Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy

Once your GP or referring doctor has requested that you have a colonoscopy, you firstly must phone our GIE booking staff at one of our four locations. Please have ready with you:

  • Health fund details (if applicable)
  • Medicare card number
  • DVA/Pension/ health care card details (if applicable)
  • Your referral letter to confirm the procedure information

The GIE booking staff will indicate to you if there will be any cost involved in this procedure and provide you with an estimate of expenses. You will be asked about your diabetic status and whether you are taking blood thinning medications. Some paperwork may be sent to you for you to complete outlining your medical history and personal details.

Our booking staff will also provide you with two appointment dates. These being:

  1. A preparation appointment to the facility where you are to have your procedure. The registered nursing staff at this facility will give you your preparation solution and discuss the procedure itself.
  2. Your appointment date for the procedure.

About your preparation appointment (prep kit appointment)

When you attend your preparation appointment please bring with you:

  • Your referral letter from your GP or Specialist
  • A list of medications you are currently taking
  • Medicare card
  • Health fund number/ details (if applicable)
  • Pensioner/ Health Care card /DVA card (if applicable)
  • Method for settling your account
  • Your paperwork detailing your personal and health details (if this was sent to you )

A registered nurse, specifically trained in gastroenterology, will discuss with you your suitability and fitness for the procedure. A detailed medical history is taken. Detailed written information about the procedure including risks and benefits are given to all patients to take home to read.

The nurse will also discuss the low residue diet which is required for four days prior to the colonoscopy. See the Low Fibre Diet here.  Also you will be provided with a preparation kit containing instructions on how and when to commence taking the laxatives and the salty tasting solution which completely flushes out the colon.

If there are concerns regarding your suitability for the procedure on an ‘open access’ basis, the registered nurse and gastroenterologist may request a new referral from your GP/Specialist for a consultation with a gastroenterologist first.

This appointment takes approximately 20 minutes.

Taking the preparation

Patients sometimes complain that this can be the most challenging part of having a colonoscopy but it is essential to complete the prep so your bowel is clean for the procedure.

Please read the written instructions provided to you by the nurse carefully and contact our office if you have any further questions regarding the preparation. You are advised to have someone stay with you while taking the bowel preparation.

Day of Colonoscopy

  • You will be advised by your preadmission nurse when to abstain from food and fluid prior to your colonoscopy. Please adhere to these instructions. Failure to do so may result in your procedure being cancelled.
  • Take essential medications with minimal water unless otherwise instructed by your preadmission nurse.

When you attend for your procedure please wear loose clothing and bring with you;

  • Your referral letter from your GP or Specialist (if you have not already done so )
  • Health fund details, Medicare card, DVA, Pension/Health card details (if applicable)
  • The contact details of the person taking you home
  • Something to read
  • Method for settling your account

You will be at the facility for approximately 3-4 hours.

About the procedure

Please download and read the following information which would be provided to you if you were to undergo a colonoscopy with one of our Gastroenterologists.

After the procedure

The Gastroenterologist may not discuss normal or trivial findings with you. If there are any serious findings e.g. cancer or inflammatory bowel disease, the Gastroenterologist will discuss these with you and also call the referring doctor.

You will be given a report in hand to take with you to give to your doctor. The doctor will then discuss the findings with you.

Discharging Home after a Colonoscopy. You have had an intravenous sedation.

  • For legal reasons, you must not drive a vehicle or operate machinery for at least 12 hours following intravenous sedation. This carries the same implications as ‘drink driving’.
  • You must have a responsible adult escort you home and stay with you for 12 hours after the procedure and /or overnight depending upon your procedure time.
  • You must not care for dependent children or adults without responsible help for at least 12 hours after your procedure.
  • You will be unable to work on the day of your procedure.
  • You are advised to be very careful in simple household tasks in the 12 hours after receiving sedation. Your co-ordination may be impaired for some time and therefore it is important not to use sharp knives, risk kitchen burns, etc.
  • If you develop any pain, fever, vomiting or blood loss after the procedure, you should contact your Gastroenterologist; the facility where your procedure was performed; or attend a Hospital Emergency Centre with your procedure report and discharge advice instructions.
  • If polyps are removed during your procedure, you must not undertake domestic air travel for 48 hours and international or remote travel for two weeks.