What is a colonoscopy?

The information provided here will help you to prepare for endoscopy. This information must be reviewed with your doctor prior to surgery, at which point you will be asked to sign the consent form confirming that you understand this information prior to the doctor proceeding.

Prior to the procedure you will be assessed by a qualified anaesthetist. You will be given intravenous sedation (via an injection) by the anaesthetist who will monitor you throughout the procedure. The anaesthetist will ensure that you are asleep and comfortable throughout.

The colonoscope is a thin flexible tube, about the thickness of a finger for examination of the large bowel. After you have been given intravenous sedation the tube is inserted and is used to examine the large intestine. In about 5% of patients only part of the bowel can be inspected due to variation in the structure of the bowel or technical difficulty. Several procedures can be carried out through the colonoscope including taking small tissue samples (biopsy) and removal of polyps.

Polyps of the large bowel may become cancerous; therefore it is advised that if any polyps are found they should be removed at the time of examination to prevent risk of cancer. At the time of examination you will be sedated and it is therefore not possible to discuss the removal of the polyp with you. If you have any reservation regarding removal of a polyp you must discuss this matter before the colonoscopy with the doctor.

Although colonoscopy is the best way of assessing abnormalities of the large bowel there is still a small chance that abnormalities are not seen, especially when the preparation is poor. Before the procedure, the bowel will need to be emptied to allow proper examination. If the bowel is not adequately emptied the procedure may have to be abandoned and repeated at a later stage. Therefore it is essential that you follow the instructions carefully to empty the bowel. These instructions will be clearly explained to you when you receive your patient information booklet.

You will need to arrange a friend or relative to drop you off and to pick you up after your procedure as you will be unable to drive yourself.

Please inform either the medical or nursing staff if you are sensitive (allergic) to any drugs or substances. You must notify the doctor if you have been taking blood-thinning tablets (Warfarin or Coumadin) or are taking any form of aspirin (this also includes Plavix or Iscover). You must also inform the staff if you are on any Diabetic medication.

If you have any doubts about the medication that you are taking, please discuss this with your doctor before the procedure. In addition, if you have heart valve disease or a pacemaker, this must be brought to the attention of the doctor.

You will be required to follow a restricted diet and drink preparation obtained from your Pharmacy. Full instructions will be given to you prior to your procedure

Important Information

It is VERY important that you have fasted. 
NO FOOD for 6 hours and NO DRINK 4 hours prior to your procedure.

You are not permitted to drive or operate machinery for at least 12 hours after the procedure.

For this reason, it is important that you organize prior to admission, a carer (relative or friend) who will take you home and look after you.

It is possible to go home in a taxi but only if you are accompanied by your carer. 

If you have not received any paperwork prior to your procedure, please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment time to complete your admission paperwork. Please note that after admission you may have to wait for a small period of time before your procedure. Please be patient during this time as other procedures ahead of you can take longer than expected. We will do our very best to keep you informed.

On the day of your admission we ask that you come 15 minutes prior to your appointment time in order to complete your paperwork. The nursing staff will then take you for your procedure.

Prior to your procedure, you will talk to the Endoscopist and the anesthetist. They will explain the procedure and discuss the risks involved.

Your procedure may take between 10 and 40 minutes and you will be asleep during this time.

You will wake up in the recovery room. After a short time, you will be offered a light refreshment (tea, coffee, biscuits). Further instructions will be given to you regarding what you should do in the following 24 hours after your procedure. The sedatives given at the time may impair your memory and therefore it is important that you not undertake any important transactions, drive or operate machinery where there may be a risk of personal injury. It is important that you are accompanied home by a relative or friend. If you have any severe abdominal pain, bleeding, fever or any other symptom that causes you concern following the procedure, you MUST contact your Endoscopist immediately, or alternatively discuss the concern with your family answer them.

For more information please refer to our Discharge information.

  • Monday – Friday 08:00-5:30
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  • Call 03 9887 8698

  • Fax 03 9887 8532

    301 Blackburn Rd (corner of Savige Ave)
    Mount Waverley, VIC 3149
    ABN 68 060 106 461

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