Mercy Hospital is a not-for-profit surgical hospital committed to delivering 'exceptional care that makes a difference' to Otago and Southland residents. Endoscopy services are offered at the Manaaki facility which is based on Mercy Hospital's Dunedin campus. Independent specialists provide the full range of examinations of the oesophagus, stomach and bowel using a scope – a long soft flexible tube, containing a camera and a light. These procedures are provided at our facility by the following medical specialists. For further information please seek a referral through your GP or contact your preferred specialist directly.
Procedures / Treatments
Gastroscopy allows examination of the upper part of your digestive tract i.e. oesophagus (food pipe), stomach and duodenum (top section of the small intestine), by passing a gastroscope (long, flexible tube with a camera on the end) through your mouth and down your digestive tract. Images from the camera are displayed on a television monitor. Sometimes a small tissue sample (biopsy) will need to be taken during the procedure for later examination at a laboratory.
Gastroscopy may be used to diagnose peptic ulcers, tumours, gastritis etc.
Complications from this procedure are very rare but can occur. They include: bleeding if a biopsy is performed; allergic reaction to the sedative or throat spray; perforation (tearing) of the stomach with the instrument (this is a serious but extremely rare complication).
What to expect
All endoscopic procedures are viewed as a surgical procedure and generally the same preparation will apply. You will not be able to eat or drink anything for 6 hours before your gastroscopy. When you are ready for the procedure, the back of your throat will be sprayed with anaesthetic. You will also be offered medication (a sedative) to make you go into a light sleep. This will be given by an injection into a vein in your arm or hand.
The gastroscopy will take approximately 15 minutes, but you will probably sleep for another 30 minutes. You will spend some time in a recovery unit (probably 1-2 hours) to sleep off the sedative and to allow staff to monitor you (take blood pressure readings etc). Because you have been sedated (given medication to make you sleep) it is important that you arrange for someone else to drive you home.
If biopsies are taken for examination, your GP will be sent the results within 2-3 weeks.
Colonoscopy is the examination of your colon (large bowel) using a colonoscope (long, flexible tube with a camera on the end). The colonoscope is passed into your rectum (bottom) and then moved slowly along the entire colon, while images from the camera are displayed on a television monitor. The procedure takes from 10 minutes to an hour. Sometimes a small tissue sample (biopsy) will need to be taken during the procedure for later examination at a laboratory.
A colonoscopy may help diagnose conditions such as polyps (small growths of tissue projecting into the bowel), tumours, ulcerative colitis (inflammation of the colon) and diverticulitis (inflammation of sacs that form on the walls of the colon).
Colonoscopy may also be used to remove polyps in the colon.
Risks of a colonoscopy are rare but include: bleeding if a biopsy is performed; allergic reaction to the sedative; perforation (tearing) of the bowel wall.
What to expect
It is important that the bowel is completely empty before the procedure takes place. This means that you will only be able to have liquids on the day before, and will probably have to take some oral laxative medication (to make you go to the toilet more).
When you are ready for the procedure, you will be given medication (a sedative) to make you go into a light sleep. This will be given by an injection into a vein in your arm or hand.
The colonoscopy will usually take 15 – 30 minutes, but you will probably sleep for another 30 minutes. Because you have been sedated (given medication to make you sleep) it is important that you arrange for someone else to drive you home.
Some patients may experience discomfort after the procedure, due to air remaining in the colon.
A long, narrow tube with a tiny camera attached (sigmoidoscope) is inserted into your anus and moved through your lower large intestine (bowel). This allows the surgeon a view of the lining of the lower large intestine (sigmoid colon). If necessary, a biopsy (small piece of tissue) may be taken for examination in the laboratory.
This information has been provided by https://www.healthpoint.co.nz, helping people better understand and use New Zealand health services.