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Waitematā Endoscopy

Private Service, Endoscopy (Gastroenterology), Gastroenterology & Hepatology (Liver), General Surgery

Today

7:30 AM to 5:30 PM.

Description

Waitematā Endoscopy is an advanced endoscopy centre developed in partnership with Southern Cross Hospitals Limited in order to provide the most comprehensive private endoscopy service to the North Shore, North and West Auckland.

 

What is Endoscopy?
Endoscopy is the process of looking inside body cavities, using a very tiny camera attached to the end of a long, flexible tube (endoscope). Images from the camera are sent to a television monitor so that the doctor can direct the movement of the endoscope. It is also possible to pass different instruments through the endoscope to allow small samples or growths to be removed.

Endoscopy allows a doctor to make a diagnosis either by seeing directly what is causing the problem or by taking a small tissue sample for examination under a microscope (biopsy).

Endoscopy can also be used as a treatment e.g. for removal of swallowed objects in the oesophagus (food pipe), healing of lesions etc.

 

What is Gastroenterology?
Gastroenterology is the branch of medicine that looks at diseases of the oesophagus (gullet), stomach, small and large intestines (bowel), liver, gallbladder and pancreas. 

The oesophagus is the tube that joins your mouth with your stomach. It is a muscular tube that contracts to push the food through when you swallow.

The stomach is where food is broken down by acid and emptied into your intestines. The stomach has special cells lining its wall to protect it from these acids.

The intestines consist of the small intestine (duodenum, jejunum and ileum – different sections of small intestine) and the large intestine (colon).  As food passes through the small intestine, nutrients are broken down and absorbed.  When it passes into the colon, water is absorbed.  The waste that is left is passed as faeces (poo).

The liver is roughly the size of a football and is on your right side just under your ribs. It stores vitamins, sugar and iron which are used by cells in the body for energy.It also clears the body of waste products and drugs, produces substances that are used to help blood clot and aid the immune system, and produces bile which aids in digestion.

The pancreas is an elongated organ that lies in the back of the mid-abdomen. It is responsible for producing digestive juices and certain hormones, including insulin, the main hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar.

A gastroenterologist is a doctor specialising in the field of medicine which involves these closely related organs.

Consultants

Referral Expectations

We accept both direct (open access) referrals for gastroscopy/colonoscopy and referrals after consultation.

Our team is made up of experienced surgeons and endoscopy specialists, so we can offer a breadth and depth of service.

We are backed up by the services of a fully equipped private hospital, so you can have full confidence in the safety of your patients.

Endoscopy under general anaesthetic is regularly available and frail or complex patients can be admitted before or after procedures if needed. 

Charges

Waitematā Endoscopy is a Southern Cross Affiliated Provider.  Please contact us for more information.

Hours

7:30 AM to 5:30 PM.

Mon – Fri 7:30 AM – 5:30 PM

Common Conditions / Procedures / Treatments

Gastroscopy

This is a procedure which allows the doctor to see inside your oesophagus, stomach, and the first part of the small intestine (duodenum) and examine the lining directly. What to expect The gastroscope is a plastic-coated tube about as thin as a ballpoint pen and is flexible. It has a tiny camera attached that sends images to a viewing screen. During the test you will swallow the tube but the back of your throat is sprayed with anaesthetic so you don’t feel this. You will be offered a sedative (medicine that will make you sleepy but is not a general anaesthetic) as well. If the doctor sees any abnormalities they can take a biopsy (a small piece of tissue) to send to the laboratory for testing. This is not a painful procedure and will be performed at our endoscopy suite within Southern Cross North Harbour private hospital by a specialist doctor with nurses assisting. Complications from this procedure are very rare but can occur. They include: bleeding after a biopsy, if performed an allergic reaction to the sedative or throat spray perforation (tearing) of the stomach with the instrument (this is a serious but extremely rare complication). Before the procedure Full information will be sent to you to read in advance, but in short: you will be asked not to eat anything from six hours before the procedure and you may need to stop some of your medications on the day of the procedure. You will have the chance to ask questions of the nurse and doctor beforehand if you wish. After the procedure You will stay in the day stay unit until the sedation has worn off which usually takes 1-2 hours. You will be given something light to eat and drink before you go home. If you have been sedated, you are not to drive until the following day. You will be given a full written report and explanation before you return home. If biopsies are taken these will be sent for analysis and results are available in approximately 10 days. A report and copies of these are sent to your GP. Gastroscopy Brochure (PDF, 173.3 KB)

This is a procedure which allows the doctor to see inside your oesophagus, stomach, and the first part of the small intestine (duodenum) and examine the lining directly. 
 
