Colonoscopy Preparation
When should I start preparing for my colonoscopy procedure?
A few weeks before your procedure you will be given bowel preparation instructions.
Do not wait until the day before your procedure to read them, as you need to start preparing several days before hospital.
It’s important that your bowel is completely empty before your procedure, and some doctors describe a good evacuation as “like driving through a road on a sunny day”, while a poorly emptied colon will be like “driving in a blizzard”.
Not following bowel prep instructions can impact the success of the procedure or it may need to be rescheduled.
What diet should I be on before the procedure?

To empty your colon, Dr MacDermid will ask you to follow a special diet a few days in the lead up to the procedure. 

  • A week before stop taking iron tablets, fish oil tablets and avoid high fibre foods (breads, seeds etc) 
  • Three days out, soft foods such as scrambled eggs and white bread will be permitted. Avoid all crunchy foods such as wholegrains, nuts, seeds, popcorn, crackers and chips. Meat and dairy foods are permitted.
  • 24 hours before a morning procedure food and drinks will be limited to clear or “see through”  liquids such as water, tea and coffee without milk or cream and broth. Permitted foods can include jelly, popsicles, fruit juices without the pulp eg apple or orange, jelly that is lemon, lime or orange only (no red foods or drinks which can be mistaken as blood). 
  • The day of the procedure as on the previous day, drink clear liquid foods only and drink plenty of liquids to stay hydrated. 
  • Don’t eat or drink anything two hours before the procedure.
What about my normal medications?
Certain medications including over the counter medications may need to be adjusted before a colonoscopy because they can make the procedure more hazardous.
Please discuss with Dr MacDermid if you take any medications or hebal supplements or vitamins including diabetes medications, blood thinning medications or any other blood thinning medications such as fish oil.
How and when do I take the bowel preparation?
You will also need to buy and prepare your bowel prep. Commonly used preparations are: PicoPrep, Fleet, MoviPrep, and Picolax. These are all oral solutions and you will need to ensure you wear loose pants and are at home, close to a toilet AT ALL TIMES the day before your procedure. You will split the dose of the prep starting the evening before and the next day. Follow the bowel prep guidelines which Dr MacDermid’s team will have given you.
What do I need to buy beforehand?

You will also need to stock up on bowel prep, popsicles, soft toilet paper and reading materials (you’ll be on the loo a lot). You may also want to buy some baby wipes and soothing cream.

See our bowel preparation instructions here.