Lakes DHB Gastroenterology
Public Service, Gastroenterology & Hepatology (Liver)
Service delivery during COVID-19
|Alert Level||Service Delivery|
|Level 4||Clinical Nurse Specialist will provide phone support unless a patient needs physical examination or IV/s/c treatments|
|Level 3||Clinical Nurse Specialist will provide phone support unless a patient needs physical examination or IV/s/c treatments|
|Level 2||This will depend on the advice for at risk patients - as yet not clarified by government|
|Level 1||This will depend on the advice for at risk patients - as yet not clarified by government|
Lakes DHB Gastroenterology is a specialist service provided within Internal Medicine.
We are a small team made up of three gastroenterologists and a clinical nurse specialist. We provide specialist medical support for gastroenterology inpatients as well as running regular outpatient clinics and endoscopic procedures.
The gastroenterology nurse specialist provides flexible support particularly for those diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis) as well as managing treatment for people with Hepatitis C.
Gastroenterology is supported by wider hospital teams such as in outpatients and on the medical or surgical wards. People who come into the Gastroenterology service are likely to come across our support teams such as in:
Where to find us: see the Rotorua Hospital map here.
We also provide visiting endoscopy services to Taupo Hospital.
What is Gastroenterology?
Gastroenterology is the specialty within medicine that looks at the digestive system and its associated structures. Your digestive tract is the passage which food passes through allowing you to get all the nutrients and energy your body needs to function. It starts at your mouth, going through the oesophagus into your stomach. It then goes into your small intestine, your large intestine, and finishes at the rectum and anus (bottom). The liver and its associated structures are also an important part of gastroenterology. It is a large organ attached to the small intestine providing functions associated with the digestion of food but also many other important health functions.
Clinical Nurse Specialist - Samantha Wilkinson
|Mon – Fri||8:00 AM – 4:30 PM|
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 a gastroenterology condition.
Waiting times for clinics range from 1-6 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 last 30-40 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 may also be examined and, if necessary, this might include an internal rectal examination. This involves the gentle insertion of the doctor's finger or a tube a short way into your bottom to look inside.
From this appointment you might be referred on for one or more of the following; blood tests, X-ray tests, ultrasound scan, CT scan or MRI. Endoscopic procedures might also be requested such as a camera examination down through your oesophagus (gastroscopy) or up into your bowel (colonoscopy). There is further information on some of these below and the doctor or nurse can explain the details of what a procedure might involve.
Medical clinics are currently located in the main outpatient area just beyond the main hospital entrance to the right.… More
Within theatres there is a suite dedicated to endoscopic procedures which are camera tests looking into the gut.… More
Day Stay Unit ('chemo suite')
Some patients may need intravenous (into the vein) medication to manage their condition; particularly those with Inflammatory Bowel Disease.… More
Sometimes people with gastroenterology problems will need to be admitted into hospital.… More
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. … 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
This is a procedure which allows the doctor to see inside your large bowel and examine the surfaces directly to take biopsies (tiny samples of tissue) if needed. Treatment of conditions can also be undertaken.… More
This is a special type of ultrasound to measure any damage in your liver.… More
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
Cirrhosis is the term used to describe a diseased liver that has been badly scarred, usually due to many years of damage.… More
Peptic ulcers are sores or eroded areas that form in the lining of the digestive tract.… More
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
There are two types of IBD; ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.… More
New Zealand citizens or those who have obtained permanent residence are entitled to publicly funded health care.
Non-residents may be required to pay for their health care.
Click here to read more about eligibility for funded care at Lakes DHB.
Click here to find your nearest community pharmacy.
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This page was last updated at 2:26PM on March 31, 2021. This information is reviewed and edited by Lakes DHB Gastroenterology.