What is Endoscopy?

Endoscopy is a procedure to look into your gastrointestinal (GI) tract with the use of a camera attached on the tip of a flexible thin fibre-optic tube. Small samples of your gut tissue can be obtained for testing when indicated. Pre-cancerous growths (polyps) can also be removed during these procedures. There are two types of endoscopy:

Gastroscopy
A thin fibre-optic tube is inserted through the mouth to view your oesophagus, stomach and first part of the small intestine. 

Colonoscopy
A thin fibre-optic tube is inserted through your back passage (anus) to view your entire large intestine and the last part of small intestine (terminal ileum). 

What preparation will I need for the procedure?

1. Bowel prep
Bowel preparation is required for patients undergoing colonoscopyin order for the doctor to get a clear view of your large bowel. You will be given instructions on a low residue diet for the 3 days before the procedure and on taking a laxative preparation such as Moviprep on the day prior to the procedure. 

2. Fasting
No food or drink is allowed 6 hours before endoscopy 

3. Medication
You may have to adjust the timing of some of your regular medications before the procedure. Please discuss with our staff

4. Administrative preparation
Our staff will assist you with the entire administrative process from scheduling to admission. You will need to complete a hospital admission form and return this to the hospital before your procedure. You will also be asked to sign the consent form on the day of the endoscopy after your doctor has explained the procedure and answered your questions. 

ON THE PROCEDURE DAY IN THE HOSPITAL

What will happen beforethe procedure?

  • You will meet both the doctors performing the endoscopy procedure and anaesthesia. They will explain the procedure and risks to you, and then obtain your written consent 
  • Let your doctor know of any medication allergies you have 
  • You will be given time to ask any questions relevant to the procedure


What will happen during the procedure?

  • You will be given sedation just prior to the procedure 
  • Endoscopy will be performed once you are sedated and you usually do not feel or remember the procedure
  • The procedure generally takes about 30-45 minutes 


What will happen after the procedure? 

  • After the procedure, you will be transferred from the procedure room to the recovery area. A nurse will monitor you until you are fully awake from the anaesthetic which can take up to 1.5 hours. 
  • You doctor will speak to you about the procedural findings and give you instructions for follow up
  • You will be given a light meal before your discharge from the hospital
  • You will not be allowed to drive after the procedure or leave the hospital on your own because the anaesthetic medication can affect you for a few hours. Discharge arrangement should be made before the procedure.
  • You can return to work the next day unless you are told otherwise


What are the potential risks and complications?
Endoscopy is safe however all procedures carry some risks. You should discuss with your GP or specialist about the risks. Should you feel uncomfortable or require further discussion, a consultation with our specialists is recommended prior to the procedure. The risks include:

  • Sore throat, abdominal bloating, wind, which generally lasts less than a few hours
  • Damage to teeth or bridgework (please inform our anaesthetists prior about any potential dental concerns)
  • Bleeding or perforation (a tear or hole) of the bowel: this risk increases with polyp removal but is very uncommon (less than 1 in 1,000)
  • Incomplete procedure due to technical difficulties or suboptimal preparation


Follow up appointment and pathology results
The admin staff will contact you to arrange a follow up appointment with your specialist for:


  • Pathology results if polyps are removed or tissue obtained for investigation
  • Medical management if required based on the endoscopy findings
  • All written endoscopy reports will be sent to your referring doctor


Who should I contact after?
If you have any concerns after the procedure, please contact the Centre on (02) 8084 3831. 

Digestive Pelvic Floor Centre

"Care for your gut   Check on your butt"