June is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month

It's Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and as gastroenterologists, we want to strongly encourage you to be proactive about your bowel health.

If diagnosed early, bowel cancer is one of the most treatable cancers.

The Facts

  • 15,206 Australians are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year
  • 1 in 13 men will develop bowel cancer in their lifetime
  • 1 in 17 women will develop bowel cancer in their lifetime
  • Bowel cancer is Australia's second deadliest cancer with 101 deaths each year
  • 30% of bowel cancer cases have a family history or hereditary contribution
  • 10% of those diagnosed with bowel cancer each year are under 50 years of age

Bowel cancer incidence rates are increasing in young people in Australia and internationally. Young people diagnosed with bowel cancer are often in later stages, which makes the cancer more difficult to treat.

An important message that we want to share is that, Bowel Cancer is no longer an older person's disease.

Screening Saves Lives

Bowel cancer is treatable if detected early. Unfortunately, less than 50% of bowel cancers are detected early. Bowel cancer screening can detect early signs of the disease and save lives.

There are two ways to screen for bowel cancer -

1. The Poo Test

The Australian Government’s National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP) sends eligible Australians, aged 50 -74 years, a free bowel cancer screening test kit. It is sent to your home address via mail every 2 years.

If you are aged 45-49 years, you are not eligible for the NBCSP, however you can ask your GP for a test.

This test checks for tiny amounts of blood in your poo, which may not be visible to the naked eye. These tiny traces of blood may come from bowel polyps (a growth of the bowel lining) or bowel cancer. The results are sent to you and your GP.

It is such a simple test to do and we strongly recommend that you to use this test even if you have NO SYMPTOMS.

If you do HAVE SYMPTOMS, such as a persistent change in bowel habit, unexplained abdominal pain, rectal bleeding or weight loss, please see your doctor, even if your Poo Test is negative.

Also, if you have a FAMILY HISTORY of bowel cancer, please inform your doctor as you may be eligible for earlier screening tests.

Having symptoms or a positive result on the bowel cancer screening test does not mean you have bowel cancer, there could be many other reasons. It is ALWAYS worth getting it checked.

2. Colonoscopy

A colonoscopy is a well-tolerated and safe procedure. It allows the doctor to carefully examine your bowel lining. Bowel cancer or pre-cancerous polyps can be detected, and polyps can be removed to reduce the risk of future bowel cancer.

If you do have symptoms such as those discussed above, your doctor may recommend a colonoscopy as a follow up to the Poo Test, or instead of the Poo Test.

If you have a strong family history of bowel cancer, your doctor may also recommend having a colonoscopy instead of doing the Poo Test.

How can you be proactive about your bowel health?

1. Talk to your GP

Regardless of your age, if you are concerned about any of the symptoms mentioned above, or if you have a family history of bowel cancer, please talk to your doctor.

2. Participate in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (if you are eligible) when your free test kit arrives in the mail.

3. Take steps to reduce your bowel cancer risk

  • Eat foods high in Vitamin D (salmon, eggs)
  • Limit intake of red meat, processed meats and alcohol
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Keep active
  • Quit smoking

Spread the word ...... Let your family, friends and neighbours know. The more we talk about this, the better. Diagnosing this cancer early, means more lives will be saved.

It’s not the easiest of topics to talk about, but it certainly is a worthwhile one.

Dr Soleiman Kashkooli
Gastroenterologist & Endoscopist

Suite 2A, Knox Private Hospital
262 Mountain Hwy, Wantirna, 3152

P 9468 9700
F 9468 9701
Visit website

Work has begun on a major expansion of Knox Private Hospital that will help us continue to meet the growing demand for quality health care across Melbourne’s east.

The expansion plans follow three recent major developments that include a new Emergency Department, expanded cardiac services with an additional Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory, and a new dedicated Day Procedure Centre.

The new multi-million dollar expansion will help Knox Private deliver an expanded and enhanced service offering for our patients, and will further cement our reputation as a world-class healthcare facility.

