Preparing for Colonoscopy
Preparing the bowel for colonoscopy
In order for us to get the best possible view and make the colonoscopy easier, your large bowel needs to be cleaned out of all waste material.
You will be given a preparation kit which contains full instructions. Links are provided below to our bowel preparation regimens.
Usually this involves a special diet for a day or two, consisting of no solid food, lots of clear fluids and laxatives the day before and day of the procedure.
You need to have nothing to eat or drink for three to four hours before the procedure is done. However, you may have a sip of water with your regular medications. Take your regular medications on the day of the test.
- Iron tablets should be stopped a week before the test
- Aspirin can be continued
- If you have diabetes or have heart valve disease or have a pacemaker implanted or are taking blood thinning tablets such as Warfarin or Clopidogrel it is important to discuss this with your doctor before the colonoscopy is organised, as special arrangements may be necessary
Colonoscopy is done under deep sedation with an anaesthetist. The test is performed while you lie on your left side, although occasionally it may be necessary for you to lie on your back during the procedure. The instrument is inserted through the back passage. Most colonoscopies take between 20 and 45 minutes.
Following the procedure you will be monitored in the hospital recovery area for approximately two hours until the effect of the medication wears off.
When you wake up you may feel a little bloated. This is due to the air that was inserted during the procedure. This will pass over the next hour or so.
Very rarely, you may pass a small amount of blood. This is due to biopsies that have been taken and is of no concern. You may then go home.
Because of the sedation given it is very important that you do not drive a car, travel on public transport alone, operate machinery, sign legal documents or drink alcohol on the same day.
You must arrange for someone to accompany you home because the sedatives may affect your judgment and reflexes for the rest of the day. You must not drive until the next day.