After Booking Your Gastroscopy and/or Colonoscopy
Once you have booked your gastroscopy and/or colonoscopy, we will send you an admission pack which will include:
- Appointment letter
- Admission booklet; and
- Procedure information and preparation instructions.
Please complete the admission paperwork and return to the hospital along with your original referral at least seven (7) days prior to your procedure. You can return your admission paperwork by mail or email.
In preparing for your admission, our nursing staff will review your paperwork and contact you if they have any queries or special instructions from your Gastroenterologist.
Prior to your admission our reception team will notify you of any estimated out of pocket costs related to your admission.
Preparing for your Gastroscopy and/or Colonoscopy
Whilst your GP would have discussed with you what a gastroscopy and colonoscopy is and what is involved, it is important that you review the procedure information and preparation instructions we send to you so you can make an informed decision to proceed with your procedure. Our procedure instructions outline the benefits and risks associated with gastroscopy, colonoscopy and sedation. They also provide you with important information on what to expect after your procedure. Our team are more than happy to answer any queries you may have, we are only a phone call away.
If you are having a colonoscopy you will need to complete bowel preparation to ensure your large bowel is cleaned of waste material. For patients of Professor Garas and Dr Sam Galhenage, you will need to purchase a PLENVU® bowel preparation kit from a pharmacy and follow the instructions we have provided. For patients of Dr Smith, your bowel preparation instructions will be sent to you by Dr Smith’s rooms.
Adequately cleaning your bowel prior to your colonoscopy is vital. If you have experienced difficulties in the past with bowel preparation, phone our Endoscopy Unit and speak with one of our nursing staff. Together with your gastroenterologist, we can advise on a specialised bowel preparation regime.
For further information on what is a colonoscopy and how to prepare, please refer to our Colonoscopy Preparation Instructions available below. Please note that your bowel preparation instructions will vary depending on your procedure time.
To optimize the quality of your bowel preparation, we also recommend that three days prior to your colonoscopy you commence eating a low residue diet. This diet involves avoiding foods that contain nuts, whole grains, skins, seeds or fibre. For more information on what you can eat on a low residue diet, please see our suggestions in this table: Suggested “Low Residue” Food Options
The only preparation required prior to a gastroscopy, is that you fast from all solid foods and fluids (including water) before your arrival at the Endoscopy Unit. Your fasting time will be based on your procedure time.
If you are having a morning gastroscopy: No food after midnight. You can drink water until 5am.
If you are having an afternoon gastroscopy: No food after 7am. You can drink water until 11am.
For further information on what is a gastroscopy and how to prepare, please refer to our gastroscopy information
About your Sedation
Before your gastroscopy and/or colonoscopy you will be given a light anaesthetic which we refer to as sedation. This is administered by your anaesthetist who will monitor you throughout your procedure. You may be slightly aware of what is going on in the procedure room, but generally you will not remember anything.
When you wake up you will be in our Recovery Room where our nurses will be monitoring your vital signs until you are more alert.
As you would have received sedation it is very important that you have a responsible adult to pick you up after your procedure and stay with you overnight. For your safety, you must not drive or operate machinery until the following day, or as indicated by your anaesthetist.
If you have any questions or concerns about your sedation please contact our team.
On the Day of Your Procedure
The entrance to the Endoscopy Unit is located on Fortune Street. On the day of your procedure please proceed directly to the Endoscopy Unit. There is a five minute drop off and pick up bay out the front of the Endoscopy Unit as well as ample free parking in Fortune and Burch Streets. There are no visitor facilities in the Endoscopy Unit and you will be with us for approximately four hours.
Patients are admitted in order of the procedure list. When you arrive at the Endoscopy Unit you will be admitted by a nurse who will review your medical history, record your vital signs, and prepare you for your procedure. You will then meet with your Gastroenterologist and Anaesthetist.
A gastroscopy takes approximately 15 minutes and a colonoscopy takes approximately 20 – 45 minutes.
When your procedure is complete, you will wake up in our Recovery Room and be cared for by a nurse who will monitor your vital signs. You will have an oxygen mask on your face. Within twenty minutes, you should be feeling more alert and will be taken through to our Discharge Lounge where you will be provided with light refreshments. Your nurse will contact your nominated contact person once your vital signs are within appropriate limits and you are feeling well enough for discharge. You should be ready for discharge approximately one hour after your procedure completion time.
The findings from your procedure will be discussed with you and you will have a procedure report to take home with you. This procedure report is also sent to your referring General Practitioner.
After Your Procedure
After your procedure you can resume your regular diet and previous medications unless your gastroenterologist instructs you otherwise.
It is important that you rest after your procedure. You have received sedatives during your procedure and these may make you feel tired and dizzy.
We provide post discharge phone calls to our patients 24-48 hours post procedure. During your admission, our nursing staff will ask for your consent to contact you after your procedure. During this call we can clarify any questions you may have and you are welcome to provide us with feedback on your experience.
However, if you have any problems or are worried about your health once you are discharged, please present to your nearest Emergency Department and take a copy of your procedure report with you.
For more information on what to expect after your procedure download our Discharge Instructions.
Follow up after your Procedure
If biopsies or specimens were taken during your procedure, your results will be sent directly to your GP. You should book an appointment to follow up with your GP approximately 7-10 days after your procedure.
Based on the outcome of your colonoscopy your gastroenterologist may suggest a repeat procedure for ongoing surveillance. This may be in 1, 3 or 5 years’ time. Surveillance intervals for a repeat colonoscopy are guided by the Cancer Council of Australia Clinical Practice Guidelines for Surveillance Colonoscopy (2019).