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For Patients

General Information

Endoscopy is simply looking into hollow organs like your stomach using a specialised fibre-optic scope connected to a bright light source. The examination allows your specialist to visualise any abnormalities that may be present and in some cases to collect biopsies (small tissue samples) for further examination.

Your Endoscopist is accompanied by an Anaesthetist who will ensure you are asleep during the procedure and will monitor your breathing and other vital signs. Additional staff will also be present including Nursing personnel and technical staff to assist with your procedure.

Procedures normally take between 15 and 30 minutes and your overall stay including admission, consultation and recovery is about 3 hours.

Once awake and feeling up to it we will provide you with a light snack and drink before you head home. It is important for you to know you need to have a carer stay with you for the trip home and the rest of the day and overnight. Also the anaesthetic takes more than 12 hours to fully clear your system so driving or completion of tasks that require concentration should not be performed.

Patient Fees

If you have Private Health Insurance, your excess if applicable will be payable on admission.

Depending on your cover, you may be required to pay out of pocket costs including fees if your private insurance does not pay gap fees.

If you do not have Private Health Insurance or Medicare, there are 4 separate accounts which may be issued regarding your procedure.  We require the total to be paid on admission.  All patients booked for a procedure at The Victorian Gut Centre will be provided with a Patient Fee Estimation Form outlining the fee's applicable to your admission. This form is required to be signed by yourself and returned to The Victorian Gut Centre no later than 5 working days prior to your admission. The center does not charge fees above the Gap.

If you have a Medicare card we can bill Medicare on your behalf so you only need to pay the hospital fee and if needed the cost of the prosthesis. We require the total to be paid on admission. All patients booked for a procedure at The Victorian Gut Centre will be provided with a Patient Fee Estimation Form outlining the fee's applicable to your admission. This form is required to be signed by yourself and returned to The Victorian Gut Centre no later than 5 working days prior to your admission. The center does not charge fees above the Gap.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy is the examination of the colon (the large bowel), using a thin, flexible fiber optic instrument (colonoscope). We use state of the art colonoscopes for the examination and provide you a written report of your examination results following the procedure. A copy of the endoscopy report will also be provided to your referring Dr. for their follow up.
Why do I have to take the bowel preparation?
For colonoscopy, it is important that the bowel is empty to allow for a complete and thorough examination. The bowel preparation acts to clean the bowel so that any particles or debris within bowel do not obscure the view of the endoscopist during colonoscopy. It is very important you follow the directions on preparing for the exam so your procedure can be completed effectively.

Please refer to getting ready for your procedure.

We use state of the art gastroscopes for the examination and provide you a written report of your examination results following the procedure. A copy of the endoscopy report will also be provided to your referring Dr. for their follow up.
What is Gastroscopy?
Gastroscopy is an upper endoscopy that enables physicians to see inside your throat and stomach and into the duodenum. The procedure can help to diagnose reasons related to swallowing difficulties, nausea, reflux, bleeding, indigestion, and abdominal pain or chest pain. During the procedure tissue biopsies can be taken for analysis. Our anaesthetist will ensure you are sedated so you are comfortable during the procedure.
Can I take my medication on the day of my procedure?
Some medications can be taken on the day of your procedure. You may take any heart, blood pressure, or epilepsy medication when you first wake up with a small sip of water on the day of your procedure.

If you take medication for diabetes, do not take them on the day of your procedure. Be sure to tell staff what medications you are taking and to complete the medication section on your pre-admission forms. Other medications such as blood thinners and iron supplements may need to be stopped several days prior to the procedure so be sure to let us know if you are taking these medications so we can advise you.
How long will I be at The Victorian Gut Centre?
Most patients having a Gastroscopy or Colonoscopy should expect to be at our facility for about 3 hours. We will contact the person picking you up after your procedure about 1 hour before you will be ready for discharge.
When will I know the results of my procedure?
The Endoscopist who performed your procedure will see you in the recovery room just prior to your discharge from The Victorian Gut Centre. The endoscopist will advise you of your result and if any tissue samples were taken. You will also be advised of any follow up that may be required, either with your GP or the endoscopist who performed your procedure.
Why can't I drive after my procedure?
For patients having a colonoscopy or gastroscopy, the anesthetist will administer a light IV sedation. This medication is not a general anesthetic, however, it does affect your concentration and memory and remains in your system for a period of up to 12 hours. Driving under the influence of drugs is illegal so you must have someone to take you home after your procedure. You can resume driving 12 hours after your procedure. If you are responsible for operating machinery you may prefer to not resume your duties for a period of 24 hours’ post procedure.

If you are returning home in a taxi you must be accompanied by your carer in the taxi.
When can I return to work?
It is advised that you return to work no sooner than the day after your procedure as IV sedation can affect your concentration and memory. If you have taken work to do at home, please be aware that the sedation you have been given may affect your judgement.

If you are responsible for operating machinery you may prefer to not resume your duties for a period of 24 hours’ post procedure.

Medical Certificates for the day of attendance will be provided on request.

Getting Ready for your Procedure

It is important that you follow a few instructions to get ready for your specific procedure.
This includes completing the paperwork in time, following the diet preparation and of course your arrival and post procedure care. We are always here to answer your questions as well to ensure you receive the highest level of care.

Colonoscopy Instructions Gastroscopy Instructions

Forms

Download admission and preparation forms by clicking the links below.

Admission Form Bowel Prep Form Iron Infusion Form

Special Considerations

Diabetic patients
You may need to have your insulin/medication adjusted the day before and the day of your procedure. Please contact your doctor to help you with this adjustment. You must bring your diabetes medication with you so you can take it after your procedure.

