Hepatobiliary & Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery

Welcome to Hepatobiliary and Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery

St Vincent’s Hepatobiliary and Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery (Upper GI) unit consists of specialist surgeons, nurses and allied health professionals, all in collaboration to meet our patient's healthcare needs.

Our surgeons have a variety of specialized focus areas; ranging from hernia repair to major resections for cancer patients.
Please see "Referral Information" below, for more details of our unit's offerings.


For more information about Endoscopy, please click here.


Our Team

Mr Simon Banting
Director of Surgery & Head of Hepatobiliary and Upper Gastrointestinal surgery


Mr Banting completed his undergraduate medical training at the University of Melbourne with honours. He then underwent post graduate surgical training based at St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne. This culminated in being awarded the Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. He then became the inaugural Follow in HPB surgery for an 18 month period under the tutelage of Mr Ivo Vella. This was followed by two year advanced surgical training in Scotland, gaining experience in advanced laparosoopic surgery and upper gastrointestinal surgery. Mr Banting worked in Edinburgh as a senior Registrar for Professor David Carter and Professor James Garden, gaining extensive experience in hepatobiliary surgery, liver transplantation and endoscopic practice in ERCP — Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography. Currently, Mr Banting has public appointments at St Vincent's Hospital, Box Hill Hospital and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre; he consults privately with the "Melbourne Surgical Group". Mr Banting is the Head of Surgery and the Director of Hepatobiliary and Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery at St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne. 

Mr Adrian Fox
Hepatobiliary Surgeon


Mr Adrian Fox completed specialist training in General Surgery at St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne. Fellowship training commenced with a two year Australian fellowship M Box Hill Hospital and St Vincent's Hospital, he then completed a two-year clinical fellowship in Hepatobiliary Surgical Oncology and Abdominal organ Transplantation at Toronto General Hospital in Toronto Canada. This competitive fellowship, which is accredited by the Fellowship Council, trains hepatobiliary surgeons with one of the highest case volumes and some of the most complex cases of any training program worldwide. Upon returning to Australia, Mr Fox commenced his specialist practice in Melbourne. He has private appointments at St Vincent's Private Hospital, Epworth Eastern private hospital, and consults privately with the °Melbourne Surgical Group". His public appointments include Eastern Health and St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne.  

Mr Brett Knowles
Hepatobiliary Surgeon


Mr Brett Knowles completed training in General Surge, at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. He Men completed a year-long Australian fellowship in Upper Gastrointestinal and Hepatobiliary surgery at Box Hill Hospital before haling to the United Kingdom for two years. The first year was spent as a clinical fellow in Hepatobiliary and Transplantation Surgery at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh working for Regius Professor James Garden. The second year was spent as the clinical and research fellow in the Hepatobiliary unit at Basingstroke NHS working for Mr Myrddin Rees. Basingstoke NHS is one of the leading European centres for liver and cytoreduction surgery in Europe. Upon returning to Australia, Brett commenced specialist practice in Melbourne with public appointments at St Vincent's Hospital, Royal Melbourne Hospital and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Mr Knowles consults privately with the "Melbourne SurgicaI Group". At St Vincent's, Mr Knowles has clinical interest areas including: ERCP, liver and pancreatic cancer surgery, hernia and general surgery. He is active in research and surgical education.

Mr Michael Hii
Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeon


Mr. Michael Hii is an oesophago-gastric surgeon who specialises in diseases of the oesophagus, stomach and adrenal glands. Mr Hii completed training in general surgery in Melbourne and then went on to complete an additional three years of specialist training at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, the Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane and St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne. Mr. Hii has clinical interest and experience treating oesophageal cancer and stomach cancer, reflux disease, hiatal heria and diseases of the adrenal glands, opting for minimally invasive approaches. Mr Hii also specialises in Bariatric (weight loss) Surgery, a growing service offered at St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne. Mr Hii is a senior clinical lecturer with the University of Melbourne and has other public appointments at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, and holds an honorary position at the Peter Macallum Cancer Institute and Box Hill Hospital. Mr Hii currently consults privately with "Melbourne Gastro Oesophageal Surgery", consulting in Fitzroy, Bendigo and Werribee. 

Ms Salena Ward
Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeon


Ms Salena Ward is General Surgeon who specialises in surgery of the oesophagus and stomach, including weight loss surgery. Ms Ward graduated from The University of Melbourne. She undertook surgical training at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and The Alfred Hospital. She has specialist oesophageal and gastric surgical training at Box Hill Hospital, and then in the United Kingdom at Oxford University Hospital before returning to Australia, commencing work in public and private practice. Ms Ward is a passionate educator, researcher and an advocate for junior doctors in training. She completed a Master in Surgery in 2013 through Monash University and currently supervises students completing their Masters in Surgery. Ms Ward consults privately with "Melbourne Gastro Oesophageal Surgery" in Box Hill North, Bundoora, Fitzroy, Frankston and Ringwood East. She currently has public appointments at Box Hill Hospital, Maroondah Hospital and St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne. 

