What is an endoscopy?
An Endoscopy is a procedure where the inside of your body is examined internally using a thin flexible camera or endoscope. Kingston Hospital’s Endoscopy department specialises in the examination of the digestive system (gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy) to understand the cause for GI symptoms and in some cases to treat problems affecting the digestive system.
Endoscopy procedures are usually scheduled as outpatient or day case procedures which means that you will have the test and go home on the same day without the need to stay overnight in hospital.
Endoscopy is performed by a trained specialist group of Consultant Gastroenterologists, Consultant Surgeons and Nurse Endoscopists, who are supported by the endoscopy nursing team. The procedure may not be performed by the Consultant/doctor whom you saw in the outpatients clinic in order to minimise the amount of time you will wait before your endoscopy appointment.
Patients are often referred to the Endoscopy Service as routine and will be asked to attend the hospital for an endoscopy within 6 weeks.
Occasionally there is a requirement to see some patients a little sooner and in these circumstances, the wait for an Endoscopy is reduced to 2 weeks or less. For the purpose of making a diagnosis, all clinicians follow National Guidelines and make their decisions on how long you should wait for your diagnostic procedure based on your medical history and described symptoms.
If your symptoms indicate a speedy diagnosis your doctor will ask for you to be fast tracked for your investigation. In these circumstances, a blue circled sticker (blue dot) is placed on your referral card to identify the need for us to arrange your test within 2 weeks. To assist us in making an appointment please inform your place of work in advance that the hospital may be requesting you to attend for a diagnostic test short notice.
The Endoscopy (camera test) can provide a diagnosis and sometimes involve treatment of conditions affecting the gastrointestinal tract which includes the oesophagus (Food pipe/gullet) stomach, intestines (small bowel) and colon (large bowel.)
The Endoscopy procedures undertaken are: • Colonoscopy
• Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Guest sessions for Urology and Respiratory specialities are also timetabled to be undertaken in the endoscopy unit.
To find out more about:
• Bronchoscopy please refer to the Respiratory service website information.
• Flexible Cystoscopy please refer to the Urology service website information.
Exclusions: The Endoscopy unit does not provide a paediatric service. These procedures are performed in Main Theatres under General anaesthesia. See Referrals section.
The Medical investigations undertaken are:
• Oesophageal Manometry.
• 24 hour oesophageal pH testing
• Wireless capsule Endoscopy.
• Breath tests
A referral letter is required from the patients GP to first see a specialist doctor in Gastroenterology / Colorectal or Upper Gastrointestinal surgery.A clinic appointment will be made for you to attend a consultation with the doctor in the out patients department. The specialist will determine your need for an endoscopy procedure to be undertaken and will refer you onto the endoscopy team as appropriate after your clinic appointment.
GP direct access
To book an endoscopy directly to test your GP can fax the referral request to the endoscopy bookings team. The referral card will be reviewed by an endoscopist consultant who will vet all referrals received prior to the appointment being made.
If a patient is already in hospital the medical team responsible for their care can request an endoscopy procedure by completing a referral card and leaving it outside the level 6 endoscopy suite in the designated referrals box.
Coombe Wing (private inpatients)
All private patients referrals are managed directly by Coombe wing 0208 934 3906
Paediatric referrals for GI endoscopy
Exclusions: The Endoscopy unit does not provide a paediatric service. These procedures are performed in Main Theatres under General anaesthesia. Referrals can be made to either Dr Tim Heymann, Gastroenterology Consultant or Mr Peter Willson, Consultant UGI Surgeon