Endoscopy Frequently Asked Questions
Being a specialist field of health service providers, it is useful to provide clarification on the definitions of terms used so that the general public gains a better awareness of the digestive health benefits of endoscopy.
Who is an endoscopist?
An endoscopist is a doctor who has specialised training in endoscopic procedures of the digestive tract, including upper gastrointestinal endoscopy (gastroscopy), flexible sigmoidoscopy, (colonoscopy), ERCP and endoscopic ultrasound (EUS).
What are the common problems evaluated by an endoscopist?
There are numerous problems associated with the digestive tract that can be evaluated by an Endoscopist.
Problems that would normally be evaluated by an endoscopist are:
- Abdominal pain
- Persistent nausea and vomiting
- Rectal bleeding
- Swallowing trouble
- Weight loss
Just about any condition that exclusively involves the health of your digestive system can be examined using endoscopy procedures.
Who is a gastroenterologist?
A gastroenterologist is a medical specialist in the area of digestive disease. In Australia, these specialists are members of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and have also undergone extensive training in gastrointestinal endoscopy. As well as providing endoscopy services, specialist gastroenterologists offer consultations in the following areas of digestive health:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux
- Liver disease and Hepatitis including Interferon, Ribavirin, Boceprevir, Telaprevir and Entecavir therapy
- Chronic Diarrhoea and Constipation
- Pancreatic Diseases
- Coeliac Disease
What should I bring with me when I come for a scheduled office appointment?
Please bring the following items to your scheduled endoscopy appointment:
- A referral from your General Practitioner or family doctor. (Referral form download available on linked page.)
- Your insurance information
- All pertinent x-ray reports and test results from your primary care or referring physician
- A list of all medications that you are currently taking
- A list of any known drug allergies and the symptoms you may have from taking these medicines
Are my medical records kept private and confidential?
Your medical file is handled with the utmost respect for your privacy. Our staff are bound by strict confidentiality requirements as a condition of employment regarding your medical records.
Ordinarily we will not release the contents of your medical file without your consent.
Do I need a referral to make an appointment?
Most medical specialists will accept only referred patients. This is partly to try to ensure that the specialist you are seeing is appropriate for you and your condition, and also because Medicare pays rebates for specialist services only if you have been referred.
How can my family doctor help me to obtain specialist medical care?
Before seeing any medical specialist, it is always preferable to talk to your own family doctor, who can discuss your condition with you and advise on whether any specialist care is appropriate. If it is, he or she can help you to choose the specialist best suited to your needs. Your family doctor can help the specialist to care for you better by providing relevant information about your health. Communicating with the specialist will also enable your family doctor to care for you better during and after your specialist treatment.