Gastrointestinal investigations

Gastroscopy and colonoscopy are mainly used to investigate, treat or monitor gastrointestinal conditions in people aged 55 years and over and people at risk of gastrointestinal disease. This chapter of the Fourth Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation examines gastroscopy, repeat gastroscopy and repeat colonoscopy.

Gastroscopy is used to investigate, treat or monitor conditions of the upper part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. These conditions mostly affect people aged 55 or over. Few people who have a gastroscopy need another one within three years.

Repeat colonoscopy is mainly used to monitor for bowel cancer in people at increased risk of developing it. Limited numbers of people who have a colonoscopy need another one within three years.

Variation in rates of gastrointestinal investigations means that national guidelines need to be developed or implemented to reduce inappropriate investigations.

Each page includes a summary of findings and recommendations, interactive maps and graphs, and downloadable data.