In 1972 Prof Jannie Louw arranged with Dr Solly Marks, Head of the GI Unit at GSH, for a surgical registrar to have endoscopy training. In 1975, as Prof Louw’s senior reg, Peter Jeffery (our practice founder) ran a GSH endoscopy session that continued until 1988 when he turned to vascular surgery. They used a front viewing Olympus scope if a duodenal ulcer was suspected, and a side viewing scope if gastric pathology was more likely.
Later, angled front viewing scopes allowed visualisation of both the stomach and duodenum. In 1977 Syd Cullis joined the practice and he and Peter started private practice endoscopy. At this time Solly Marks was the only other private practitioner doing endoscopy. We could not afford a new Olympus scope (about R8000 at the time) and Solly Marks sold us his ACMI gastroscope for R1 300, which he had recently replaced with an Olympus. It employed a joystick control as opposed to a ratchet wheel and was 15mm in diameter as opposed to the 8mm of current scopes. We performed our first scope in the small kitchenette in our Wynberg rooms. Suction was provided with a manual foot pump.
In early 1980’s, we bought a new Fujinon scope for about R7500. At the time the scope fee was about R58.00, which meant only 150 scopes to pay off the instrument.