Endoscopy at The Billington Centre

How we can help you

Our centre performs medical procedures with endoscopes, these are small cameras which are used to look inside your gastrointestinal tract and assess or treat problems with your oesophagus, stomach, or bowel.

We care for patients admitted to hospital and people in the community referred to us by gastroenterologists and surgeons.

We provide the following procedures:

  • Gastroscopy is a technique to look directly into your gullet (oesophagus), stomach and the first part of the small bowel (duodenum)
  • Colonoscopy is an examination of the large bowel (colon)
  • Sigmoidoscopy which is a procedure to look inside the rectum and sigmoid (lower) colon (the first 60cm of the bowel) for polyps, abnormal areas, or cancer. A sigmoidoscope is inserted through the anus and rectum into the lower part of the colon (sigmoid colon)
  • Pill Cam which is a capsule based endoscopy
  • Abdominal paracentesis, is a procedure to remove fluid from the abdomen
  • Banding of haemorrhoids with rubber bands
  • Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is procedure where any abnormality of the pancreas or surrounding area can be seen and biopsies may be taken
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) which is used to diagnose any biliary tract problems such as gall stones, jaundice and obstruction of bile
  • Removing a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) or other feeding tubes.  These tubes enable feeding if you cannot take food through your mouth
  • Removal of feeding tubes.

We also have an outpatient liver clinic to provide treatments for people with viral hepatitis and conduct Fibroscan which is an ultrasound to assess the degree of scarring in your liver.

Our team includes:

  • Medical specialists including Gastroenterologists and Surgeons who will perform your procedure and assess, treat and manage your care.
  • Nursing Unit Manager and team of experienced endoscopy nurses manage our everyday activities.
  • Clinical Nurse Consultants (CNCs) are trained specialists who provide support and education.
  • Enteral and Parenteral/ IV Nutrition Support CNC supports our weekly outpatient clinic for people with gastrointestinal feeding problems and feeding tube changes.
  • Hepatology CNC’s are registered nurses who manage our outpatient liver clinic. They support people living with viral hepatitis and other liver problems to manage their treatment plans.  They also help with our clinical trials and tests.
  • Administration staff who will help you make appointments, inform you about what will happen at the Billington Centre and answer any questions you may have. If they are unable to answer these questions they will refer you to someone else that can.

We work in partnership with the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

The Billington Centre does not accept direct bookings from your local general practitioner (GP). Your GP will need to refer you to a specialist doctor such as a gastroenterologist or surgeon first.

You will have seen this specialist in either their private medical service or in our specialist Gastroenterology Clinic at the Outpatient Department of Prince of Wales Hospital.

You may need to wait up to 3 months before you can see the Gastroenterologist or Surgical doctor. At this consultation the specialist will determine if you will need to have an endoscopic procedure, if you do, they will write you a referral to the Billington Centre.

Your specialist doctor will either arrange your appointment for you directly with the Billington Centre or will give you a booking form to take to our Centre to organise the appointment yourself.

If you need to attend the Billington Centre in person to make your appointment, the Office is open 8.30am - 4.00pm daily for bookings (closed Public Holidays and one Friday a month). You must bring along your referral letter from your GP as well as the booking form from your specialist.

The Billington Centre will then send you your appointment letter in the post.  If you provide your mobile phone number you will receive a SMS reminder a week before your appointment.

Can I chose the day and time I attend the centre for my appointment?

The Billington Centre procedures are organised for certain doctors on certain days. We will find you the next available appointment time that matches when your required specialist is available. There may be a waiting period. The Billington Centre is open Monday to Friday, 8.30am – 5.00pm.

What if I need to cancel my appointment for the procedure?

Once your appointment is booked, you will receive a text message a week in advance to remind you of the date and time. This message will include a contact number so you can call us if you cannot attend.  We will re-book your appointment if necessary.

You will receive a letter in the mail describing how to prepare for your endoscopic procedure before you come to hospital. It will also confirm your appointment time and date. Please follow the instructions carefully, especially the instructions about diet and fasting. If these instructions are not followed, we may not be able to do the procedure.

Please make arrangements for a responsible adult to pick you up from hospital to take you home after your procedure. You must not drive a car or operate complex machinery for 24 hours after your procedure.

What do I need to bring on the day of my procedure?

Please bring:

  • Your referral letter from your GP
  • Your Medicare card
  • A list of your medicines or bring all your medicines in a bag, including any herbal or over the counter medicines
  • You are welcome to bring a support person (a relative, friend or carer) with you
  • Any test results, x-rays or reports relating to your current medical condition.
  • You may have to wait a while before your procedure so we recommend that you bring reading material with you.
  • Please do not bring jewellery including body piercings, valuables or large amounts of money. The hospital cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage to your property.
  • Please remove nail polish and shellac.
  • A friend or relative must escort you home after you have had your procedure due to the sedation you will be given. The procedure cannot go ahead if there is not a responsible adult whom can do this. On admission the nurses must get a mobile/phone number to contact that person, if not, we may have to reschedule to a time that is suitable for that person to collect you after your procedure.

You will need continue to visit your local GP. We will send them a report on your procedure. Your specialist will let you know if you need to make an appointment with your GP.

Please let us know if you need an interpreter. You can contact us telephoning the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 131 450. Tell the operator what language you speak and then ask the interpreter to set up a telephone conversation between you, an interpreter, and the healthcare professional you want to speak with.

As we are a teaching hospital, you may be asked to be involved in research, or for a student to be present at your appointment. You have a right to say no. If you do so, this will not impact in any way on the services we will provide.