What to expect
The gastroscope is a plastic-coated tube about as thin as a ballpoint pen and is flexible.  It has a tiny camera attached that sends images to a viewing screen.  During the test you will swallow the tube but the back of your throat is sprayed with anaesthetic so you don’t feel this.  You will be offered a sedative (medicine that will make you sleepy but is not a general anaesthetic) as well.  If the doctor sees any abnormalities they can take a biopsy (a small piece of tissue) to send to the laboratory for testing. 
This is not a painful procedure and will be performed at our endoscopy suite within Southern Cross North Harbour private hospital by a specialist doctor with nurses assisting.
 
Complications from this procedure are very rare but can occur. They include:
  • bleeding after a biopsy, if performed
  • an allergic reaction to the sedative or throat spray
  • perforation (tearing) of the stomach with the instrument (this is a serious but extremely rare complication).

Before the procedure
Full information will be sent to you to read in advance, but in short: you will be asked not to eat anything from six hours before the procedure and you may need to stop some of your medications on the day of the procedure. You will have the chance to ask questions of the nurse and doctor beforehand if you wish.

After the procedure
You will stay in the day stay unit until the sedation has worn off which usually takes 1-2 hours.  You will be given something light to eat and drink before you go home.  If you have been sedated, you are not to drive until the following day.

You will be given a full written report and explanation before you return home. If biopsies are taken these will be sent for analysis and results are available in approximately 10 days.  A report and copies of these are sent to your GP.

Colonoscopy

This is a procedure which allows the doctor to see inside your large bowel and examine the surfaces directly and take biopsies (samples of tissue) if needed. Removal of polyps and treatment of bleeding or piles can also be undertaken. What to expect The colonoscope is a flexible plastic-coated tube a little thicker than a ballpoint pen which has a tiny camera attached that sends images to a viewing screen. You will be given a sedative (medicine that will make you sleepy but is not a general anaesthetic). The tube is passed into the rectum (bottom) and gently moved along the large bowel. The procedure takes on average 30mins and your oxygen levels and heart rhythm are monitored throughout. The procedure is performed in a purpose built endoscopy theatre. Before the procedure Full written information will be sent to you, but in short: you will need to follow a special diet and take some laxatives (medicine to make you go to the toilet) over the days leading up to the test. You may be asked to stop or reduce some of your medications before the test. Risks of a colonoscopy are rare but include: bleeding if a biopsy or polypectomy is performed allergic reaction to the sedative perforation (tearing) of the bowel wall Colonoscopy Brochure (PDF, 152.1 KB)

This is a procedure which allows the doctor to see inside your large bowel and examine the surfaces directly and take biopsies (samples of tissue) if needed. Removal of polyps and treatment of bleeding or piles can also be undertaken.

What to expect
The colonoscope is a flexible plastic-coated tube a little thicker than a ballpoint pen which has a tiny camera attached that sends images to a viewing screen. You will be given a sedative (medicine that will make you sleepy but is not a general anaesthetic). The tube is passed into the rectum (bottom) and gently moved along the large bowel. The procedure takes on average 30mins and your oxygen levels and heart rhythm are monitored throughout.
The procedure is performed in a purpose built endoscopy theatre.

Before the procedure
Full written information will be sent to you, but in short: you will need to follow a special diet and take some laxatives (medicine to make you go to the toilet) over the days leading up to the test. You may be asked to stop or reduce some of your medications before the test.

