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Counties Manukau Health Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Public Service

Description

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.

 

Gastroenterology and Hepatology Services Provided by Counties Manukau DHB
Gastroenterology and hepatology services provided are outpatient clinics, inpatient (ward) care and endoscopy services. See below for clinic locations.

Consultants

Referral Expectations

Your GP will refer you to our department if they are concerned that you have problems that require a specialist opinion regarding the diagnosis or treatment of the condition. 

Waiting times for clinics range from less than 2 weeks to 12 months depending on urgency, which is assessed from the letter we receive from your GP.

Before coming to our clinic, you may be asked to undergo tests such as blood tests, urine tests or stool/faeces tests (you collect a sample of your urine or poo for analysis).

Clinic appointments may be at the Gastroenterology Department, Middlemore Hospital, Manukau SuperClinic™ Module 3 or Botany SuperClinic™.

Your appointment will take 20-40 minutes.  A history of your symptoms will be taken as well as a review of any medications you are on (please bring these with you).  You will then be examined which may involve, depending on your complaints, a rectal examination.  This involves the insertion of the doctor’s finger or a tube into your bottom to examine the inside.

You may be referred on for some of the following radiology tests, depending on your condition: ultrasound scan, CT scan or MRI.

Common Conditions / Procedures / Treatments

  • Cirrhosis

    Cirrhosis is the term used to describe a diseased liver that has been badly scarred, usually due to many years of injury.… More

  • Colonoscopy

    It can often be difficult to diagnosis gastric problems based on symptoms alone, for this reason your doctor has ordered a colonoscopy to confirm the diagnosis of your condition. … More

  • Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio Pancreatography (ERCP)

    A flexible tube with a tiny video camera attached (endoscope) is inserted through the mouth into the stomach and small intestine while you are under sedation (you have been given medication to make you drowsy).… More

  • Gastroscopy

    It can often be difficult to make a diagnosis of gastric problems based on symptoms alone, for this reason your doctor may order a gastroscopy to confirm the diagnosis of your condition.… More

  • Hepatitis

    This is inflammation of the liver, commonly caused by viruses.  Hepatitis B and C are viruses that can cause chronic (long term) inflammation and damage to the liver.… More

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

    There are two 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 intestine can be… More

  • Liver Biopsy

    The best way to establish what type of liver disease is present and the extent of the disease, is a biopsy.… More

  • Peptic Ulcers

    Peptic ulcers are sores or eroded areas that form in the lining of the digestive tract.… More

Charges

There are no charges for services to public patients if you are lawfully in New Zealand and meet one of the Eligibility Directions specified criteria set by the Ministry of Health.  If you do not meet the criteria, you will be required to pay for the full costs of any medical treatment you receive during your stay.

To check whether you meet the specified eligibility criteria, visit the Ministry of Health website.

For any applicable charges, please phone the Accounts Receivable Office on (09) 276 0060.

Visiting Hours

Visiting times are between 2pm and 8pm. Visitors are restricted to two at a time.
Children are welcome, but must be supervised by an adult.

Contact Details

Middlemore Hospital

South Auckland

More details…

This page was last updated at 2:28PM on November 19, 2018. This information is reviewed and edited by Counties Manukau Health Gastroenterology and Hepatology.