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Open all pages about Colonoscopy

A colonoscopy is a test to check inside your bowels using a long, thin, flexible tube with a small camera inside.

A colonoscopy can be done to check what's causing your bowel symptoms, to check for growths in the bowel and to look for bowel conditions.

You should only eat plain foods for 2 days before your colonoscopy. You'll also be given sachets of laxatives to drink the day before.

During a colonoscopy, a small camera is put up your bottom and into your bowel. You'll be offered painkillers and medicine to help you relax.

After a colonoscopy you may feel bloated or have stomach cramps for a few hours. You may also have blood in your poo or bleeding from your bottom.

You should get your colonoscopy results within 2 to 3 weeks. You'll be told if your results are normal or if you need any further treatment.

If you’re worried about a colonoscopy you’re having or have had recently, support is available from charities like Bowel Cancer UK and Guts UK.

Page last reviewed: 14/11/2022
Next review due: 14/11/2025