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Q. Do I need a referral letter from my GP?

A.Yes, we require a referral letter from a GP or another consultant prior to booking any patient for a clinic or procedure. This is because we use the information contained in the letter to determine the correct test or procedure for you.  This letter is often send directly to us by your GPP. If they have given it to you, you can forward it to us by phone, fax or post.

Q.How much do it cost to see a consultant?

A. A new patient/initial consultation costs 200 euro. A return visit costs 120 euro. Fees are payable on the day of the consultation and can be made by cash, cheque or card.

Q. Where can I park?

A. There is a public car park on Eccles Street.

Q. I have impaired mobility, is the building wheelchair accessible?

A. Yes. the building is wheelchair accessible through the rear entrance. In order to make your visit as smooth as possible, it would be helpful to let us know if you will need rear access ahead of time, so we can give you directions and arrange to open the gates for you.

For those with impaired mobility, it is important to be aware that there are 5 steps up to the main door of the building, but once inside, each floor is serviced by a lift.  

Q. I do not have any health insurance, can I self pay for my procedure, and how much does it cost?

A. Yes, you can self pay for a procedure if you wish. Please note that both the hospital and the doctor carry a separate fee. Each procedure is priced differently, so it is best to contact the office directly for this information

Q. How long will I be waiting for an appointment?

A. This depends on whether you choose to see a specific doctor within the practice, and also, what the appointment is for. In general, wait times for clinic visits are a few weeks, wait times for procedures can range from days to weeks depending on a number of factors. If you are on certain medication which may need to be stopped prior to a procedure, this can affect your waiting time.

Q. What is a full colonoscopy?

A. For further information on a colonoscopy please see the dedicated page here

Q. What is a gastroscopy/OGD?

A. For further information on a gastroscopy, please see the dedicated page here

Q. What is the procedure code?

A. The procedure code for a gastroscopy (OGD) is 194

The procedure code for a full colonoscopy is 455

The procedure code for a left colonoscopy is 450

Q. The instructions say I must take a clear fluid diet - what can I take?

A. Clear liquids include water, 7up, lucozade, clear consommé or broth, jelly (avoid red jelly) and glacier type sweets.

Q. The bowel preparation is making me sick/vomit, what should I do?

A. It depends on how much of the preparation you have kept down - if the vomiting started with the first half of the preparation, the same thing is likely to happen with the second half. In that circumstance you should stop taking the prep, and contact the office to reschedule the procedure - we will usually try a different preparation the next time. If you have almost finished the second half of the preparation when the vomiting starts, you should drink as much water as possible and come for your procedure as scheduled - often the bowel will be clear enough to proceed at that stage.

Q. I have taken the preparation but it hasn't really worked, what should I do?

A. If the preparation has not resulted in a significant bowel 'clear out', there is no point coming in for the procedure, as it will very likely be unsuccessful - you should contact the office to reschedule - we may have to prescribe a longer preparation for you.

Q. How long will my procedure take?

A. Generally speaking, when you come for a procedure, you can expect to be in the hospital for 4-5 hours in total. The time on your appointment letter is a check in time, not the time the procedure will take place. 

The procedures themselves take approximately 5 minutes for a gastroscopy, and 30 minutes for a full colonoscopy ( there is a wide variation depending on a number of factors). However in order to safely prepare you for the procedure, and ensure you are fully recovered afterwards, a 4-5 hour stay is usually required.

Q. What do I need to bring with me?

If you are having a gastroscopy, wear comfortable clothing, but you do not need to bring anything else. If you are having a colonoscopy, you should bring comfortable, loose nightwear to wear during the procedure and while recovering.

Q. Will it hurt?

A. No, the procedures are sometimes a little uncomfortable, but should not cause you pain. A lot of patients have the procedures without sedation. If a patient opts to receive sedation, this helps to calm anxiety and improve relaxation for the test.

Q. Can I have sedation for the procedure?

A. Yes, sedation is available for the procedures - whether to go for the sedation or not is based on patient preference. As a gastroscopy is quite a quick test, many patients opt to go without sedation. Most individuals have a colonoscopy will have sedation and a painkiller administered via an IV line. Those having a left sided colonoscopy almost never receive sedation, except in exceptional circumstances.

Q. What is the sedative?

A. For a gastroscopy, a local anaesthetic spray is administered to the back of the throat to numb the gag reflex. The sedative used is midazolam, a benzodiazepine, which is injected into a vein via an IV line, The sedative is a relaxer only - it is commonly referred to as conscious sedation. It is not an anaesthetic, and a patient who receives it will not be 'knocked out' or 'put to sleep' in the traditional sense, which usually refers to a general anaesthetic such as one might receive for an operation. When a colonoscopy is performed, fentanyl is also administered via the IV line. This is a powerful painkiller, an opoid. The combination of the sedative and the painkiller should keep a patient relaxed and comfortable for the duration of the procedure. Sometimes, but not always, the medications may cause amnesia, and a patient may remember nothing of the procedure after it has been completed.

Q. Will I get to see my consultant on the day?

A. Yes. The consultant will perform the procedure for you, so you will meet them in the procedure room and have a chance to speak with them briefly before the procedure to clarify any issues. Once the procedure has finished, you will go to the recovery area, and the consultant will again come and speak to you briefly before you go home.

Q. When will I get the results of my tests?

A. The consultant will give you an indication of how things look before you go home on the day of the procedure. If biopsies have been taken, these results will be available in approximately 2 weeks, and will usually be communicated to your GP. If you would like a copy of the endoscopy report, you can request it on the day.

Q. I have no one to collect me after the procedure, can I take a taxi home?

A. No. You must be collected by a responsible adult after the procedure - this policy is for your safety and is strictly adhered to. If you have no one to collect you, we can reschedule the procedure to a day when someone is available to bring you home, or you can have the procedure without sedation. If neither of these options are viable, a clinic visit may be preferable, where we might be able to use alternative diagnostic tests.

Q. Can I return to work the next day?

A. If you do not have sedation, you can return to work directly after the procedure! If you opt for the sedative, we recommend that you do not drive or operate machinery for 24 hours after the procedure. Depending on the time of day you have your procedure, you may need to take the next day off.

Q. Who should I call if I feel unwell after my procedure?

A. You will be give an advice sheet following the procedure to alert you to things to watch out for. If the problem arises during working hours, the first point of contact should be the consultants office. If you are unable to get hold of a person to speak to directly, the day therapy unit ( the ward where the procedure took place) may also be contacted. Depending on the issue, the doctor may contact you directly to advise you what to do. If it occurs at night or the weekend, we would recommend contacting your GP on call service, or attending the local emergency room. Every person is different and this is general advice only.

Q. Can I have a virtual colonoscopy (CT colon) instead?

A. Yes, this facility is available at the Mater Private. If this is something you are considering, it may be worth coming for a consultation to discuss the pros and cons of each type of test, to ensure the required information will be obtained with the CT colon. It is important to be aware that a virtual colonoscopy (CT colon) also involves taking a bowel preparation!

Q. If I have my procedure done privately and need further treatment, can I be referred back into the public system?

A. In theory, yes. However, a referral back into the public system will still be subject to the wait times in that particular institution ( usually the one in your catchment area), and we do not have the ability to influence how long you will be waiting for follow up.

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