Bowel examination

An effective way of diagnosing bowel conditions or removing polyps


You could be referred for a colonoscopy if you've had blood in your stool or noticed any changes in your bowel habits. It's an effective diagnostic procedure that allows our consultant to examine your bowel in detail. You might have a colonoscopy as part of a biopsy or for removing polyps.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    You'll be offered a sedative injection to help you relax.

    Your consultant will ask you to lie on your left side. When you're ready, they pass a flexible tube with a camera on one end (endoscope) carefully through your anus to your bowel. They examine the images from the camera as it moves through your body. To help your consultant see your bowel more clearly, a small amount of air is pumped through the tube to your bowel.

    If they notice any problems, they can take a tissue sample or remove polyps by passing another instrument through the endoscope.

  • How to prepare icon plus

    It's important that your bowel is as empty as possible for your colonoscopy. That means you won't be able to eat for one to three days before. Clear liquids such as water, broth, black tea and black coffee are fine. You'll be given a laxative to take the night before your procedure. You may need to take it every few hours.

    Your consultant will tell you exactly what you need to do prepare.

  • Afterwards icon plus

    As with all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you and answer any questions you may have.

    If you have a sedative, we ask you to wait with us until it wears off. You won't be able to drive so please arrange for someone to take you home. You should be fine to get back to your usual routine the next day.

    It's normal to feel bloated and windy immediately after your colonoscopy but it shouldn't last too long. You might also have some stomach cramps. If you start to bleed heavily or experience pain, let your consultant know straight away.

Don't wait, pay for yourself

We offer this procedure at a fixed price at some of our facilities. 

Consultant in theatres

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.

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