Endoscopy is performed as a day procedure under light sedation by qualified gastrointestinal specialists. The instrument used is a soft flexible fibre optic camera that transmits a high definition image onto a computer monitor. Long flexible instruments can be placed down the camera to take biopsies and perform therapeutic manoeuvres such as remove polyps.
Gastroscopy is an examination of the foregut (oesophagus, stomach and duodenum). Colonoscopy is an examination of the hindgut (large intestine). Surveillance colonoscopy and removal of colonic polyps has been shown to be the best preventative measure against colon cancer.
Most physicians would recommend surveillance colonoscopy to commence after the age of 40, as colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer to afflict Australians and responsible for most cancer related deaths.
Dr Petrou performs 500 endoscopic day case procedures per year. He performs the procedure at the Port Macquarie Private Hospital, Port Macquarie Base Hospital, Wauchope Hospital and Kempsey Hospital.