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Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ: Colonoscopy

How should I prepare for the procedure?

Do this 2 days before the procedure:

  • Stop taking iron tablets, any vitamins with iron content before the procedure. If you are Diabetic, do inform us so we can give you special instructions. Inform us if you are on any anticoagulation/ blood thinners (i.e. asprin, warfarin, ticlid, Plavix etc.)
  • Drink lots of liquids. You should try drinking at least 6-8 glasses of water a day for at least 2 days before the procedure. 
  • Do try and refrain from consuming high fiber food, fruits or supplements 2 Days before the procedure such as, whole grain cereals and breads, vegetables with lots of fiber like cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, etc.

Do this 1 day before the procedure:

  • Start a strict, clear liquid diet. A clear liquid diet include:
    • Beef or chicken broth that is clear
    • Tea or coffee without milk
    • Broiled fish
    • Soft-boiled eggs
    • Apple, white grape or cranberry juice
  • Avoid: Juice with pulp, Milk, Cream and Solid food
  • After a light dinner, mixed 90mls of laxative that has been prescribed with 2 litres of clear fluids. You may mix this with flavoured drinks as well, but remember, do not take drinks with pulp. Drink one full glass every 15 minutes. Try to drink one full glass at a time instead of sipping.  For best results, you should finish this volume of bowel preparation within 2 hours. An alternative laxative will be prescribed by our doctor if you have any medical history of heart or kidney disease.
  • You may continue to drink clear liquids throughout the night but do not take any solid food.
  • The laxative will cause you to have many bowel movements. This is needed so you have a clean colon for the procedure.

Do these things ON THE DAY OF the procedure:

  • Take your anti-hypertensive or heart medications with sips of water.
  • Omit diabetic medication if you are fasting.
  • You should be fasted for 6 hours before the procedure.
  • It is advised not to drive as you will be sedated. If possible, try to get a family member to accompany you.

Please collect these medications from our clinic one day before the procedure at the latest.

Is the procedure uncomfortable?

As you will be sleeping (sedated) during the procedure, you will experience little, or no, discomfort.

What are the risks of the procedure?

As with any procedure, there are some known complications. However, these are very uncommon. The risks of colonoscopy include infection, bleeding and perforation (tear in the colon). The chance of this happening is less than 1 in 1,000. The benefits of colonoscopy outweigh the risk.

Are there alternatives to evaluate the colon?

Yes, we can do barium enema or CT colonography which are radiological examinations. These tests also require bowel preparation. These tests cannot remove polyps or take biopsies, hence you will be referred for a colonoscopy if these tests pick up something. Therefore, colonoscopy is usually the Gold standard screening tool, and only if the colon is too kinked and the colonoscopy cannot go through safely, then we will stop and do the alternative tests separately.

Subsequent follow up

A report of the endoscopy will be provided to you immediately. We might also need to discuss the endoscopy findings and any further treatment as required.

Contact Information
38 Irrawaddy Rd,
#08-52 Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
@ Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital
Singapore 329563

Tel : +65 63347988
Fax : +65 63347966

Opening Hours:

Mondays - Fridays : 8:30 am - 5.30 pm
Saturdays : 8.30 am - 12.30 pm
Sundays & Public Holidays : Closed
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