The 2022- 2023 Expansion Project includes:

  • 60 new beds, with predominantly single room accommodation;
  • An upgraded Intensive Care and Coronary Care Units, with additional bed capacity (14 and 17 respectively);
  • A 16 chair renal dialysis service;
  • An upgraded non-invasive/ diagnostic Cardiology unit;
  • Consolidation of Pharmacy, Admissions and Café, conveniently closer to ward areas;
  • 9 additional specialist consulting rooms.

Artist Impression – Corner of Boronia Roads and Mountain Highway

Artist Impression – Main entrance

Keeping the community informed

As works progress we are committed to keeping the community informed, and will do everything we can to minimise any disruption.

Car parking will be affected during the redevelopment. We have taken provisions to minimize disruption by including providing 150 off-site car-parking spaces for staff during this period.

Car-parking arrangements, patient pick up and drop off zones have changed.

Parking arrangements
For more information, please click HERE.

Patient pick up and drop off zones:
Pick up and Drop off zones as well as DVA parking have been re-located to car parking levels B1 and B2 via the Boronia Road car park entrance.

Opportunity Knox!

Doctors’ Expression of Interest
Due to an expected growing demand, surgeons wishing to secure operating time or have a discussion regarding on-site consulting opportunities at Knox Private are encouraged to submit an Expression of interest.


Are you a Nursing, Allied Health staff and Health professional looking for a career at Knox Private Hospital? Let us know you are interested by leaving your details or applying for a position using the Careers or Graduate nurse tabs on the home page of this website.

More information

Follow us on Facebook or Instagram for regular updates, or email us on knox.communication@healthscope.com.au.

We welcome your feedback via email to feedback.knox@healthscope.com.au or by calling 03 9210 7000.

Congratulations to Mr Michael Bruce, Vascular and Endovascular surgeon and the Knox theatre team for performing the first procedure in our new Hybrid operating theatre.

“The first surgery went very well in what is a fantastic upgrade to the hybrid theatre. The beauty of the Hybrid Operating Theatre is that it accommodates endovascular procedures combined with open procedures, all in the one theatre.,” said Mr Bruce

The new Hybrid operating theatre at Knox Private Hospital has the installation of the latest Philips Azurion 7 C20 with FlexArm technology.

“It’s less invasive and there’s less radiation for the patient. For the surgeon, there is higher definition in the images, greater memory, faster processor and it’s versatile- there’s also a cat scan available to be used in theatre for aneurysms.”

The new Knox Hybrid Operating Theatre is ceiling mounted and this means the surgical team have unrestricted movement throughout the theatre allowing the team to choose the best position possible.

Mr Bruce stented a blocked artery (opened up the blockage using a tiny metal tube) and unblocked a major blood vessel, leading to the legs. This patient had what you might describe as Angina in the legs and was experiencing pain due to the lack of blood supply, finding it very difficult to walk.

Vincent Borg, Knox GM, says ‘I’m thrilled to work with and deliver on the needs of the exceptional surgeons at Knox Private Hospital, providing a technology that supports the best possible outcomes for our patients.

More about our new operating theatre:

The revolutionary approach to image guided therapy that supports our doctors to improve and grow their minimally invasive care for angiographic endovascular procedures.

The FlexArm is a state of the art ceiling-mounted imaging system, which provides unlimited imaging flexibility compared to floor mounted systems, for diverse procedures and exceptional positioning freedom for our team.

The new and improved FlexArm geometry enhances image-guided procedures through reduced table repositioning – This improves staff ergonomics and patient experience, as well as workflow for complex procedures.

The reduced need to reposition the table also lowers the risk of complications during the procedure.

The new Azurion system at Knox Private Hospital comes equipped with a unique and industry leading reduced radiation dose technology – ClarityIQ – This will ensure the benefits of significantly lower patient dose at equivalent image equality and a substantial reduction in staff radiation exposure.

Heart Week
3-9 May 2021

To support Heart week, the Knox Private Hospital Cardiac team comprised of Cardiologists, Cardiothoracic surgeons & the newly formed Structural Heart team have put together information to engage our community and health care professionals about Heart health.

