Rapid Access Gastroscopy
Your GP may refer you directly for a gastroscopy without a specialist consultation prior to the procedure. We offer this service for a limited number of indications to patients without certain medical conditions that place them at higher risk for an endoscopic procedure.
Once you have filled in your online registration one of our practice nurses will contact you to ensure that you are eligible for this service and also provide you with information about the preparation for the procedure. It is important that your GP sends their referral to us as this will contain important information regarding your medical background.
It is also important you are satisfied that you completely understand the indications, preparation and risks before you go ahead with the procedure. If you have any questions or uncertainty after the telephone consultation with our practice nurse, we advise that you make an appointment to see a specialist prior to the procedure.
Gastroscopy (otherwise known as panendoscopy or endoscopy) is a technique which allows examination of the inside of the oesophagus (swallowing tube), stomach and the duodenum (first part of the small bowel). A thin flexible tube about the diameter of the index finger is inserted into the mouth and guided under direct vision to the duodenum under anaesthetic. The inside of these regions can be seen on a video screen and photographs can be taken. It is usually a day only procedure not requiring an overnight stay.
No special preparation is usually required for this procedure apart from fasting. Further instructions will be provided to you.
It is often used to assess reflux symptoms, swallowing problems, look for ulcers and also to perform biopsies for assessing coeliac disease, presence of Helicobacter pylori and Barrett’s oesophagus. Other more significant interventions can also be performed in more complex cases which are not suitable for rapid access.
Gastroscopy is regarded as safe and well tolerated but there are always risks involved with any medical intervention that need to be thoroughly understood prior to the procedure. Potential risks or complications include bleeding and damage to the gastrointestinal wall including perforation. These complications are very rare and occur in less than 1 in 500-1000. This may lead to surgical intervention in some cases. There are also anaesthetic risks involved with these procedures. Although gastroscopy is the gold standard test for visualising the upper gut at present, in rare instances potentially important disease processes can still be missed.
After the procedure, you must not drive for 24 hours. You may feel some discomfort from excess wind after the procedure but this is short lived. Any more significant symptoms such as bleeding or more severe abdominal pain must should be reported to the nursing staff after the procedure. If the symptoms appear after you are discharged, you may need to attend the emergency department.
Your proceduralist will inform you with the results of the procedure in the recovery area. You will be given a copy of your report and instructions on who to follow up with and when. You may require a consultation with the proceduralist if there is a finding that requires follow up or treatment. Biopsies will be sent to the pathology laboratory for analysis. Your GP will also be copied in on all results and therefore it is important to have the correct GP details listed on your registration form.
You may be a candidate for rapid access gastroscopy if one or more of the below applies to your circumstances
- Reflux symptoms
- Positive coeliac blood tests
- Surveillance of Barrett’s oesophagus
- Surveillance of intestinal metaplasia
To be eligible for rapid access colonoscopy you must be
- Less than 75 years of age
- Medically fit and healthy
- Stable diabetes
- No history of significant heart, lung, liver, kidney disease or diabetes
- No prior issues with anaesthetic
- Covered by private health insurance and wanting to have colonoscopy at Sydney Adventist Hospital
Rapid Access Gastroscopy Fee Information
A estimate of costs will be provided to you during your telephone consultation with the practice nurse. Do not hesitate to speak to one of our team if you have further questions regarding the estimate.