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A colonoscopy could save your life.

What is a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a procedure for looking at the inside of the colon (large bowel) and rectum. It involves a doctor inserting a colonoscope – a thin, flexible tube with a small camera – through the anus and into the colon. Colonoscopies are done to detect abnormalities in the colon, including early signs of colon cancer. Sometimes, polyps are seen during a colonoscopy. These are small growths attached to the bowel wall, which can occasionally become cancerous. If polyps are found, they are usually removed using a special tool on the colonoscope. If the doctor suspects that there are early signs of cancer, they will usually do a biopsy – this involves talking a small sample of tissue, which is later examined under a microscope.

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    Why is bowel preparation important?

    Before having a colonoscopy, you need to prepare for it by cleaning out the bowel. Usually this involves a modified diet for a day or two, as well as medication (laxatives) and plenty of fluids on the day before the procedure. The bowel preparation process is crucial, because the bowel must be completely cleaned out for the doctor to get a clear view. If it is not completely clean, the procedure may need to be rescheduled or repeated. While bowel preparation can be a somewhat unpleasant process, it’s worth keeping in mind that this is a small price to pay for such an important procedure. A colonoscopy can detect serious abnormalities – and may even save your life.

    Are there different types of bowel preparation products?

    There are several different bowel preparation products available, which use different methods to clean out the bowel. Sometimes these products are used in combination, in a bowel preparation kit. Your doctor will decide which preparation is best for you, based on various factors such as your medical condition and personal preferences (e.g. flavour). Always follow your doctor’s instructions for your bowel preparation.

    If you have any questions about your bowel preparation or the procedure you're having, speak to your doctor.

    Information about Dendy Pharmaceuticals' bowel prep products


    Download Consumer Medicine Information


    Download Consumer Medicine Information

    Bowel preparation resources

    Patient information

    This booklet includes frequently asked questions about colonoscopies and tips for ensuring a successful bowel preparation.

    Information about bowel preparation

    An information leaflet for patients and interested members of the general public prepared by the Digestive Health Foundation.