1. Takostubo
by Dr David Tong, General & Interventional Cardiologist

2. Cardiac Arrhythmias and Syncope
by Dr Jithin Sajeev, General Cardiologist and Cardiac Rhythm Management Specialist

3. Device home monitoring for pacemakers, defibrillators and loop recorders
by Dr Sue-Ling Liew, General Cardiologist & Cardiac Device Specialist

4. Left Ventricular Rupture
by Mr Nick Roubos, Cardiothoracic Surgeon

5. Acute Myocardial Infarction
by Dr Michael Rowe, Interventional Cardiologist

For a list of the Knox Private Cardiac Doctors and Surgeons please click here

From the Heart Foundation Website, Heart Week 2021: Heart Health Checks present a valuable opportunity for healthcare professionals to engage with their patients about their risk of developing cardiovascular disease and ways to lower this risk. This Heart Week, our focus is on supporting health professionals to deliver more Heart Health Checks to eligible patients; this is a vital step to empower people to better look after their heart health.

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted health services and led to indirect health consequences. Data shows a significant drop in the number of preventative health assessments in 2020, especially for services that could not be delivered via telehealth, such as Heart Health Checks.

Primary care clinicians face a backlog of patients in need of preventative and chronic disease related cardiovascular care. Even during a period of competing priorities, the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease has never been so critical.

After a period of lockdowns, health, family and economic pressures, it’s time to return our attention to the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease.

At this time of increased health awareness, we are encouraging Australians to get back to looking after their heart health: a great place to start is by keeping up with regular medical appointments and speaking with their doctor about relevant medical tests.

This Heart Week, the Heart Foundation are encouraging health professionals to:

  • Re-engage with patients about their heart health, including people coming in for a COVID-19 vaccination
  • Engage with the broader general practice team to identify and recall at-risk patients, ensuring they have a Heart Health Check
  • Support patients to better understand their risk of developing heart disease and what they can do to lower their risk
  • Spread the word through local communities

Healthscope’s Knox Private Hospital recently celebrated two key milestones, underscoring its reputation as a leading proponent of high-tech medical surgery.

Knox Private has been using robotic surgery techniques to improve patient outcomes for over six years, and the hospital recently celebrated its 1000th surgery performed using robotic technology.

Knox Private urologist Mr George Koufogiannis performed the surgery using the hospital’s da Vinci surgical robot to repair a patient’s obstructed kidney. Mr Koufogiannis said the robotic technology has revolutionised urological surgery.

“From the ability to tackle far more complex renal tumours while still being able to spare the kidney, treat massively enlarged prostates, or undertake ureter and bladder reconstructions, robotic surgery has improved patient outcomes, with quicker recovery and a faster return to work/family life,” Mr Koufogiannis said.

Knox Private also recently marked another surgical first, performing the first surgery in Australia to use the Brainlab robot’s new Curve Navigation system. This new technology lets surgeons perform faster, more accurate and less invasive surgical procedures, giving patients a better post-operative experience and faster recovery times.

Knox Private neurosurgeon Mr Ron Jithoo conducted Australia’s first surgery using the Brainlab Curve Navigation technology, removing a joint and inserting titanium pins into a patient’s leg to relieve severe leg pain.

“By placing titanium pins in the bone and using the Curve Navigation for accurate placement through keyhole incision, the outcome will be relief of the leg pain and improving quality of life for the patient by allowing the resumption of driving, walking and gardening,” Mr Jithoo said.

Mr Jithoo said the introduction to Knox Private of the Brainlab Curve Navigation robot, along with other robotic surgery options, meant patients didn’t need to go to central Melbourne to receive state-of-the-art treatment.

“They have the option of advanced surgery with computer navigated guidance for a better outcome right at their door step.”

Knox Private’s General Manager Vincent Borg says the hospital has a proud history of adopting and embracing medical innovation to improve patient outcomes.

“We believe that pairing outstanding surgeons such as Ron Jithoo and George Koufogiannis with leading-edge technology cements Knox Private’s reputation as a centre for surgical excellence, and gives our patients the best possible outcomes,” Mr Borg said.



Healthscope is a leading Australian private healthcare provider, operating 43 hospitals across the country, and employing over 18,000 people. Healthscope offers world-class patient care, including medical and surgical services, mental health treatment and rehabilitation services. The Knox Private Hospital is Healthscope’s flagship facility in its eastern Melbourne cluster, which also includes Ringwood Private Hospital, Bellbird Private Hospital and The Victorian Rehabilitation Centre.