Risks of a colonoscopy are rare but include: 

  • bleeding if a biopsy or polypectomy is performed
  • allergic reaction to the sedative
  • perforation (tearing) of the bowel wall
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

There are two main types of IBD; Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s disease. In these conditions, the immune system attacks the lining of the colon causing inflammation and ulceration, bleeding and diarrhoea. In ulcerative colitis this only involves the large intestine, whereas in Crohn’s disease areas within the entire digestive tract can be involved. Both diseases are chronic (long term) with symptoms coming (relapse) and going (remission) over a number of years. Symptoms depend on what part of the digestive tract is involved but can include: abdominal pain diarrhoea with bleeding tiredness fevers infections around the anus (bottom) weight loss can occur if the condition has been present for some time. Diagnosis is made when the symptoms, examination and blood tests suggest inflammatory bowel disease, infection is ruled out, and you undergo a colonoscopy with biopsy. Treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms and what part of the intestine is affected. Medication is aimed at suppressing the immune system, which is harming the lining of the bowel. This is done via oral or intravenous medication as well as medication given as suppositories or an enema (via the bottom). Other treatments include changes in the diet to optimise nutrition and health. Treatment in some cases requires surgery to remove affected parts of the bowel. For more information see http://crohnsandcolitis.org.nz/

There are two main types of IBD; Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s disease.  In these conditions, the immune system attacks the lining of the colon causing inflammation and ulceration, bleeding and diarrhoea.  In ulcerative colitis this only involves the large intestine, whereas in Crohn’s disease areas within the entire digestive tract can be involved.  Both diseases are chronic (long term) with symptoms coming (relapse) and going (remission) over a number of years.

Symptoms depend on what part of the digestive tract is involved but can include:                          
  •  abdominal pain
  •  diarrhoea with bleeding
  •  tiredness
  •  fevers
  •  infections around the anus (bottom) 
  •  weight loss can occur if the condition has been present for some time.
Diagnosis is made when the symptoms, examination and blood tests suggest inflammatory bowel disease, infection is ruled out, and you undergo a colonoscopy with biopsy.
Treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms and what part of the intestine is affected.  Medication is aimed at suppressing the immune system, which is harming the lining of the bowel.  This is done via oral or intravenous medication as well as medication given as suppositories or an enema (via the bottom).  Other treatments include changes in the diet to optimise nutrition and health.  Treatment in some cases requires surgery to remove affected parts of the bowel.  For more information see http://crohnsandcolitis.org.nz/
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a very common disorder of the stomach and bowel due to disordered movement or motility. Up to one in five people can be affected. It may be triggered by infections or arise without obvious cause. Common symptoms include: Abdominal pain which often eases after going to the toilet Diarrhoea or constipation or both Feeling bloated Passing mucus Feeling of urgently needing to go to the toilet Other symptoms may include: Loss of appetite Nausea or vomiting Tiredness Excessive wind Pain during sexual intercourse Intolerance of certain foods It is not normal to pass blood if you have IBS. If this happens you should consult with your doctor. Diagnosis is made after a full consultation of your history, examination and relevant blood or stool tests. Often it is necessary to exclude infections or inflammatory bowel disease by performing a colonoscopy test (see above). Sometimes ultrasound or X-ray tests are performed. Irritable bowel syndrome does not lead to cancer and is usually treatable with changes to diet, lifestyle and use of some medications. A comprehensive assessment by our gastroenterologists and a dietitian will definitely help this condition.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a very common disorder of the stomach and bowel due to disordered movement or motility. Up to one in five people can be affected. It may be triggered by infections or arise without obvious cause.

Common symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain which often eases after going to the toilet
  • Diarrhoea or constipation or both
  • Feeling bloated
  • Passing mucus
  • Feeling of urgently needing to go to the toilet

Other symptoms may include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Tiredness
  • Excessive wind
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Intolerance of certain foods

It is not normal to pass blood if you have IBS. If this happens you should consult with your doctor.

Diagnosis is made after a full consultation of your history, examination and relevant blood or stool tests. Often it is necessary to exclude infections or inflammatory bowel disease by performing a colonoscopy test (see above). Sometimes ultrasound or X-ray tests are performed.

Irritable bowel syndrome does not lead to cancer and is usually treatable with changes to diet, lifestyle and use of some medications. A comprehensive assessment by our gastroenterologists and a dietitian will definitely help this condition.

