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Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy is a commonly performed procedure used to examine the colon. A colonoscope is a long flexible fibre-optic instrument with a small lens on its tip. It is passed through the anus and guided around the colon. Any abnormalities may be biopsied or removed. The procedure is performed in a day surgery unit under sedation or anaesthesia. On the day prior to colonoscopy the bowel must be prepared so it is necessary to have a clear liquid diet and to drink a laxative solution. You will not be able to drive home after the procedure.

Colonoscopy is associated with small risks including adverse reactions to the preparation, such as dizziness or fainting and complications relating to the anaesthetic or medications used for sedation.

If polyps are removed or biopsies are taken there is a small chance of bleeding which can occur 1-2 weeks after the procedure. The most serious risk is perforation of the colon. This requires hospitalisation, antibiotic treatment and possible major bowel surgery.

Patients with a family history of bowel cancer, or a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease or polyps, may require regular screening with colonoscopy. Any patient with symptoms such as a persisting alteration in bowel function or rectal bleeding should be seen by a doctor to assess the need for colonoscopy.

Virtual Colonoscopy

This can be an alternative to colonoscopy in some situations. A CT scan is performed after bowel cleansing and insufflation of air into the colon through the anus. Abnormal findings need to be investigated further with conventional colonoscopy.

Colonoscopy Preparation – Preparation and Instruction for Colonoscopy  Morning procedures

You will need a three (3) sachet pack of Picoprep. This can be purchased at our office or any pharmacy. Arrive at the admissions area of the hospital at the time advised to finalise your paperwork. If you are taking, iron tablets, please omit them one week prior to your procedure. Aspirin, Warfarin, Iscover, Plavix, Pradaxa or other anticolagulant medications should be taken as usual unless otherwise instructed by your specialist. Other medications should be taken as usual with a sip of water in the early morning on the day of your procedure. From 4:30am onwards you should be nil by mouth (no food or drink of any kind). Lanolin or similar cream applied to the anal area before beginning your bowel preparation may help to avoid soreness.

On the day prior to your procedure

You may have your usual breakfast on the morning prior to your procedure, however after breakfast it is clear fluids only (no solid foods allowed). Clear liquid means you should be able to see your fingers through the glass. These must be a variety of sweet and savoury drinks e.g.:

  • Clear soups – bonox, broths, consume, stock in hot water
  • Black coffee and / or tea, no milk products
  • Jellies, cordials, soft-drinks and fruit juices (lemon or lime)
  • Nothing red or purple in colour
  • No pulp in juice
  • Drink plenty of water               

Instructions for Picoprep

Picoprep produces a watery stool and cleanses the bowel prior to the examination. It is important to clean the bowel out properly or it will inhabit the results of your procedure.

Take the three (3) sachets of Picoprep at the following times:

  1. 12:00 midday
  2. 2:30pm
  3. 5:00 pm                

At each time dissolve one sachet of Picoprep in approximately 250ml (about one glass) of warm water. Stir until the powder has completely dissolved. Cool if preferred. Then drink this slowly over 5 to 10 minutes. Drink another three to four glasses of water or clear fluid of your choice slowly over the next little while

Afternoon procedures

You will need a three (3) sachet pack of Picoprep. This can be purchased at our office or any pharmacy. Arrive at the admissions area of the hospital at the time advised to finalise your paperwork. If you are taking, iron tablets, please omit them one week prior to your procedure. Aspirin, Warfarin, Iscover, Plavix, Pradaxa or other anticoagulant medications should be taken as usual unless otherwise instructed by your specialist. Other medications should be taken as usual with a sip of water in the early morning on the day of your procedure. Stop all fluid intake by 8am on the day of the procedure, from this time you should be nil by mouth (no food or drink of any kind). Lanolin or similar cream applied to the anal area before beginning your bowel preparation may help to avoid soreness.

On the day prior to your procedure

You may have your usual breakfast in the morning, however after breakfast on the day prior to the procedure it is clear fluids only (no solid food is allowed). Clear liquid means you should be able to see your fingers through the glass. These should be a variety of sweet and savoury drinks e.g.:

  • Clear soups – bonox, broths, consume, stock in hot water
  • Black coffee and / or tea, no milk products
  • Jellies, cordials, soft-drinks and fruit juices (lemon or lime)
  • Nothing red or purple in colour
  • No pulp in juice
  • Drink plenty of water

Instructions for Picoprep

Picoprep produces a watery stool and cleanses the bowel prior to the examination. It is important to clean the bowel out properly or it will inhabit the results of your procedure.

Take the three (3) sachets of Picoprep at the following times:

  1. 2:00pm
  2. 5:00pm
  3. 6:30am (on the day of the procedure)

At each interval dissolve one sachet of Picoprep in approximately 250ml (about one glass) of warm water. Stir until the powder has dissolved. Cool if preferred. Then drink this slowly over 5 to 10 minutes. Drink another three to four glasses of water or clear fluid of your choice slowly over the next little while.

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