Blood thinning Medication
If you take Aspirin, or any of the following medications such as Coumadin/Warfarin, Plavix/Clopidogrel, Xarelto, Heparin or any other type of anticoagulant medication, you must speak with your doctor at least 2 weeks before your appointment. These medications may need to be discontinued for your safety during colonoscopy but only under the guidance of your primary doctor/specialist.

Iron tablets
Iron tablets should be stopped 5 days before your colonoscopy.

Bulk-forming agents e.g Metamucil
Such products should be avoided one week before your colonosopy.

Asthma Medication
Please bring all asthma inhalers with you on the day of admission.

Low roughage (fiber) diet
Three to four days before your colonoscopy you should avoid vegetables, fruits with skins or seeds, nuts, corn, wholegrain cereals and breads.  It is recommended that you eat dairy products, pasta, white bread, meat, poultry and fish.

Alcohol
You are advised not to drink alcohol the day before or the day of your procedure.

Smoking
It is recommended that you stop smoking 24 hours prior to your procedure.

What To Bring With You

What should I bring on the day of my endoscopy procedure?

Any medications you are taking including inhalers

Comfortable shoes. No high heels please!

Your Referral letter

Your Health Insurance fund membership details

If you have one, your DVA card

Your Medicare Card

Pension Card

Your preferred method to settle your account if required. (Sorry, we do not accept personal cheques)

Please Do Not bring other valuables with you.

The Day Of Your Procedure

We look forward to caring for you on the day of your procedure.

Prior to your procedure day we will advise you by phone or SMS of your appointment time and the results of your health insurance check and if any payment will need to be made on the procedure date. Please note your appointment time is the time you should arrive at the center and is not your procedure time.

The first person to greet you will be one of our Administration staff who will prepare your medical record. We will confirm your personal information as well as what procedure you are having.

Once the paperwork is completed you will be assisted by one of our nursing staff who will complete your admission, provide some instructions and have you ready to meet the Anesthetist and your Endoscopist.

Following this you will be escorted to the procedure room for your investigation. When your endoscopy is completed you will be cared for in our recovery area before heading home with your discharge instructions.

We will call your designated carer about an hour before you are discharged so they can return to pick you up.

Remember all patients must be accompanied home and not drive or operate any machinery for a minimum of 12 hours after discharge. You must still be accompanied by a carer even if travelling by taxi.

The length of your stay can vary but most patients are ready for discharge in about 3 hours.

Discharge Instructions

A copy of discharge instructions may be provided in advance as well as any specific information on the day of your procedure.

Following gastroscopy or colonoscopy, you may experience:

Drowsiness for a few hours.  If possible, rest when you arrive home.

Abdominal discomfort and/or bloating. This feeling is a result of air being introduced during the procedure, and will pass.

Local tenderness or bruising at the injection site used to administer your sedation.

 

For 12 hours following intravenous sedation you must not:

Drive a motor vehicle or operate machinery

Drink alcohol

Sign legal documents

Conduct business agreements

Exercise

Return to Work

Following your procedure, you may return to your normal diet unless otherwise specified.

The nurse will also advise you of any follow up instructions or appointments that may have been made for you.

 

For 24 hours following Intravenous sedation you must not:

Operate heavy machinery

Drive a ‘heavy licence’ vehicle

Please note: There is no Emergency Department or emergency services located at The Victorian Gut Centre, however we will provide you with the locations of several local emergency departments if required.

Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Patient Rights

All patients have a right to:

Courteous and respectful care at all times and under all circumstances

Maintenance of personal dignity

Have their beliefs, ethnic, cultural and religious practices shall be respected

Privacy of personal information except where necessary to enable another health care worker to assist in the patient’s care or when authorized by or under the law

Discreet discussion of personal details and clinical status

Be fully informed prior to any treatment and give consent following reasonable discussion regarding the procedure, risks, diagnosis and treatment options.

Be provided with information about costs of treatment, including likely out-of- pocket expenses and obtain this in writing before proceeding with the treatment.

Seek another medical opinion.

Participate in decisions about your care.

Names and roles of health care workers involved in his/her care

Refuse the presence of health care workers not directly involved in their care

Discharge him/herself at any time during the episode of care, but in doing so has to accept responsibility

Comment on or complain about the quality of the service they have received

 

Patient Responsibilities

We want your visit at The Victorian Gut Centre to provide you with the health information and service you need so we ask that you:

Provide an accurate medical history to enable safe care while attending The Victorian Gut Centre.

To follow medical advice to ensure good clinical outcomes are achieved.

To be considerate of other patients and staff.

To be respectful of The Victorian Gut Centre’s property and facilities.

Seek advice about treatment costs.

Protecting your Privacy

Medical Records & Privacy

The Victorian Gut Centre will keep a record of your admission which will be treated confidentially. We will only share or release your information with your consent and in accordance with Australian law. The Victorian Gut Centre complies with Australian Privacy legislation including the Victorian Health Records Act 2001, the Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000 and supports the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights (ACQHS), including the method used to collect, store, process and disclose health information.

The provision of quality care may require that parts of your medical records will be disclosed to other medical professionals involved in your treatment, or during activities necessary to operate our facility (i.e. to your health fund, the DVA, our insurer, or to an external company contracted to evaluate customer satisfaction).

Consumer Feedback

We welcome your comments or suggestions. Each month we survey patients for their feedback and have a consumer feedback form available in the center.