Peptic Ulcers

Peptic ulcers are sores or eroded areas that form in the lining of the digestive tract. They usually occur in the stomach (gastric ulcer) or in the duodenum (duodenal ulcer), which is the first part of the small intestine. People with peptic ulcers can have a wide variety of signs and symptoms, can be completely symptom-free or, much less commonly, can develop potentially life-threatening complications such as bleeding. Signs and symptoms of ulcers can include: pain / burning or discomfort (usually in the upper abdomen) bloating an early sense of fullness with eating lack of appetite nausea vomiting bleeding, which is made apparent by blood in the stool, either in noticeable or microscopic amounts (very brisk bleeding will result in black and tarry stools that smell bad) Smoking, alcohol, anti-inflammatory medication and aspirin increase the risk of developing ulcers. Psychological stress and dietary factors (once thought to be the cause of ulcers) do not appear to have a major role in their development. Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria that is frequently found in the stomach is a major cause of stomach ulcers. If this is found you will be given a course of antibiotics. Diagnosis is made by the history, examination and sometimes blood tests. You may be asked to have a gastroscopy (see above) to clarify the diagnosis and aid with treatment. Treatment consists of medication to reduce the amount of acid in the stomach which aids in the healing of ulcers and avoidance of things that cause ulcers in the first place.

Peptic ulcers are sores or eroded areas that form in the lining of the digestive tract. They usually occur in the stomach (gastric ulcer) or in the duodenum (duodenal ulcer), which is the first part of the small intestine.
People with peptic ulcers can have a wide variety of signs and symptoms, can be completely symptom-free or, much less commonly, can develop potentially life-threatening complications such as bleeding.
 
Signs and symptoms of ulcers can include:
  • pain / burning or discomfort (usually in the upper abdomen)
  • bloating
  • an early sense of fullness with eating
  • lack of appetite
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • bleeding, which is made apparent by blood in the stool, either in noticeable or microscopic amounts (very brisk bleeding will result in black and tarry stools that smell bad)
Smoking, alcohol, anti-inflammatory medication and aspirin increase the risk of developing ulcers. Psychological stress and dietary factors (once thought to be the cause of ulcers) do not appear to have a major role in their development.
Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria that is frequently found in the stomach is a major cause of stomach ulcers.  If this is found you will be given a course of antibiotics.
Diagnosis is made by the history, examination and sometimes blood tests.  You may be asked to have a gastroscopy (see above) to clarify the diagnosis and aid with treatment.
Treatment consists of medication to reduce the amount of acid in the stomach which aids in the healing of ulcers and avoidance of things that cause ulcers in the first place.
Reflux/Heartburn

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is the medical term for the common symptoms of heartburn, reflux or indigestion. Up to 20% of the NZ population suffer from this problem either intermittently or continually. GORD is usually worse in smokers, the overweight and those with a hiatus hernia. It can even mimic angina or heart pain. Untreated, GORD can lead to permanent damage or scarring to the oesophagus (food pipe). Ulcers can form with bleeding also occurring. Barrett's oesophagus (a change in the lining of the lower food pipe) is a cancer risk and can only be detected by gastroscopy examination. Gastroscopy may be indicated in people who have: Symptoms not well controlled with antacids Frequent vomiting, including bringing up blood Regurgitation of food after eating or bending Difficulty swallowing solid or chunky food A family history of oesophageal or stomach cancer Known Barrett's oesophagus. Normally, treatment of reflux symptoms is very successful and can avoid ongoing discomfort or serious problems. Medications usually control or fix the problem, but sometimes surgical repair of hiatus hernia is needed.

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is the medical term for the common symptoms of heartburn, reflux or indigestion. Up to 20% of the NZ population suffer from this problem either intermittently or continually. GORD is usually worse in smokers, the overweight and those with a hiatus hernia. It can even mimic angina or heart pain.

Untreated, GORD can lead to permanent damage or scarring to the oesophagus (food pipe). Ulcers can form with bleeding also occurring. Barrett's oesophagus (a change in the lining of the lower food pipe) is a cancer risk and can only be detected by gastroscopy examination.

