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Colonoscopy Patient Preparation

If you have made an appointment with us for a colonoscopy procedure, you will need to follow the prescribed preparation instructions below. Proper patient preparation is very important for the procedure to be successful and safe.

General Preparation Instructions

The following is a requirement of all endoscopy patients.

Have Someone to Collect You after the Test

Due to the use of anaesthetic during our endoscopy procedures, the effects will make you drowsy and incapable of legally driving yourself home. Please arrange for a friend or relative to collect you about one and a half hours after the test, as you cannot drive or leave the hospital on your own.

What to bring with you:

  • Referral from your Doctor
  • Medicare card (Please inform staff when booking if you have no Medicare card, Interim card or reciprocal card)
  • Private insurance card (if applicable)
  • Pensioner/health care card
  • Account payment (Direct Endoscopy accepts MasterCard, Visa or cash and provides EFTPOS facilities to facilitate easy payment of accounts on the day)
  • List of medications
  • Reading glasses (if necessary)

Wear Loose Clothing and Leave Valuables Behind

Please wear light casual clothing and do not bring valuables with you.

Remove Lipstick and Jewellery

Please do not wear lipstick or jewellery.

Remain Under Competent Supervision For 12 Hours

For 12 hours after the procedure, you should remain in the care of a responsible adult and not drive or operate machinery.




Specific Preparation for Colonoscopy

The following are specific preparation instructions for patients with an appointment for the colonoscopy procedure.

Purchase 3 sachets of Picosalax

Picosalax are available from your local chemist (without a prescription). These are laxatives to be ingested the day before the test and will cause frequent, loose bowel actions. Please ensure that you only use as directed.

Note: If you have constipation, contact Direct Endoscopy on 9781 5959 for alternative instructions.

Consult Your Doctor about Current Medication

If you are on IRON tablets, these should be stopped four days prior to the test. If you take medication for DIABETES (tablets or Insulin injections) or WARFARIN please consult your Doctor or contact the centre in case the dosage needs to be adjusted.




On the day before the test

If you have constipation, contact Direct Endoscopy on 9781 5959 for alternative instructions.

If your appointment is BEFORE 1:00pm

You are to have no solid foods, milk products or orange juice the whole day before your procedure. You may have clear fluids such as water, cordial, clear fruit juice, clear broth, black tea/coffee with sugar, jelly (not red), barley sugar lollies and soft drinks, Hydrolyte drinks, lemonade icy poles and honey. AVOID ALL DRINKS THAT ARE RED IN COLOUR. Avoid alcohol for 24 hours prior to your procedure.          

Alternate your Fluids as above. You must drink a minimum of 3 litres of the above liquids throughout the day

  • At 4pm add one sachet of PICOSALAX to a glass of water, stir and drink the solution over 30 minutes.
  • At 6pm add one sachet of PICOSALAX to a glass of water, stir and drink the solution over 30 minutes
  • At 8pm add one sachet of PICOSALAX to a glass of water, stir and drink the solution over 30 minutes

(If necessary you may use a barrier cream, such as Vaseline or Bepanthen)

IMPORTANT! Do not drink anything for 6 hours prior to the test!

You may take your usual medication with a sip of water no later than 2 hours before the test unless otherwise instructed by your Doctor.

If your appointment is AT OR AFTER 1:00pm

You can have a light breakfast before 8:00am the day before your procedure (piece of toast with no seeds and a cup of tea). No solid foods, milk products or orange juice after 8:00am for the remainder of the day before. You may have clear fluids such as water, cordial, clear fruit juice, clear broth, black tea/coffee with sugar, jelly (not red), barley sugar lollies and soft drinks, Hydrolyte drinks, lemonade icy poles and honey. AVOID ALL DRINKS THAT ARE RED IN COLOUR.

Alternate your Fluids as above. You must drink a  minimum of 3 litres of the above liquids throughout the day

  • At 6pm add one sachet of PICOSALAX to a glass of water, stir and drink the solution over 30 minutes.
  • At 8pm add one sachet of PICOSALAX to a glass of water, stir and drink the solution over 30 minutes
  • At 7am on the morning of your procedure add one sachet of PICOSALAX to a glass of water, stir and drink the solution over 30 minutes

(If necessary you may use a barrier cream, such as Vaseline or Bepanthen)

IMPORTANT! Do not drink anything for 6 hours prior to the test!

You may take your usual medication with a sip of water no later than 2 hours before the test unless otherwise instructed by your Doctor.



Safety and Risks

For inspection of the bowel alone, complications of colonoscopy are uncommon. Most surveys report complications in 1 in 1,000 examinations or less. Complications, which can occur, include an intolerance of the bowel preparation solution or reaction to sedative used. Perforation (making a hole in the bowel) or major bleeding from the bowel is extremely rare but if occurs, may require surgery.

When operations such as removal of polyps are carried out there is slightly higher risk of perforation of bleeding from the site where the polyp has been removed. Because of the risk of cancer, it is recommended that all polyps found at the time of colonoscopy be removed. However, it will not be possible to discuss the removal with you at the time of examination, as you will be sedated. If you have any queries or reservations about this, please inform your Doctor. In the unlikely event of haemorrhage occurring, blood transfusion may be necessary.