For more information contact:

Jim Cooper
Email: jim.cooper@healthscope.com.au

Bendigo man’s life saved through “impossible” surgery

A Bendigo man is enjoying a second chance at life thanks to the creativity and innovation of Victorian doctors who came together to tackle an otherwise “impossible surgical problem” affecting the 65-year-old’s heart.

Kevin Furness of the Bendigo suburb of Strathdale is recuperating after the surgery at Knox Private Hospital to treat a false aneurysm on his aortic arch that would have ended his life without the intervention.

Leading vascular surgeon, Professor Michael Grigg, said the location of the aneurysm and impact of previous operations created a unique challenge that commonly used stent surgery could not overcome alone.

“It really was a near impossible surgical problem,” Professor Grigg said. “We have excellent medical technology to use stents lower on the aortic arch, but where Kevin’s problem was located in the proximal aortic arch meant we needed a novel solution including using the stent in a way the manufacturer had never seen or heard of being done before.

“It meant we had to design the operation from the start and map out every step, planning for all the things that could happen and how we were going to deal with them.

“Another critical part of the operation was the support of cardiologist, Dr Michael Rowe, who essentially ‘paced’ Mr Furness’ heart during the operation to prevent the aneurysm blowing out and allow accurate placement of the stent graft”

Professor Grigg said, while the surgery was a combination of creativity around known technology, expert medical teamwork, and a world-class medical facility at Knox, it is Mr Furness who is at the centre of the achievement.

“He had a condition he probably could not have survived much longer, and he took on surgery that also could have taken his life. All of us are just so thrilled for him that it has worked as well as it has and that he’s home recovering.”

The operation was undertaken at Healthscope’s Knox Private Hospital to take advantage of the hybrid operating theatre, which was capable of supporting the surgery and critical imaging simultaneously, and alongside additional cardiac intervention.

Knox Private Hospital General Manager, Vincent Borg said the hospital was delighted to be able to support world class specialists with world class facilities. “We congratulate Professor Grigg and the entire team who came together here to achieve a second chance at life for Mr Furness. We wish him and his family the best for his recovery.”

Watch the news story on WIN News Bendigo here.

A Melbourne heart doctor is warning the community not to ignore symptoms of a potentially fatal heart attack during coronavirus.

Knox Private Hospital Interventional Cardiologist Dr Michael Rowe said people with heart conditions cannot cancel their appointments, or put off a trip to emergency because of restrictions or concern about contracting the virus.

“Cardiac conditions cannot wait,” Dr Rowe said.

“It’s critically important that patients don’t ignore potential heart related symptoms such as chest pain or discomfort, palpitations and shortness of breath during these COVID times.”

Read the full article on the Herald Sun website here.

Private Hospital operator Healthscope has appointed Vincent Borg as the General Manager of its flagship facility Knox Private Hospital, and heading up Healthscope’s Eastern Hospital Cluster.

Mr Borg comes to Knox Private with over 20 years in senior healthcare leadership roles.

Read the media release here.

The Federal Member for Aston, Hon Alan Tudge MP, today officially opened major new health facilities in Healthscope’s multi-million dollar expansion of Knox Private Hospital.

Mr Tudge unveiled a plaque commemorating the new Emergency Department which will open on 16 March 2020 and the new dedicated Day Procedure Centre which opened its doors to patients on 28 January 2020.

At the official opening, Healthscope Chief Executive Steven Rubic said that as Australia’s leading private healthcare provider, Healthscope was focused on providing exceptional patient care and quality clinical outcomes.

“Healthscope’s multi-million dollar investment expands on the comprehensive range of medical, surgical, cardiac, and emergency services currently offered at Knox Private Hospital,” said Mr Rubic.

Knox Private Hospital Emergency Department Opening from Healthscope on Vimeo.

Read the media release here.

Caring for the health of the local community for more than 30 years, Knox Private Hospital is expanding.

Healthscope’s multi-million dollar investment will further expand Knox Private Hospital and address increasing demand.