Gastroscopy may be indicated in people who have:

  • Symptoms not well controlled with antacids
  • Frequent vomiting, including bringing up blood
  • Regurgitation of food after eating or bending
  • Difficulty swallowing solid or chunky food
  • A family history of oesophageal or stomach cancer
  • Known Barrett's oesophagus.

Normally, treatment of reflux symptoms is very successful and can avoid ongoing discomfort or serious problems. Medications usually control or fix the problem, but sometimes surgical repair of hiatus hernia is needed. 

Barrett's Oesophagus

Barrett’s oesophagus refers to a change to the tissue lining of the oesophagus (or gullet) as a response to reflux of fluid from your stomach. About 50% of people with persistent reflux symptoms have Barrett’s change. Overall it is estimated that Barrett’s change occurs in about 10% of the population, but can only be diagnosed by a gastroscopy with tissue biopsy. Why do we worry about Barrett’s oesophagus? The reason it is important is because, in certain circumstances where there is associated dysplasia of the tissues, it can lead to Oesophageal Cancer. If there is NO dysplasia on biopsy then the risk of developing cancer is around 0.5% per year, but when High Grade Dysplasia is found on biopsy the cancer risk maybe up to 5% per year. What can be done about Barrett’s change? The first treatment is to reduce reflux. Medicines such as omeprazole and other proton pump inhibitors are very effective at this. However this has not been shown to reduce the cancer risk. If your Barrett’s is of a worrying type your doctor will recommend regular gastroscopy to look for any indication you might develop cancer. This is called surveillance gastroscopy, but it does not remove the Barrett’s tissue. At Waitematā Endoscopy we now have very effective endoscopic therapy available for those patients with Barrett’s oesophagus. This is called RadioFrequency Ablation (RFA or HALO TM https://www.waitemataendoscopy.co.nz/endoscopies/radio-frequency-ablation/ ). Together with endoscopic removal of any irregular areas RFA has been shown to get rid of over 90% of high risk Barrett’s change and reduce the cancer risk to around 0.2% per year in the very high risk groups. For more information on Barrett’s oesophagus and treatment options go to http://treatbarretts.com

Barrett’s oesophagus refers to a change to the tissue lining of the oesophagus (or gullet) as a response to reflux of fluid from your stomach.  About 50% of people with persistent reflux symptoms have Barrett’s change.  Overall it is estimated that Barrett’s change occurs in about 10% of the population, but can only be diagnosed by a gastroscopy with tissue biopsy.

Why do we worry about Barrett’s oesophagus?
The reason it is important is because, in certain circumstances where there is associated dysplasia of the tissues, it can lead to Oesophageal Cancer.

If there is NO dysplasia on biopsy then the risk of developing cancer is around 0.5% per year, but when High Grade Dysplasia is found on biopsy the cancer risk maybe up to 5% per year.

What can be done about Barrett’s change?
The first treatment is to reduce reflux. Medicines such as omeprazole and other proton pump inhibitors are very effective at this. However this has not been shown to reduce the cancer risk.

If your Barrett’s is of a worrying type your doctor will recommend regular gastroscopy to look for any indication you might develop cancer. This is called surveillance gastroscopy, but it does not remove the Barrett’s tissue.

At Waitematā Endoscopy we now have very effective endoscopic therapy available for those patients with Barrett’s oesophagus. This is called RadioFrequency Ablation (RFA or HALO TM https://www.waitemataendoscopy.co.nz/endoscopies/radio-frequency-ablation/ ).

Together with endoscopic removal of any irregular areas RFA has been shown to get rid of over 90% of high risk Barrett’s change and reduce the cancer risk to around 0.2% per year in the very high risk groups.

For more information on Barrett’s oesophagus and treatment options go to http://treatbarretts.com

Coeliac Disease

Coeliac disease is an allergy to gluten which is found in many wheat based products. It is the commonest inherited (genetic) disorder in European people, but can affect all races. Coeliac disease can present at any age and even in the absence of a known family history. Symptoms can vary from mild to severe: Bloating and abdominal pain after gluten containing meals Iron and vitamin deficiencies Diarrhoea or bowel disturbance Weight loss Poor weight /height gain in children or teenagers Tiredness Skin rashes, allergies Although such symptoms, blood tests and dietary avoidance of gluten often suggest the diagnosis, the only way to prove Coeliac disease is by gastroscopy. During this test a tiny sample of the bowel lining in the duodenum is taken for microscopic analysis. The treatment is a fully gluten-free diet and this results in complete resolution of symptoms and healing of the bowel in almost all cases. For more information about Coeliac disease and support that is available, please click on the link to the Coeliac Society of NZ.

