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Is the emergency department the best place for you?

If not, there are other options

Colorectal surgery


Contact us

Fax: (08) 7074 6247
Telephone: 1300 153 853

For urgent referrals, contact the registrar on call via RAH switchboard:
Telephone: (08) 7074 0000

About us

The RAH Colorectal Unit is one of the largest tertiary referral colorectal surgical units in South Australia, performing approximately 300 major colorectal surgical procedures and approximately 600 colonoscopic procedures per annum.

The RAH Colorectal Unit comprises six consultant surgeons all of whom are accredited by the Colorectal Surgical Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSSANZ). The rest of the medical team consists of a senior colorectal fellow, an advanced SET trainee, an RMO, three interns and a research fellow. A full time colorectal cancer coordinator and a dedicated research officer are also an integral part of the service.

The unit provides specialist colorectal surgical services and participate in a 1 in 6 dedicated colorectal oncall roster for emergency colorectal surgery.

The colorectal unit undertakes high volume major open and laparoscopic colorectal cancer surgery, complex pelvic malignancy and inflammatory bowel disease cases, interventional colonoscopy and trans-anal endoscopic microsurgery. Pelvic floor and continence surgery is supported by a full anorectal physiology service and a dedicated continence clinic. Robotic surgery is offered in highly selected cases, utilising facilities in the private sector. Involvement in weekly formalised multidisciplinary oncology and IBD meetings is strongly promoted within the unit.

Research is an important part of the unit and has recently undergone significant expansion. Details about current research activity can be viewed here:

Colorectal cancer patient outcomes are prospectively audited using the The Bi-National Colorectal Cancer Audit (BCCA) database. Details about this audit can be viewed here:

Enhanced recovery after colorectal surgery (ERAS) is routinely employed for all patients undergoing elective colorectal cancer surgery. Details of this program can be viewed here:


  • The Colorectal Ward is located on Level 5E, in the RAH.
  • Colorectal Outpatients is located on Level 3F, in the RAH.

For more information

Please view the Colorectal Surgery outpatient service in CALHN web page.

Fax referral to us

We accept GP and specialist referrals to this service.

All referrals are triaged by the service according to clinical urgency. Patients who are unstable and requiring immediate assessment should be sent directly to the Emergency and Trauma Centre.

To refer your patient, follow the outpatient service information, triage and referral guidelines, complete and fax a referral to us. For urgent referrals, also contact the registrar on call to discuss the case. Our registrars are on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

To make a referral:

Fax: (08) 7074 6247

Telephone: 1300 153 853

Clinical features indicative or potentially serious pathology

  • Patients who have a palpable abdominal mass, malignant mass on rectal (PR) examination, radiological evidence of carcinoma or intra-abdominal abscess/sepsis.
  • Atypical rectal bleeding (including dark, admixed, associated with sustained altered bowel habit or significant weight loss).

To ensure appropriate and timely triage, include all demographic and clinical details as well as relevant investigation results.

If you are concerned about any delay of the appointment or if there is any deterioration in your patient’s condition, contact the Registrar on-call via the hospitals' switchboard telephone: (08) 7074 0000 (RAH).

Alternate care options

In most cases the key to appropriate management is a detailed history and examination. Options for obtaining further information regarding various colorectal conditions and to provide guidance for assessment, investigations and management are listed in the related resources tab. In some instances, links to fact sheets have been included in the table which outlines clinical criteria for referral.

Health Pathways

Health Pathways South Australia is an online portal designed to be used by general practice at the point of care to guide best practice assessment, management and referral of common clinical conditions.

Clinical information sheets

The following information sheets about presentations commonly seen in colorectal clinics provide the minimum information required for assessing a referral under the headings of eligibility, priority, differential diagnosis, clinical information and investigations required, pre-referral management strategies and discharge criteria.

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