We are enhancing emergency and cardiac services, as well as increasing the Hospital’s surgical capacity. The expansion project will include:

  • New Day Procedure Centre – now open!
  • New Emergency Department – now open!
  • New Cardiac Catheter Lab - Opening July 2020.

Knox Private Hospital will service a catchment of more than 1.2 million people in Melbourne’s east and south-eastern suburbs, as well as regional east Victoria.

Hear what our Specialists have to say about our brand new Day Procedure Centre:

Opportunity Knox!

Due to expected demand, surgeons wishing to secure operating time at the newly expanded Knox Private are encouraged to submit an expression of interest at their earliest convenience.

More information

Download our information booklet here.
Follow us on Facebook or Instagram for regular updates, or email us on knox.communication@healthscope.com.au

The new Emergency Department is near completion and will offer enhanced technologies and an increased patient capacity.

Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including public holidays, providing patients with prompt and professional care of the highest standard around the clock.

Our Emergency Doctors are experienced and highly qualified with specialist training in Emergency Medicine, making them experts operators in this department.

The new department is in an easily accessible location via the Mountain Highway entrance.

Dr Raja Barua talks about the opening of our brand new Emergency Department from Healthscope on Vimeo.

The new purpose built Day Procedure Centre, located on the first floor of the hospital, will operate as a dedicated day surgery centre providing a range of specialist diagnostic and treatment services including endoscopy, urology, plastic and reconstructive surgery, and general surgery. The Centre boasts two new endoscopy suites, three operating theatres with state-of- the-art medical equipment, and spacious new patient recovery areas.

Gastroenterologist Dr Sam Battaglia, who has worked at Knox Private for more than 20 years, performed the first procedure in the new Centre on Mrs Wooler from Blackburn.

Dr Sam Battaglia said: “Patients will experience ease of flow through the new Day Centre with courteous, professional, and helpful staff from admission to discharge.”

Knox Private Hospital General Manager Ms Claire Fogarty said: “Knox Private Hospital is committed to meeting the current and future demands of the region’s growing population, providing enhanced local and accessible treatment in a new modernised facility.

To read the full media release, please click here.

Knox Private Hospital celebrates 4000th cardiac surgery.

28th August, 2019

The team at Knox Private Hospital know the importance of a healthy heart – they have kept hearts ticking across Melbourne’s South East for more than 20 years and this month will celebrate their 4000th cardiac surgery.

Knox Private built its cardiac theatre and Catheter Lab in 1996, and in that time have performed more than three cardiac surgeries a week on average, saving lives.

The hospital will hold a morning tea on Wednesday August 28 at 10.30am to celebrate its 4000th cardiac case, which was performed on a 71 year old patient who underwent coronary bypass surgery.

The patient is recovering well and is thrilled to be part of this significant milestone at Knox Private Hospital.

Cardiothoracic surgeon Mr Nick Roubos performed the surgery after an angiogram, also performed at Knox Private, revealed the need for coronary artery bypass surgery and valve replacement.

“When your coronary arteries are badly narrowed or blocked, treatments like medicines, angioplasty and stents may not work well enough. You may need surgery to improve blood flow to your heart, relieve angina symptoms and prevent heart attacks and more damage,” Mr Roubos said.

“During the surgery, we take a healthy blood vessel from somewhere else in the patient’s body and attach it to either side of the blocked artery so that blood can bypass the blockage. The healthy blood vessel may be a vein from your leg, or an artery from inside your chest or your wrist.”

Knox Private Hospital Acting General Manager, Peter Wilkinson said the 4000th cardiac surgery was: “a significant achievement and a credit to the surgeons, anaesthetists, intensivists, cardiologists, perfusionists, nursing and allied staff who are involved in this complex surgery”.

“The hospital has a huge presence in the delivery of cardiac services in this large catchment area. Our Cath Lab undertakes 2000 procedures every year and our 60 minute time line from when an emergency cardiac patient attends the Emergency Department to when a balloon is inserted in the artery is a statistic we’re very proud of.“ The 4000th coronary artery bypass operation is really indicative of the complex, often lifesaving surgery undertaken at Knox on a daily basis.”

Our Assistance

... ... ... ...