Coeliac disease is an allergy to gluten which is found in many wheat based products. It is the commonest inherited (genetic) disorder in European people, but can affect all races.

Coeliac disease can present at any age and even in the absence of a known family history. Symptoms can vary from mild to severe:

  • Bloating and abdominal pain after gluten containing meals
  • Iron and vitamin deficiencies
  • Diarrhoea or bowel disturbance
  • Weight loss
  • Poor weight /height gain in children or teenagers
  • Tiredness
  • Skin rashes, allergies

Although such symptoms, blood tests and dietary avoidance of gluten often suggest the diagnosis, the only way to prove Coeliac disease is by gastroscopy. During this test a tiny sample of the bowel lining in the duodenum is taken for microscopic analysis.

The treatment is a fully gluten-free diet and this results in complete resolution of symptoms and healing of the bowel in almost all cases.

For more information about Coeliac disease and support that is available, please click on the link to the Coeliac Society of NZ.

Endoscopic Ultrasound

Endoscopic Ultrasound is a procedure where the doctor uses a thin flexible endoscope with a camera and an ultrasound probe on it to investigate your internal organs. The endoscope is passed through your mouth, down your throat and oesophagus to the stomach and possibly the small bowel. EUS allows your doctor to examine the lining and the walls of your gastrointestinal tract with the camera, and then also to study organs that lie outside but adjacent to the gastrointestinal tract with the ultrasound. EUS will provide your doctor with a detailed picture of your anatomy and therefore help to diagnose diseases of the pancreas, bile duct, gallbladder and chest. EUS helps your doctor determine the extent of certain growths and to accurately assess their depth and whether there is spread to adjacent lymph glands or other organs. In some patients EUS can be used to obtain tissue samples to help your doctor determine the proper treatment, or to drain cysts. This is called FNA (fine needle aspiration). Please note this procedure is only available at the Northern Clinic, Southern Cross North Harbour Campus, 212 Wairau Road, Wairau Valley, Auckland. Endoscopic Ultrasound Brochure (PDF, 167.9 KB)

Endoscopic Ultrasound is a procedure where the doctor uses a thin flexible endoscope with a camera and an ultrasound probe on it to investigate your internal organs. The endoscope is passed through your mouth, down your throat and oesophagus to the stomach and possibly the small bowel. EUS allows your doctor to examine the lining and the walls of your gastrointestinal tract with the camera, and then also to study organs that lie outside but adjacent to the gastrointestinal tract with the ultrasound.

EUS will provide your doctor with a detailed picture of your anatomy and therefore help to diagnose diseases of the pancreas, bile duct, gallbladder and chest. EUS helps your doctor determine the extent of certain growths and to accurately assess their depth and whether there is spread to adjacent lymph glands or other organs. In some patients EUS can be used to obtain tissue samples to help your doctor determine the proper treatment, or to drain cysts. This is called FNA (fine needle aspiration).

Please note this procedure is only available at the Northern Clinic, Southern Cross North Harbour Campus, 212 Wairau Road, Wairau Valley, Auckland.

 

Disability Assistance

Wheelchair access, Mobility parking space, Wheelchair accessible toilet

Refreshments

All patients are provided with a drink and light snack before leaving the recovery area.

Travel Directions

You must arrange for a friend or relative to take you home after a procedure with us when you have been sedated – even if you feel wide awake. You cannot drive a car, travel on public transport alone, or take a taxi/uber without a family member with you.

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Public Transport

The Auckland Transport Journey Planner will help you to plan your journey.

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Contact Details

53 Lincoln Road, Henderson, Auckland

West Auckland

7:30 AM to 5:30 PM.

More details…

This page was last updated at 9:35AM on December 6, 2023. This information is reviewed and edited by Waitematā Endoscopy.