Meet Dr Chris Gillespie


Meet Dr Chris Gillespie


Brisbane Colorectal Gut Icon

Quick overview


University of Auckland, 2001
FRACS (General Surgery), Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, 2011

Sub-specialty training:
Completed post-fellowship training in colorectal surgery under the CSSANZ programme, 2013

After-hours contact no:
07 2140 7714


Hi, I’m Chris.

I’ve been practicing as a specialist colorectal surgeon for over a decade, working in both private and public sectors managing colorectal and general surgical diseases across the spectrum. I treat all kinds of colorectal issues, from complex anal fistula to colon & rectal cancer, to inflammatory bowel disease and pelvic floor disorders. 

I’m a kiwi but did my general surgical training at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne. After completing post-fellowship training in colorectal surgery under the CSSANZ (Colorectal Surgical Society of Australia & New Zealand) programme in 2013, I joined Brisbane Colorectal in May 2014. I’m the clinical lead for the colorectal pelvic floor unit at Queen Elizabeth II Hospital, I’m also accredited by the Gastroenterological Society of Australia to perform both upper GI endoscopy (gastroscopy) and colonoscopy and am a registered colonoscopist with the National Bowel Cancer Screening Programme for Queensland. I routinely perform laparoscopic surgery and use the latest Da Vinci Xi robot to perform robotic colorectal surgery when needed.

My family was affected by bowel cancer, with my grandmother dying of the disease at the young age of 53. Sadly, I missed out on knowing her, and she missed out on her big trip around Europe with my grandfather because of cancer. It hits home that life can be short. 

Dr Chris Gillespie in his office at Brisbane Colorectal

Thankfully these days, bowel cancer is one of the more curable cancers with surgery, and I’m so happy I can help others see another day or finally go on that holiday of a lifetime.

I’m passionate about providing high quality care, and holistic medicine including involving other specialists, or specialist nurses/physiotherapists and dietitians where necessary in the care I provide. Colorectal disease can sometimes take years in the making and it’s important to unpack the whole story and contributing aspects of someone’s life to fully understand the disease process – this is always important in figuring out the best treatment strategy. 

I’m actively involved in teaching as well as research and spend about half my time working in the public sector at Princess Alexandra and Queen Elizabeth II Hospital. My commitments including designing and running the QLD Part 2 General Surgical Course – a course made for final year general surgical trainees, and previously running the QLD CORE course which provides education for future Queensland surgeons. I’ve convened conferences and courses, including the Brisbane Functional Colorectal Course teaching surgeons in pelvic floor disorder management, and the Brisbane Functional Colorectal Conference – an international conference dedicated to disorders of defecation and anal continence. I have also, along with two other specialists, set up the QLD Pelvic Floor Centre, a centre dedicated to the multidisciplinary care of people with pelvic floor problems. 

I’m proud to maintain up to date care with active involvement in all aspects and developments in colorectal surgery, including serving as a Councillor for the Colorectal Surgical Society of Australia & New Zealand. 

When I’m not seeing patients, flying the flag for better toileting habits, or contributing to furthering the colorectal field, I enjoy travel and time with my family. I have three children who keep me on my toes, and I’m always up for a game of squash or tennis!

Brisbane Colorectal Gut Icon

More about Dr Gillespie


One piece of advice

If there’s one thing I wish our society would do so people didn’t need to see a colorectal surgeon, it would be to practice healthy toileting. A classic example is you have breakfast in the morning, and on your way to work you get the call to stool from the gastrocolic reflex. So, you hold on. You get to work, and because you’re either busy or have an issue with ‘going’ to a toilet other than the one at home and decide not to answer the call. This can lead to constipation and other issues.

Areas of interest

All aspects of colorectal surgery, including advances in minimally invasive surgery, anal fistula, rectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease.

Extra colorectal curricular activities

During my career, I’ve had the pleasure of training under and working with some amazing colorectal surgeons, and to pay it forward I:

  • Have been the senior coordinator for the QLD CORE course for general surgical trainees, and designed the QLD Part 2 General Surgery Examination Preparation Course which continues to run in Brisbane annually.
  • Am an accredited instructor for the “Care of the Critically Ill Surgical Patient” course.
  • Have recently become the Honorary Treasurer of the Colorectal Surgical Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSSANZ), and I am involved at council level in this society which centres around quality, standards and education in colorectal surgery across the 2 countries.
  • Have presented many papers in Australia and overseas.
    Contributed to case studies and case reports and reviewed plenty for peers.
  • Organised many conferences and conducted live surgery workshops.
  • Set up the ‘Enhanced Recovery After Surgery’ programme at Logan Hospital; this has gone on to result in improved outcomes for colorectal surgery patients at Logan Hospital, with reduced complications and hospital stay.
  • Am the clinical lead of the Colorectal Pelvic Floor Service at Queen Elizabeth II Hospital. I set up this service in 2014 and it has gone on to become the only multidisciplinary colorectal pelvic floor service in Queensland — attracting a large number of referrals across Queensland, driving multiple research publications in pelvic floor disorders, and organising courses and conferences in Brisbane centred around managing people with complex pelvic floor problems.
  • Set up QLD Pelvic Floor Centre with a small group of specialists who also have the desire to see people with pelvic floor conditions get a better level of care.

Career Snapshot

Early Days

After graduating medical school at the University of Auckland, in 2001, I spent 2 years in Gisborne, New Zealand, for intern and resident years, including 6 months in general practice. Further time was spent in UK/Ireland as a senior house officer and at Middlemore Hospital in Auckland in plastic surgery.

General Training

My general surgical training was done at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne (2005-2011) but I spent one year at King’s College Hospital in London for intensive care and emergency medicine training. During this time, I received the Gordon Gordon-Taylor medal for the highest mark in Australasia for basic surgical sciences. My general surgical training was completed in Melbourne with FRACS attained in 2011. I was then accepted to post-fellowship training under the Colorectal Surgical Society of Australia and New Zealand and spent 2 years undergoing subspecialty training at Auckland City Hospital and Gold Coast Hospital. I also achieved membership of the CSSANZ and was awarded the Travelling Fellowship resulting in visits to St. Mark’s Hospital, Oxford and Basingstoke Hospitals in the UK in 2013.

Since completing training

I’ve held public appointments at Princess Alexandra Hospital, Queen Elizabeth II Hospital, Logan Hospital and Mater Public Hospital. I started private practice when I joined Brisbane Colorectal in 2014.

I’m accredited by the Gastroenterological Society of Australia to perform both upper GI endoscopy (gastroscopy) and colonoscopy and am a registered colonoscopist with the National Bowel Cancer Screening Programme for Queensland. As a result, I’m an accomplished laparoscopic surgeon, and I also offer robotic colorectal surgery using the latest Da Vinci Xi robot available at Mater Private Hospital.