Endoscopy is a procedure that allows the inside of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract to be examined without the need for conventional surgery. It involves the insertion of an endoscope, with is a long flexible tube equipped with a miniaturised camera and light and surgical instruments that allow some procedures to be carried out.
Different types of endoscope are used to examine different sections of the GI tract - a colonoscope (inserted via the anus; procedure is known as colonoscopy) is used to examine the colon (bowel), a sigmoidoscope is used to examine the rectum and the last section of the colon (also inserted via the anus; procedure is known as sigmoidoscopy) and a gastroscope (inserted via the mouth; procedure is known as gastroscopy) is used to examine the upper GI tract, including the oesophagus, the stomach and the duodenum.
In most cases an endoscopy procedure is quick (15-45 minutes), and, although normally carried out under sedation, no overnight hospital stay is required. There is a short observation period immediately after the procedure, after which the patient can generally return home (although they must not drive themselves home).
Direct Access Endoscopy
At Gastroenterology Clinics Queensland, we offer Direct Access Endoscopy for those patients that are suitable to proceed straight to endoscopy without first having a consultation with the Gastroenterologist.
Indications for direct access endoscopy may include:
- Positive Faecal Occult Blood Test.
- Suspected cancerous tumour(s).
- Strong family history of gastrointestinal cancer.
- Coeliac disease diagnosed or strongly suspected.
- Follow up/surveillance procedures required.
In order to be eligible for direct access endoscopy, a number of patient criteria must be met. These include:
- Under 75.
- BMI less than 35.
- Not taking anticoagulation / antiplatelet medication (e.g. warfarin, clopidogrel).
- No procedural risks (e.g. implanted defibrillator, IV access issues, sleep apnoea).
- No alcohol / drug dependency.
- No major relevant conditions (e.g. cardiovascular, respiratory, renal dysfunction).
Once the endoscopy is complete, results and a brief report are sent to the referring GP.
If you wish to be considered for a direct access procedure, please discuss this with your GP and our friendly staff.
Direct access referral pads for referring doctors are available on request.