Getting your letter
Once you've been referred you'll get a letter, in the post or by email, telling you when your colonoscopy will be.
Some hospitals will phone you to book you in, but you should also get a letter – call the hospital if you do not get one.
Your letter will:
- tell you what you need to eat and drink in the days before your test
- tell you when you should stop eating and drinking
- have laxatives with it for you to take before the test, or information on how to get them
- tell you how to take the laxatives
If you're pregnant, or taking any medicines, let the hospital know as soon as you get your letter.
2 days before
For 2 days before a colonoscopy, you should only eat plain foods like:
- plain chicken not in a sauce
- white rice, pasta or bread
- clear soup
Your letter should tell you what you can eat and drink.
1 day before
The day before your colonoscopy you'll need to drink sachets of laxatives to empty your bowels ready for the test.
- need to drink a few sachets
- need to drink the sachets at different points throughout the day
- get diarrhoea a few hours after taking the first sachet
Stay at home and be near a toilet after you've starting drinking the laxatives.
You need to drink the laxative as it says on your letter. Otherwise the specialist may not be able to do your colonoscopy.