Ms Mary Ann Johnson
Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeon


Ms Mary Ann Johnson is a specialist Upper Gastrointestinal surgeon. Ms Johnson graduated from James Cook University and completed her advanced surgical training at Box Hill Hospital, Fiona Stanley Hospital, Perth, and a fellowship in the UK at the Royal Victorian Infirmary, in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Ms Johnson waifs extensively with oesophageal and gastric cancer patients, in addition to a variety of other procedures and conditions include hernia repairs, gastric ulcers, gallstones and achalasia. Ms Johnson consults privately at Epworth Easter, Knox Private, Angliss Hospital and St Vincent's Private Hospital. She has public appointments at Box Hill Hospital, Maroondah Hospital, Goulbum Valley Health and St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne. 

Lynn Choong
Research Coordinator


Paula Swannock
Registered Nurse  

 0M0A9060 (2)  

Paula is a Registered Nurse who specialises in the care and management of Upper GI and Hepatobiliary cancer patients. Paula has completed her Masters in Advance Clinical Practice and has worked within the field of Upper GI & HPB for many years. Paula’s role involves direct contact for all Upper GI & HPB cancer patients and assists them to navigate through the public health system. This role encompasses patient education, treatment planning, multidisciplinary team coordination, holistic care and nurse- led clinics. Paula is available via telephone or email Mon- Thursday 08:00- 16:30

Sophie Flanagan
Surgical Liaison Nurse
Sophie is the Surgical Liaison Nurse at St Vincent’s Hospital for the Upper GI and Hepatobiliary Unit. She has worked at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne for over 10 years. Sophie’s role involves case management of patients once they are added to the Elective Surgery Waiting List. This includes clinical assessment, pre-operative education and coordinating any further investigations required to facilitate timely access to surgery. Sophie’s primary role is working with the Benign and Bariatric patients, however she works closely with the Cancer Nurse Coordinator for the UGI/HPB unit . Sophie is available Monday-Thursday and alternate Fridays or in weekly outpatient clinics.

Referral Information

St Vincent’s Hepatobiliary and Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery welcomes referrals for patients with the following conditions:


  • Gallstone disease
  • Bile duct stones
  • Benign and malignant liver tumours/ lesions
  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Liver lesions for assessment
  • Pancreatic tumours / lesions
  • Pancreatic cysts
  • Splenic lesions / splenic tumours / splenic cysts
  • Adrenal lesions
  • Patients requiring endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
  • Small bowel tumours such as gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST) / carcinoid
  • Intra abdominal masses
  • Retroperitoneal tumours


  • Reflux disease
  • Hiatus hernia
  • Oesophageal cancer
  • Gastric cancer
  • Gastric GIST
  • Achalasia
  • Dysphagia
  • Adrenal lesions
  • Zenkers diverticulum
  • Oesophageal diverticulum

General Surgery:

  • Abdominal wall herniae
  • Laparoscopic repair of abdominal wall hernia
  • Groin hernia
  • Patient needing gastroscopy

Advanced Endoscopy:

  • Oesophageal / gastric stents
  • Duodenal stents
  • Per oral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) for achalasia
  • Diagnostic and therapeutic ERCP 

No particular investigations are required prior to appointment. 

Referral Forms and Guidelines

Refer to the Specialist Clinics area

Clinic Times

  • Our outpatient clinics run weekly on Monday afternoon. 2 out of 4 weeks alternate between Hepatobiliary and Upper GI, while the remaining 2 weeks are combined for both subspecialties
  • A registrar clinic is run on Thursday Afternoons for patients recently discharge from the Hospital

    Hepatobiliary and Upper GI Outpatient Clinic
    When: Monday 1.45pm
    Where: Red Clinic, Ground Floor, Daly Wind (Building D)

    Registrar- Ward Discharge Clinic
    When: Thursday 1.00pm
    Where: 6th floor, Daly Wing (Building D)

    For a map of the Fitzroy campus, please click here.


Below we have a variety of resources for our patients to access from home. These range from information about your surgery, to recommendations and advice to optimize your recovery period. 
(NB. for cancer patients: if you require any additional information, talk to your Cancer Nurse Coordinator to provide you with further information, tailored to your needs)

https://www.cancer.org.au/ (for cancer patients who require more information about their condition and treatment)
https://www.pancare.org.au/ (an additional resource for those diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer)
https://pie.med.utoronto.ca/TVASurg/project/pe-whipple/ (for patients undergoing "Whipple's procedure"- pancreaticoduodenectomy) 

Contact Us

Patient Enquiries:    

Tel: (03) 9231 3475

GP Enquiries:

Tel: (03) 9231 2898.
Monday to Thursday: 8:30am to 4:30pm
Friday: 8:30am to 4:00pm, or please leave a message.

Fax referrals: (03) 9231 3489

Cancer Nurse Coordinator:

If referrals need to be discussed in more detail please contact our cancer nurse coordinator on 0428118658

Tel: 0428 118 658
Fax: (03) 9231 2017
Email: paula.swannock@svha.org.au

Referral Officer: 

Tel: (03) 9231 1256

Health Pathways

HealthPathways Melbourne 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.


Please Note:
This is a public outpatient service. All patients need to be referred to us by a GP. Please see your GP if you believe you would benefit from a referral to this clinic. Many doctors have private consulting suites as well as working in the public hospital system. This is entirely separate from St Vincent’s and our staff do not have any information about the private consulting practices of doctors.