gastroenterologist doctors wellington

Dr Rees Cameron, MSc(Hons) MBChB FRACP

Dr Rees Cameron is a specialist gastroenterologist and advanced therapeutic endoscopist based in Wellington. He is the head of Gastroenterology and primary therapeutic endoscopist at Capital and Coast District Health Board, and consults privately at Wakefield Hospital.

Following a research degree in molecular biology, he graduated from University of Auckland Medical School, and trained in gastroenterology at Christchurch Hospital and the Freeman Hospital Liver Unit in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. In 2011/2012 after five years of specialist practice, he undertook a fellowship in advanced therapeutic endoscopy at Interventional Endoscopy Services, California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, one of the major referral centres in the US for complex endoscopic procedures, and a noted centre for innovation in endosurgical techniques. Whilst there he was a recipient of the Cook Medical Don Wilson Memorial Award, which is presented each year by the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) to three promising overseas endoscopy trainees in the US.

Since 2012 he has pioneered the use of cap and water-assisted (‘underwater’) colonoscopy in New Zealand to improve patient comfort and reduce sedation requirements. He has developed the greatest NZ experience and expertise in the associated technique of underwater endoscopic mucosal resection (UEMR) for the removal of large colonic non-malignant tumours, including those where there has been a prior unsuccessful attempt. His expertise in this area maximises his patients' chances of having any polyp pathology dealt with at a single procedure, rather than having to have repeat procedures for incompletely removed lesions. The use of underwater colonoscopy and the need for little or no sedation reduces the disruption to a patient's busy lifestyle that a colonoscopy can sometimes entail. In addition, due to his superior polyp detection rates, he is able to recommend less frequent colonoscopy examinations for his patients.

Another major area of interest is the management of patients with Barrett’s oesophagus, particularly in those with changes of dysplasia, a precursor for cancer. He has expertise in modern surveillance techniques, and the resection and elimination of dysplasia and early oesophageal cancer, using both endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) or, if necessary, endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD).

His other areas of expertise include ERCP, and EUS (endoscopic ultrasound), both diagnostic and therapeutic. He has established an advanced therapeutic EUS service for the Wellington region at Wellington Hospital.

In 2016, Dr Cameron undertook a Fellowship at Zhongshan Hospital Fudan University, Shanghai, at the invitation of Professor Pinghong Zhou, and trained in the advanced endoscopic techniques of ESD and per oral endoscopic myotomy (POEM), a treatment for the condition achalasia which is now available in Wellington.  Zhongshan Hospital, one of China's elite medical institutes, has the world's busiest endoscopy unit (>100,000 procedures per annum) where a number of endoscopic surgical techniques have been pioneered allowing treatment of certain tumours in both the upper gut and colon without major invasive surgery.  These techniques open further options for patients to have minimally invasive treatment for conditions that in other centres might require surgery.

Dr Cameron is an affiliated provider for Southern Cross Health Society and can be contacted for private consultation or colonoscopy/gastroscopy through the Wakefield Gastroenterology Centre at Wakefield Hospital, Wellington.