WHO WE ARE

Dr. Chris Gillespie and Dr. Tim Slack are colorectal surgeons practising in association at Mater Private Clinic in South Brisbane. Dr. Andrew Bell has recently retired as a colorectal surgeon but continues to perform medicolegal assessments. Our practice is conveniently located adjacent to the Mater Hill Busway Station and Mater Private Hospital, where procedures including colonoscopy/endoscopy and surgery are performed. We are directly above the Coffee Club.

Both Dr. Gillespie and Dr. Slack have completed subspecialty training in colorectal surgery and practice at Mater Private Hospital as well as in the public sector. Both hold positions with the Department of Colorectal Surgery at Princess Alexandra Hospital as well as working at Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in the colorectal pelvic floor unit.

We treat all problems related to colorectal surgery and you will find a list of some of the more common ones below. We also treat patients on an emergency basis, as required, in Mater Private Hospital.

On this site you will find information about our practice, our surgery, the conditions we treat, and general information about colorectal surgical topics. The website is in development and more information will be added with time (any suggestions are welcome!). If you are unsure if we can address your problem, feel free to call or e-mail us to discuss.

WHAT WE TREAT

Haemorrhoids

Haemorrhoidal problems are common, with symptoms including rectal bleeding, prolapsing piles, anal itch or leakage and cleaning or cosmetic problems from skin tags. Acutely incarcerated haemorrhoids can be very painful.

Anal fistula

Anal fistulae arise after an infection of oil glands within the anal canal. Symptoms often wax and wane and include pain, swelling and discharge.

Anal fissure

A very painful tear of the anal canal related to passage of hard stool and high anal pressures.

Pilonidal sinus disease

A skin condition related to ingrown hairs within the natal cleft (the skin cleft between the buttocks).

Bowel / Colorectal cancer and polyps

Australians have a 1/13 risk of developing colorectal cancer over their lifetime. South Brisbane has the highest rate in Australia, and this is predicted to rise. Polyps are precursors of cancer and can be removed at colonoscopy, reducing the risk of colorectal cancer developing. Early diagnosis is best for a successful outcome of treatment.

Diverticular disease

Diverticulae are outpouchings in the colon at points of weakness, thought to be related to high pressure. The disease is common in Australia, with half of all people over the age of 50 having diverticulae. About 25% of patients develop symptoms such as pain (“diverticulitis”) or less common problems including sudden bleeding, narrowing of the bowel or fistulae.

Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease

These are types of chronic inflammatory bowel disease, an autoimmune condition of the gastrointestinal tract. Ulcerative colitis affects the colon but Crohn’s disease affects the entire tract including the anus. Surgery is required in 1/3 of ulcerative colitis patients and 2/3 of Crohn’s disease patients over their lifetime.

Colonoscopy/ Endoscopy

Endoscopic assessment of the colorectum and upper gastrointestinal tract are useful tests to diagnose problems such as polyps, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and causes of anaemia or iron deficiency. Dr. Slack and Dr. Gillespie are accredited endoscopists.

Obstructed defecation & constipation

Constipation is infrequent bowel movements, usually considered less than three per week. Obstructed defecation is the sensation of unsatisfactory rectal evacuation; patients often feel that the rectum is still full or need to return later for further evacuation. Some people need to use manoeuvres or their finger to assist with defecation. 30% of the population suffer from these symptoms at some stage and abdominal pain is often a feature. Colorectal surgeons are able to evaluate people with these symptoms and along with other clinicians (including physiotherapists and dietitian) patients’ symptoms can improve. Severe cases where pelvic organ prolapse or post-obstetric injury are the cause can sometimes benefit from surgical intervention.

Faecal incontinence

Unintentional loss of faeces or mucus from the rectum, or significant faecal urge, can be socially isolating and debilitating. 15% of Australians suffer from these symptoms and many suffer in silence. There has been a revolution in the understanding of these conditions and treatment options over the last 15 years.

Rectal prolapse

Abnormal protrusion of the rectum outside the anus is quite disturbing and is an indication for surgical repair.

Hernia repair and miscellaneous conditions

We also treat a number of other conditions, as both subspecialty colorectal surgeons and trained general surgeons. These include hernia repair, gallbladder surgery, Portacath insertion for chemotherapy, appendicectomy, diagnostic laparoscopy and other abdominal operations. We offer hernia surgery for abdominal and groin hernias using open, laparoscopic and robotic techniques.

OUR PHILOSOPHY

At Brisbane Colorectal we aim to provide a high-quality thorough assessment of new patients. We will take time to listen to your story and assess your symptoms; some patients with colorectal or anorectal problems have a history of problems going back over many years.

Our aim is to constantly meet and exceed patient’s expectations with an easy-access service and close collaboration with other specialists. We have the means to do this with rooms situated within the hospital, ready access to imaging and endoscopic assessment as well as multidisciplinary care with both specialists and allied health professionals. We routinely utilise multidisciplinary cancer meetings for cancer patients as well as a state-of-the-art anorectal physiology lab for patients with pelvic floor problems. All patients undergo minimally-invasive (laparoscopic) surgery, where possible, and both Dr. Gillespie and Dr. Slack also offer robotic colorectal surgery using the latest Da Vinci Xi robot which has been installed at Mater Private Hospital.

Dr. Slack and Dr. Gillespie constantly keep abreast of the field with regular attendance at workshops both in Australia and overseas allowing our patients to benefit from advances in techniques and new technologies. For complex cases we collaborate closely to provide the best possible outcome for our patients.

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OUR PHILOSOPHY

At Brisbane Colorectal we aim to provide a high-quality thorough assessment of new patients. We will take time to listen to your story and assess your symptoms; some patients with colorectal or anorectal problems have a history of problems going back over many years.

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OUR RESOURCES

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Bowel Cancer Australia

Bowel cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related death in Australia, with 80 people dying of the disease per week. It is a common condition and as colorectal surgeons we are specifically trained in its treatment. We spend a lot of time helping patients understand their condition; and some websites also provide valuable information such as Bowel Cancer Australia.

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Colorectal Surgical Society of Australia & New Zealand

The Colorectal Surgical Society of Australia & New Zealand has existed since 1988 and is formed by subspecialty trained colorectal surgeons from both countries. The Society aims to improve the outcome for patients with colorectal disease through subspecialty training, research and education. Both Dr. Gillespie and Dr. Slack are members of the society and have completed its training programme.

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Continence Foundation of Australia

The Continence Foundation of Australia is an organisation aiming to support patients with bowel and bladder control problems across Australia. It includes physiotherapists, nurses, doctors and surgeons. Dr. Slack and Dr. Gillespie work with many allied health practitioners to help with managing patients with pelvic floor problems. The CFA website is a useful link for more information on these conditions.

Please contact us to discuss your problem or make an appointment