Patient resources Bowel & Colorectal Surgery

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Important information for all patients

Please read prior to admission

PDF file for download/print

Preparation for Colonoscopy


Endoscopy Bowel Screening Tool


Please read and check the following:


Have you had a previous colonoscopy where the doctor could not complete the procedure? 

YES  /  NO
Have you previously had issues with the bowel preparation?
YES  /  NO
Do you suffer from chronic constipation?
YES  /  NO
Are you known to have Diverticular Disease?
YES  /  NO
Have you had previous barium studies or an x-ray of colon?
YES  /  NO
Do you take regular strong pain relief?
YES  /  NO
Are you wheelchair bound, or do you have limited mobility?
YES  /  NO



What is your usual bowel type? ________________


If you answered yes to any of the above questions, or scored a Type 1-3 on the Bristol Stool Chart please notify the Endoscopy Unit on (07) 4690 4343.


The nurses will be able to give you further guidance to ensure your bowel return is clear for your procedure.

Pre-admission, Admission and Discharge Information


Pre admission


Endoscopy Nursing Staff will contact you in the days leading up to your procedure, advising you of your fasting and admission times. Please ensure you have completed the bowel screening checklist, as this will ensure correct bowel preparation for your procedure.  


For admission –  please use Entrance 1


On the day of your procedure, please admit to Entrance One (main hospital entrance) on the corner of Scott and Mackenzie Street. There is a drop off zone outside the front door.


It is important to remember -   Your admission time IS NOT your procedure time.

Your arrival time allows time for your admission and appropriate preparation prior to your procedure. Please also be aware that there can be waiting times due to unforeseen circumstances or emergencies.


After your admission process, you will be taken to the Endoscopy Unit where you will be admitted by nursing staff for your procedure. You are more than welcome to bring reading material, or your smart device as we have complementary Wi-Fi.


We strongly advise you to NOT: 

•    Bring valuables or large sums of money

•    Wear any jewellery 

•    Wear acrylic nails


For endoscopy pick up – please use Entrance 4


The nurse will contact your escort/carer approximately 30 minutes prior to your discharge time. Your escort/carer is required to come into the Endoscopy Unit to collect you. If your escort is more than 30 minutes away, please notify the nurse to contact them earlier. Please confirm your escort/carer’s name and contact details with nursing staff at the time of your admission.


Your escort/carer may park in the designated Endoscopy Pick up / Disabled parking area without requiring to pay for a parking ticket.  This park is well signed and is accessible at Entrance 4 via Curzon Street. 



The Day Before Your Procedure


With your bowel preparation, you would have received instructions on how to consume it correctly. Please follow these guidelines, and contact the Endoscopy Unit if you have any concerns or questions regarding administration.



The bowel preparation is designed to cause watery diarrhoea. This is completely normal! 


Your bowel motions will become clearer and clearer, eventually look like weak tea or a urine colour. Please check the toilet bowl after each motion to confirm that this is happening.  


It is important that you notify the nursing staff on admission if your bowel motions have become darker, or have any solid faecal matter.  Further preparation, or an enema, may need to be administered prior to your procedure.



Helpful Hints for your Colonoscopy


Bowel preparation


•  Prepare your bowel preparation using a measuring container to ensure accuracy

•  If the taste of the preparation drink is unpleasant or makes you feel nauseated you 

    may try the following:

    - stop drinking for 30 minutes

    - drink the bowel preparation through a straw, or a drink bottle

    - sip fluids steadily instead of drinking large amounts quickly

    - suck on barley sugar or butterscotch lollies between drinks

    - brush your teeth or suck on an ice cube prior to continue the preparation

•  To help the taste of the bowel preparation, try adding some flavoured cordial (avoiding 

    blue, red, purple and green coloured cordial)

•  If you feel bloated or experience wind pain try:

    - walking around

    - sucking on peppermint lollies and/or  drink peppermint tea or peppermint water 

•  Drink extra clear fluids to assist with cleaning out your colon

•  Stay warm

•  You may feel more comfortable wearing a continence pad once you start the bowel

    preparation

 

Failure to have a bowel motion


People vary in the time it takes to have a bowel motion after commencing the bowel preparation.

•  If you have not had a bowel motion, but have no pain or vomiting, continue drinking 

    your preparation 

•  If your bowel motions are not clear after the preparation, contact the hospital as soon 

    as possible to receive further instructions. 

•  You may be required to have an enema when you arrive if your bowel motion is not 

    clear. 


Severe pain and vomiting


•  If you have severe pain or vomiting, stop the bowel preparation immediately, seek 

    medical advice from your GP, present to your nearest Hospital/Emergency Centre  

    or dial 000 for an ambulance.


Keeping hydrated


•  It is very important to drink extra clear fluids as you are able to tolerate. This will help 

    to keep you hydrated and prevent any headaches, dizziness, nausea and ensure your     

    bowel return is clear for your procedure.


Reducing irritation


•  Apply a barrier cream around anal area to reduce irritation e.g. Petroleum Jelly 

   (Vaseline), lanolin, paw-paw ointment, Barrier Cream (sudocream), or Antiseptic Cream

   (bepanthen)

•  Use wet wipes instead of toilet paper and gently wipe to avoid irritation

•  If you have haemorrhoids use haemorrhoid cream to reduce discomfort



Further Information


Colonoscopy Clinical Care standard consumer fact sheet can be accessed from the following site, linked here.


Important telephone numbers

St Vincent's Private Hospital Toowoomba(07) 4690 4000
Pre-Admission Care Services(07) 4690 4111 or 4690 4404
Endoscopy Unit(07) 4690 4343 or 4688 5406
St Vincent's Emergency Department(07) 4690 4444