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Bowel Screening | Lakes | Te Whatu Ora

Public Service, Gastroenterology & Hepatology (Liver), Oncology

Description

Formerly Lakes DHB Bowel Screening

The National Bowel Screening Programme is free for men and women aged 60 to 74 years. It aims to save lives by finding bowel cancer at an early stage when it can often be successfully treated.

If you are eligible to take part, you will be sent:

  • an invitation letter
  • a consent form
  • a free bowel screening test kit, with instructions on how to use it.

The test can be done at home and is simple to do. Find out more at Doing the test.

You may be eligible to receive a kit earlier. Call 0800 924 432 for further information.

Roll-out for Lakes DHB

Lakes DHB was the first DHB in the Midland region to take part in the National Bowel Screening Programme, joining in February 2019.

Lakes has one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the country and New Zealand has some of the highest rates in the world, so the programme is particularly valuable for communities, individuals and their families/whānau in the Rotorua, Taupō and Tūrangi areas.

Consultants

Referral Expectations

You will be invited to take part in free bowel screening unless you tell us you don’t want to. You can opt out by calling freephone 0800 924 432. If you move house or change your postal address, please contact us to update your address so that your next invitation letter reaches you.

Those people who are eligible will receive an invitation letter, home testing-kit and consent form through the mail.

Eligible participants will receive their first invitation within two years of the programme starting. This will include:

  • an invitation letter
  • a consent form
  • a free bowel screening test kit, with instructions on how to use it

Positive results are communicated by the participant’s local GP. Providers will manage referrals and encourage, educate and support patients to undergo a colonoscopy.

If further treatment is required, providers will work in partnership with Lakes DHB to ensure prompt and appropriate treatment for patients. People with negative results will be invited every two years, until they reach 75 years of age, to participate in the programme again.

Charges

All tests and treatment are free for eligible people (those entitled to receive public healthcare, and who are not currently receiving treatment, or under surveillance for bowel cancer.)

Click here to read more about eligibility for funded care at Lakes DHB.

Procedures / Treatments

Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy is the examination of your colon (large bowel) using a colonoscope (long, flexible tube with a camera on the end). The colonoscope is passed into your rectum (bottom) and then moved slowly along the entire colon, while images from the camera are displayed on a television monitor. The procedure takes from 10 minutes to an hour. Sometimes a small tissue sample (biopsy) will need to be taken during the procedure for later examination at a laboratory. A colonoscopy may help diagnose conditions such as polyps (small growths of tissue projecting into the bowel), tumours, ulcerative colitis (inflammation of the colon) and diverticulitis (inflammation of sacs that form on the walls of the colon). Colonoscopy may also be used to remove polyps in the colon. Risks of a colonoscopy are rare but include: bleeding if a biopsy is performed; allergic reaction to the sedative; perforation (tearing) of the bowel wall. What to expect It is important that the bowel is completely empty before the procedure takes place. This means that you will only be able to have liquids on the day before, and will probably have to take some oral laxative medication (to make you go to the toilet more). When you are ready for the procedure, you will be given medication (a sedative) to make you go into a light sleep. This will be given by an injection into a vein in your arm or hand. The colonoscopy will usually take 15 – 30 minutes, but you will probably sleep for another 30 minutes. Because you have been sedated (given medication to make you sleep) it is important that you arrange for someone else to drive you home. Some patients may experience discomfort after the procedure, due to air remaining in the colon.

Colonoscopy is the examination of your colon (large bowel) using a colonoscope (long, flexible tube with a camera on the end). The colonoscope is passed into your rectum (bottom) and then moved slowly along the entire colon, while images from the camera are displayed on a television monitor. The procedure takes from 10 minutes to an hour. Sometimes a small tissue sample (biopsy) will need to be taken during the procedure for later examination at a laboratory.

A colonoscopy may help diagnose conditions such as polyps (small growths of tissue projecting into the bowel), tumours, ulcerative colitis (inflammation of the colon) and diverticulitis (inflammation of sacs that form on the walls of the colon).

Colonoscopy may also be used to remove polyps in the colon.

Risks of a colonoscopy are rare but include: bleeding if a biopsy is performed; allergic reaction to the sedative; perforation (tearing) of the bowel wall.

What to expect

It is important that the bowel is completely empty before the procedure takes place. This means that you will only be able to have liquids on the day before, and will probably have to take some oral laxative medication (to make you go to the toilet more).

When you are ready for the procedure, you will be given medication (a sedative) to make you go into a light sleep. This will be given by an injection into a vein in your arm or hand.

The colonoscopy will usually take 15 – 30 minutes, but you will probably sleep for another 30 minutes. Because you have been sedated (given medication to make you sleep) it is important that you arrange for someone else to drive you home.

Some patients may experience discomfort after the procedure, due to air remaining in the colon.

Pharmacy

Click here to find your nearest community pharmacy.

Other

Click here for more information about your trip to Rotorua Hospital, including:

Contact Details

Freephone 0800 924 432

Sarah Doyle - Colorectal Nurse Specialist NBSP - Phone (07) 348 1199 ext 8142

Corner Arawa Street and Pukeroa Road
Rotorua
New Zealand

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Street Address

Corner Arawa Street and Pukeroa Road
Rotorua
New Zealand

Postal Address

Rotorua Hospital
Private Bag 3023
Rotorua Mail Centre
Rotorua 3046

This page was last updated at 3:11PM on July 10, 2023. This information is reviewed and edited by Bowel Screening | Lakes | Te Whatu Ora.