initial visit, the doctor will ask you some questions about your current problem and your past health. He may also do a physical examination. He will then explain any necessary diagnostic procedures including the risks, help you understand any results so far, and arrange to see you again to initiate appropriate therapy and have further discussion about your symptoms.
Are my medical records kept private and confidential?
Your medical file is handled with the utmost respect for your privacy. Our staff are bound by strict confidentiality requirements as a condition of employment regarding your medical records. We will not release the contents of your medical file without your consent.
What if my condition changes while I am waiting for my procedure?
If your condition changes or worsens, please contact your referring doctor or the rooms for an urgent appointment to discuss your case, where a decision can be made if your priority needs to be changed. Alternatively the Emergency Department is open 24/7 if the change is critical.
Do I follow the instructions on the bowel preparation box or Prof Veysey’s instructions?
Please follow Prof Veysey’s instructions.
What do you mean by clear fluids?
Any fluid that you can see through including water, lemonade, apple juice, jelly, black tea, black coffee and broth
Is beer/alcohol regarded as clear fluids?
Yes. However, it is not advisable to drink alcohol as this will dehydrate you.
Do I have to stop Aspirin or any other medication before my endoscopy?
Not always. If you need to change the dosing of any medication prior to your procedure Prof Veysey will advise you.
Why do I have to book myself into the private hospital? Can I just ring them?
The private hospital require your private health insurance details and they need to know your health history. If you have already attended the private hospital recently for other procedures/operations and they may already have your details, then you may be able to just phone them.
What do I bring to my endoscopy?
Your Medicare card, private health insurance details and perhaps a magazine or book and any medications that you will need to take after your endoscopy.
Can I take my pills on the morning of the procedure?
Yes. Please take your regular medications, if required, with a sip of water.
Do I need to bring my pyjamas to the procedure?
No. Present to hospital in your street clothes. Depending on your procedure, you may be required to change into a hospital gown. After your procedure you can then change back into your street clothes. However, you may like to bring some slippers when visiting the toilet.
Can I drive home after an endoscopy?
No. You cannot drive until the next day as you will have had sedation. It is illegal to drive a vehicle after sedation. The hospital will be happy to contact a friend/relative or taxi for you.
I’m bleeding PR after my endoscopy. What should I do?
A few drops of blood are normal after an endoscopic procedure, particularly if any biopsies were taken or a polyp removed. However, if you have an excessive amount of bleeding, please phone to make an urgent appointment to see Prof Veysey or alternatively you can attend the Emergency Department of your closest hospital.
I have abdominal pain after my endoscopy. What should I do?
Abdominal pain after an endoscopy is normal and is usually due to wind. However, if this doesn’t settle after a few days, please phone for an urgent appointment to see Prof Veysey or alternatively if the pain is severe, the Emergency Department of your closest hospital is open 24/7.