The colon must be free of solid matter for the test to be performed properly. For one to three days, you may be required to follow a low fiber or clear-liquid only diet. Clear fluids include apple juice, chicken and/or beef broth or bouillon, lemon-lime soda, lemonade, sports drink, and water.
It is very important that you remain hydrated during this time. Sports drinks are recommended as they contain electrolytes which are depleted during the purging of the bowel. Orange juice, prune juice, and milk containing fiber should not be consumed, nor should liquids dyed red, purple, orange, or sometimes brown; however, cola is allowed. In most cases, tea (no milk) or black coffee (no milk) are permitted before your examination.
The day before the colonoscopy, you will be given a laxative preparation to help clear the bowel and allow clear examination.
What does the procedure involve?
A colonoscopy usually takes between 30-60 minutes. The procedure involves placing a flexible telescope into the back passage and blowing some air into the large bowel to get a clear view. This allows problems such as inflammation or polyps to be clearly identified. Biopsies and photographs may be taken to help make the diagnosis.
If appropriate, you may be offered a sedative or painkiller if required.
At Kingsbridge Private Hospital your consultant will advise you on the best course of treatment as well as answer any questions or concerns you have about the procedure.
Alternatives to colonoscopy?
Other options include a barium enema (an x-ray test of the large bowel) or a CT colography (a special scan of the large bowel). At your appointment this will be discussed with you in full and our Consultants will advise on the best course of treatment or investigation to best suit your individual needs.