Women's and Children's Hospital, Adelaide


Clinical Services

The Gastroenterology Unit provides a state-wide service in gastroenterology, hepatology, and nutrition for infants, children and adolescents under 18 years of age. The services extend to the Northern Territory, Western NSW and Western Victoria.

Services Include

  • Inpatient specialist care and consultation
  • WCH page link iconOutpatient clinics in paediatric gastroenterology, hepatology, nutrition, eating disorders, cystic fibrosis and inflammatory bowel disease
  • Outreach specialist outpatient clinics to: Flinders Medical Centre, Mount Gambier Hospital, Whyalla Hospital, Port Augusta Hospital and Darwin Hospital
  • Home Enteral Nutrition Service (HENS)
  • Home Parenteral Nutrition Service
  • Diagnostic and therapeutic procedures: endoscopy and colonoscopy, liver biopsy, insertion of gastrostomy
  • Inflammatory bowel disease service.

How to access the service

A referral is needed from a medical practitioner.

Referral letters should contain

  • full name
  • date of birth
  • address
  • telephone number
  • whether or not your child will be treated as a public or private patient
  • parent/carer's names
  • Medicare number
  • emergency contact (if required)

The referral may be faxed to (08) 8161 6088 or sent by mail.Once the referral has been received the Unit Secretary will advise you of the appointment time either by telephone or by letter.

Resources for Patients/Parents

Video of Paediatric Gastroenterology Department of WCH to Crohn's and Colitis Forum
– Thursday, 5 December 2019.

Laboratory Diagnostic and Investigational Services

  • Upper gastrointestinal motility studies
  • 24 hour ambulatory pH monitoring for gastro-oesophageal reflux
  • Oesophageal impedance testing for gastro-oesophageal reflux and symptoms
  • Breath hydrogen testing for carbohydrate absorption and malabsorption, oro-caecal transit time and bacterial overgrowth of the intestine
  • Stable isotope breath testing for Helicobacter pylori, gastric emptying, small bowel bacterial overgrowth, fat malabsorption
  • Intestinal permeability testing using dual sugar probes.

Resources for Clinicians

PDF iconBreath Tests for Small Bowel Bacterial Overgrowth – fact sheet  (195kb)

PDF iconBreath Hydrogen Test for Carbohydrate Malabsorption – fact sheet  (196kb)

PDF iconUrea Breath Test for Helicobacter pylori – fact sheet  (195kb)

Research activity

  • Motility research of upper gastrointestinal tract looking at developmental physiology, pathophysiology and pharmacotherapy.
  • Non-invasive modalities to study gut function pathophysiology and interventions using both animal models and studies in humans in both health and disease areas including Helicobacter pylori, gastric emptying, gut mucosal injury of varying aetiologies and small bowel bacterial overgrowth.
  • Centre for the Australian Paediatric and Adolescent inflammatory bowel disease database. This is also being used for research studies.


General Business 9am – 5pm

Contact Information

WCH page link iconDetailed Staff Listing

Medical Unit Head
Dr Richard Couper


8th Floor, Zone B (Rieger Building)

Mailing Address

Gastroenterology Unit
Women's and Children's Health Network
72 King William Road
North Adelaide
South Australia 5006


Ph (08) 8161 7352

Fax (08) 8161 6088

Email gastro@wch.sa.gov.au

WCH page link iconBack to Division of Paediatric Medicine

last modified: 07 Jan 2020