General Surgery

For Patients and Visitors

What is the Service?

Northern Health has five general surgery units that are able to look after many types of general surgery problems at Northern Hospital, Epping, Broadmeadows Hospital and Craigieburn. These units also look after sub-speciality general surgery patients with complex problems like gall bladder problems, liver problems, large bowel problems, stomach problems, thyroid gland problems, breast problems.

What can I expect from the service?

Please refer to individual specialities for unit specific information.
In general, patients referred to the General Surgery Service can expect to receive:

  • First appointment with a surgeon within days of GP referral for patients diagnosed with cancer and within two weeks for patients with highly suspicious lesions. Patients with benign surgical problems can expect to have an appointment within 8 weeks
  • Clinic visits with their general surgeon
  • Clinic visits for cancer patients with medical oncologists, radio-oncologist, oncology nurse practitioner
  • Multi-disciplinary care from diagnosis through-out their treatment program
  • Access to genetic counselling support if required
  • In-patient and out-patient surgical care
  • Access to allied care support including social work, physiotherapy, occupational therapy
  • Dedicated Interpreter Service
  • Regular letters to your GP

How to refer to the service

A referral is required. Please visit your GP clinic

What do I bring/need for my appointment?

First appointment: patients are asked to bring:

  • X-Rays
  • Any relevant pathology reports
  • Medicare card
  • An accurate list of medications
  • The name and clinic address of your GP.

Ongoing appointments: no requirements but check with individual speciality webpages.

Contact us:

Phone:      8405 8335


For urgent treatment please go to the Emergency Department
If you have a medical emergency please call 000

For Health Professionals

Service Overview

The General Surgery Service at Northern Health comprises of five general surgery units. There are four elective units and one emergency unit. The four Elective Units provide general surgery care, as well as, sub-speciality care in:

  • Surgical Unit 1 Colorectal / General Surgery (see Colorectal Surgery webpage)
  • Surgical Unit 2 Breast/ General Surgery (see Breast Surgery webpage)
  • Surgical Unit 3 Endocrine/Upper Gastro-Intestinal / General Surgery (See Endocrine Surgery webpage; see Upper Gastro-Intestinal Surgery webpage)
  • Surgical Unit 4 Hepato-Pancreatico-Biliary/ General Surgery (See Hepato-Pancreatico-Biliary Surgery webpage)

All units manage simple and complex benign and malignant conditions at the Northern Hospital and at Broadmeadows Hospital. The units work closely with speciality surgery units, general and speciality medicine, as well as, allied health and community services.

There is one Emergency Unit, Acute General Surgery Unit (AGSU), which manages emergency referrals to Northern Health primarily through the Emergency Department but also from units from all campuses within Northern Health. AGSU has access to sub-speciality general services therefore the AGSU is equipped to care for the great majority of referrals to Northern Health.

Inclusion criteria:

Patients over 18 years of age (except to Surgical Unit 2/Breast Unit where children between the ages of 12 and 18 are accepted)
All simple general surgery conditions such as abscesses (any area of the body), skin lesions (any area of the body), subcutaneous lesions, lipomata, sebaceous cysts, perianal skin conditions, haemorrhoids, appendicitis, biliary colic, cholecystitis, all hernia (inguinal, femoral, umbilical, incisional etc), carpal tunnel syndrome, vasectomy, breast cysts/fibroadenomas, mastitis; thyroid cysts; trauma.
All complex general surgery conditions such as common bile duct gallstones, common hepatic/bile duct lesions and strictures, liver abscesses and benign and malignant hepatic lesions; gastric ulcers/cancers; oesophageal lesions/ hiatus hernia; large and small bowel benign and malignant pathology; thyroid/parathyroid/parotid lesions; benign and malignant breast lesions; trauma.

How to Refer:

All referrals to Northern Health should be sent to:

Fax: 8405 8616

Referrals must include:

  • Patient details including address, date of birth, Medicare number and (current) contact phone numbers
  • The reason for referral
  • Relevant clinical history for the patient
  • Relevant investigation results, including any pathology, current medications and any allergies.  Note: that for patients with a clinically apparent inguinal hernia, referrals do not need to include an ultrasound.
  • Current management of condition by LMO
  • Patients should bring their radiology films to appointments
  • Your provider number
  • Northern Health GP Referral Guidelines for (insert specialty name) LINK

Contact Us

The relevant Unit registrar may be contacted via Northern Health Switch for advice, (03) 8405 8000.