How do I get treatment

For London Colorectal please telephone:

  • +44 (0) 20 7403 6061

For Gastroenterology please call:

  • +44 (0) 20 7234 2292


Diet Sheet And Bowel Preparation for Colonoscopy, Any Bowel Surgery or Investigations

An appointment has been made for you to have a colonoscopy. The success of this examination depends on adequate preparation to clear the bowel. This is achieved by altering your diet and taking specific preparations, as explained below:



Stop taking any constipating agents, e.g. Codeine Phosphate, Loperamide, etc., but continue with any other medication including laxatives.


You should stop taking all iron tablets. If you are on Warfarin or are a diabetic, please ensure that the Endoscopy Unit staff are aware. You may have already received instructions regarding this.


Eat only food from the following list:

Boiled or steamed white fish Boiled chicken
Egg (poached or boiled only)
White bread
Butter or margarine
Rich tea biscuits
Potatoes – no skins

Have plenty to drink. Do not eat any high fibre food, e.g. red meat, pink fish, fruit, vegetables, nuts, rice, pulses, wholemeal bread, etc.


Do not have breakfast and do not eat solid food until after your examination. Drink plenty of clear fluid – water, tea, coffee, squash, Bovril, Oxo. Have only minimal milk in tea and coffee. You are allowed sugar in your tea and coffee. You may continue to drink up to 4 hours prior to your appointment time.

You will be given four 7.5mg Senna Tablets and Picolax bowel preparation. There are instructions inside the packaging. However, we would like you to follow our instructions, which are as follows:

  • At 12noon: Take the four Senna Tablets with some water.
  • At 1pm: Dissolve one sachet of Picolax in 200ml/8 fluid oz of water in a big jug as it may fizz and become hot. Allow this to cool for at least one hour before drinking.
  • During the day drink at least 1½ litres of water.
  • At 6pm: Take the second sachet of Picolax as instructed above.

What to expect:

You should expect frequent bowel actions and eventually diarrhoea starting with three hours of the first dose. Some intestinal cramping is normal. Please use a barrier cream, such as zinc and caster oil on your bottom to prevent soreness. Stay within easy reach of a toilet after commencing the preparation.


Do not take any laxatives. Drink plenty of clear fluid; you may drink up to 4 hours prior to your procedure.

If at any stage you vomit the preparation, or if you have any concerns regarding this procedure, please telephone the hospital.

General notes regarding your procedure:

If you have sedation, a small needle will be placed into the back of your hand and the sedation will be injected through it. Sedation will make you sleepy and you will wake up not remembering that the tests have taken place. However, it is not an anaesthetic. You may wake up fairly quickly or more slowly; each person reacts differently. You will probably remain in the unit for about 3 hours, but the affect of the sedation will last for much longer, up to 24 hours. Your thinking process and movements will be slower than usual.

After the procedure:

If you have had sedation you will be left to rest in the unit for at least a couple of hours. You will be given a drink and some biscuits when you are fully awake. You may also feel a little bloated if some air has remained in your stomach. This will pass and needs no medication.

Going home after the procedure:

If you have had a sedative injection it is essential that someone comes to collect you. When you get home you must rest for the remainder of the day and have someone look after you and stay with you overnight. Sedation lasts longer than you think. For the first 24 hours after sedation, do not drive a car, operate machinery (not even a kettle), drink alcohol or sign any legally binding documents. The effects of the tests and injections should have worn off within 24 hours when most patients can resume normal activities.

When will I get the results?

In most cases the consultant will be able to give you the results straight after the tests. Or if you have sedation, as soon as you wake up. It is a good idea to have someone with you when you speak to the doctor after the test because, if you have been sedated, you might forget what has been said to you. You should discuss the details of your results and necessary treatment with your doctor. The results will also be sent to your GP, and you may get a letter in the post or a follow up appointment.

If you have any further questions please contact
London Colorectal Group on 020 7403 6061