RAPID Access Endoscopy

Our practice offers Rapid Access Endoscopy (Gastroscopy and Colonoscopy) for patients with private health insurance. This allows patients to be booked for an endoscopic examination without the need for an initial specialist consultation.

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Procedures can be booked directly by GPs or by patients who have a referral.

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After completing an online referral form (or dropping a referral into our practice) patients will be contacted by our practice to confirm their suitability.

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Instructions will then be sent out by mail and / or email.

Rapid Access Endoscopy (also known as, “Open Access Endoscopy”)

Rapid Access Endoscopy (gastroscopy and colonoscopy) with Bowral Surgeons gives you the option of having a gastroscopy or colonoscopy without the need to attend a consultation before the procedure.

What is endoscopy?

Endoscopes are long thin flexible tubes that have a camera at the end. The camera transmits images to a television screen, allowing our surgeons to see the inside lining of the oesophagus (food pipe), stomach and duodenum (the first part of the small bowel) or the colon (large bowel). Fine instruments can be passed through the endoscope to allow biopsies to be taken or polyps to be removed.

Endoscopy is performed under deep sedation which is administered by a specialist anaesthetist. Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy (gastroscopy) allows your surgeon to look for a range of abnormalities including Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), inflammation, ulcers and tumours, coeliac disease, Barrett’s oesophagus and hiatus herniae. During colonoscopy we look for polyps, tumours, diverticulosis and signs of inflammation. Polyps will be removed at the time of the colonoscopy and sent to the pathology lab for examination. Any other abnormalities will be, in most cases, biopsied.

Booking a gastroscopy or colonoscopy

Our aim is to make the process as simple and as convenient as possible for patients and for referring doctors. You or your doctor can make a booking for Rapid Access Endoscopy or by contacting us by telephone on 4861 7061 or in person at 38 Bowral Street, Bowral. Our Rapid Access Endoscopy Procedures can be scheduled on Thursdays or Fridays.

Once a booking has been made

After you have made a booking for Rapid Access Endoscopy with Bowral Surgeons, our reception staff will contact you within 1-2 working days to confirm the date for your procedure. We will arrange a time for one of our doctors to call you to discuss your medical history and the details of your procedure. We will also discuss bowel preparation if you are having a colonoscopy. For your safety, it is important that you inform us about your medical history and about any blood thinning or diabetic medications you are taking. Sometimes we will ask you to come in for a consultation prior to your procedure if there are medical issues that need to be addressed.

You will then need to present to the rooms where we can assist you to complete the hospital paperwork which will then need to be taken to Southern Highlands Private Hospital. We will also provide you with the dietary and bowel preparation instructions.

The hospital will contact you on the day before your procedure to discuss fasting and admission times. Ideally you should have another adult available during the preparation and recovery period and you will need to arrange someone to drive you home from hospital. You should avoid driving for 24 hours after anaesthesia.

On the day

On the day of your procedure you will be admitted to the day surgery unit, change into a hospital gown, and wait in bed. The anaesthetist will introduce themselves and talk to you about your anaesthetic. Lastly, you will meet your surgeon in person just before your procedure. The anaesthetist will give you intravenous sedation during the procedure. After the procedure you will go to the recovery ward for 1-2 hours. You will be given a drink and a snack. Your surgeon will let you know what was found before you leave the hospital and may ask you to come back to the rooms for a follow-up appointment. You will be given two copies of the endoscopy report before going home, one for your records and the other for your General Practitioner. The major effects of the anaesthetic will have worn off before your discharge, however minor effects on memory, drowsiness and other physical effects can persist for 12 – 24hours after the procedure and you should not drive, operate heavy machinery, sign any important documents or care for children during this time. A responsible adult will need to accompany you home and should remain with you for the next 12 hours. A letter will be sent to your General Practitioner after the procedure, usually after the pathology results have become available.

Our ‘Rapid Access’ (aka ‘Open Access’) program is a direct referral system which allows patients with a referral to be booked for a gastroscopy or colonoscopy without the need for a prior consultation. Patients must have few or no co-morbidities to access this service. In order to book a patient for an open access procedure we need a referral and an indication that you would like the procedure to be done on an open access basis. What follows below is a brief flow chart of how the process works. If you would like more information, please free to contact us by phone or directly by email at drkim@bowralsurgeons.com.au or drsmith@bowralsurgeons.com.au

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Group 4 Give the referral to the patient with instructions to contact our rooms OR Fax or email the referral directly to our rooms and we will contact the patient. Fax: 4861 7078 admin@bowralsurgeons.com.au Fill out an online booking form through our website. It will then be sent to us electronically and will act as the referral letter. Patient who requires a routine gastroscopy or colonoscopy Write a referral requesting open access (gastroscopy and/or colonoscopy) OR We will contact the patient within 48hrs of receiving the referral to: 1) Confirm the procedure date 2)  Arrange a time for one of our doctors to call Telephone consultation with one of our doctors (To review  the patient’s medical history, explain  the procedure and to  answer  any questions) Admission forms and bowel preparation instructions will then be provided to the patient Patient completes and submits paperwork to the Southern Highlands Private Hospital The Patient will be contacted by hospital staff the day before the procedure and given instructions on the admission process, including their arrival and fasting time. PROCEDURE AT THE SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS PRIVATE HOSPITAL Discussion with the patient following the procedure Follow up in the rooms if there are any pathology results to discuss or abnormal examination findings

Eligible Patients:

  • Between 18 and 80 years of age
  • No major medical issues (see next column)
  • Not taking any blood thinning medication
  • Have private health insurance or wish to have their procedure in a private hospital

This form can be completed directly by a GP or a patient who has a referral from their GP.

Referring Doctors:
* A separate dated and signed referral is required for medicare purposes
** This form can be used as the referral letter once printed and signed.

Ineligible Patients:

  • Heart Problems – Heart attack within the last six months, chest pains with physical activity, irregular heart beats, pacemaker, stents within the last 12 months.
  • Diabetes requiring insulin
  • Gastrointestinal - Recent abdominal Surgery, diverticulitis within the past six weeks, active symptoms of Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative Colitis.
  • Liver disease – poor liver function or cirrhosis
  • Neurological – recent stroke or TIA, Myasthenia Gravis
  • Pregnancy
  • Respiratory – Emphysema, Sleep Apnoea, Severe Asthma, Airway problems
  • Renal – Chronic Renal failure or Renal Impairment, dialysis

If you fall under any of the categories listed above, you are not eligible for RAPID Access Endoscopy and will need to be reviewed by one of our surgeons before your procedure. This is so we can make an individual plan for you to minimise the risk of any complications occurring.

Please contact our clinic to make an appointment on   02 4861 7061.