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Colonoscopy or Lower GI Endoscopy

consultation with nurse

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The camera projects images of the inside of your bowel to a television screen for the endoscopist to review.

Gastro Equipment

During the investigation, the endoscopist may need to take some tissue samples, also known as biopsies, from the lining of your large bowel for analysis. This is completely painless. Photographs may also be taken for your medical records.

You have been advised to have a colonoscopy to try and find the cause of your symptoms, help with treatment and, if necessary, to decide on further investigations. Common reasons for people to have a colonoscopy include:

  • A change in your usual bowel habit to constipation or diarrhoea
  • Bleeding from the back passage
  • To find the cause of anaemia Abdominal pain

If none of these apply to you, your referring doctor will explain any other reasons there may be for having this test.

It should take 30 to 45 minutes to have your colonoscopy. You might be at the hospital for around 2 hours from getting there to going home.

It is important that you are comfortable during the procedure to ensure that the endoscopist can perform the procedure successfully.

Some people opt to have a sedative to make them drowsy and relaxed for the procedure.

Alternatively, you could have gas during the procedure which will help to ease any pain or discomfort and has a calming effect.

This means you will still be awake but will be drowsy and have reduced awareness about what’s happening.

We know some people can feel anxious or worried when they are told they need a colonoscopy, but it is important to have this test if you are referred.

Gastro Cleaning Equipment

While you are waiting for your colonoscopy, maintain a healthy diet, reduce alcohol, and consider stopping smoking. Try and avoid being too constipated by taking laxatives regularly if required. This will also help to ensure that your bowel is fully emptied when you take the bowel preparation before your procedure. Avoid any food that make your bowel symptoms worse. If you are being investigated for diarrhoea, ensure that you are drinking plenty of fluids to remain as hydrated as possible.

Once your colonoscopy is scheduled, we will send you instructions about how to prepare. It is extremely important that your bowel is completely empty before a colonoscopy to allow adequate inspection of the lining of your colon. For 2 days before a colonoscopy, you should only eat plain foods like:

  • chicken or white fish not in a sauce (plain)
  • white rice, pasta, or bread
  • clear soup

The day before your colonoscopy you’ll need to drink sachets of laxatives to empty your bowels ready for the test; these will be provided to you, known as “bowel preparation”.

Most people:

  • need to drink a few sachets
  • need to drink the sachets at varying points throughout the day
  • get diarrhoea a few hours after taking the first sachet; stay at home and near a toilet after you’ve started drinking the laxatives.

If you have any questions about the instructions when you receive them, get in touch with us.

Patient Testimonials

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