ph. (03) 9885 8100 Fax: (03) 9885 6495

Suite 2A/330 High St,
Ashburton 3147
Suite 6, 243 New St,
Brighton 3186


The procedure is performed to investigate symptoms such as diarrhoea, rectal bleeding, abdominal pain or weight loss. lt can also be used to look for polyps (growths of tissue) or cancers in asymptomatic patients, especially those with a family history of bowel cancer. Some therapeutic procedures (removal of polyps, treatment of bleeding etc) can also be performed through the colonoscope.

Colonoscopy Resources

Colonoscopy Information PDF (361 KB)
Bowel Preparation Instructions (morning) PDF (960 KB)
Bowel Preparation Instructions (afternoon) PDF (988 KB)
Extended bowel prep colonoscopy patient info bowel prep PDF (3,025 KB)
BowelPrepPal app with QR code PDF (1,397 KB)
Patient Info Sheet PDF (195 KB)
Privacy Consent Form PDF (311 KB)
Consent to Pill Cam Form PDF (140 KB)


Please follow the patient instructions, which require you to fast (not eat or drink) and take your bowel preparation.

Please do not bring valuables with you. Wear loose/comfortable clothing as you will be required to change.

Bring your private insurance and Medicare details with you.

Contact details for your nominated pick up person will be required.

Some medications may need to be discontinued before colonoscopy. Please refer to the Diet Instructions Page.


Ensure that you arrive at the Day Procedure Centre/Hospital at your designated time.

It is recommended that you bring along something to read or do as your arrival time is prior to your procedure time. You will be required to confirm admissions details and change into a hospital gown. Whilst every effort is made to not keep you waiting too long medical procedures are unpredictable and sometimes more complex than anticipated.

It is expected that the average time spent at the hospital/day procedure centre will be between 3-4 hours However, that time frame is only a guide. Your “pickup person” will be telephoned and advised of your anticipated collection time.

After consultation with Dr Desmond and the anaesthetist you will be sedated (made sleepy) by a qualified anaesthetist who injects a sedative via a cannula (tiny hollow plastic tube) inserted into a vein. This is not a general anaesthetic but the patient is asleep and comfortable.

A lubricated colonoscope is then passed through the anus into the large bowel and is carefully advanced to the deepest part of the large bowel where it meets the small bowel (ileo-caecal region). Often the scope is passed into the last part of the small bowel (ileum) where some diseases such as Crohn's disease can be localised.

Careful inspection is then undertaken as the scope is slowly withdrawn. Polyps that are seen are removed at the time if it is safe to do so. Any other areas of concern, such as inflamed bowel or suspected cancers can be biopsied (small "pinch" of tissue removed) to allow examination under a microscope

The procedure usually takes about 20 to 30 minutes to complete but this can be highly variable depending on the findings. Dr Desmond will then review you before you go home and let you know of the examination findings and the follow up plan.


After the procedure you will be taken to the Recovery Area until any sedation given during the procedure has worn off. When you are awake, Dr Desmond will review you and explain the results of the examination to you. You will be given discharge instructions, including when to make a follow-up appointment.

After something to eat and drink you will be able to go home. You are not allowed to drive home, ride a bike or operate dangerous machinery for the rest of the day/night. Do not sign any legal documents or drink alcohol during that same period of time. On the morning of the following day you can resume all normal activities.


All activities carry some risk including driving a car. Any medical procedure is no different, however this procedure is a low risk procedure.

The most common complaint after a colonoscopy is a sensation of feeling bloated. This as caused by air that was blown into the bowel to enable good views of the bowel lining. This usually clears quickly.

Bleeding can occur after polyps are removed or rarely after biopsies are taken. ln polyp removal bleeding can occur up to 2 weeks after the procedure. lf you have any concerns that you may be bleeding after a procedure contact Dr Desmond's rooms or proceed to your closest emergency department

Infections following a colonoscopy are exceedingly rare due to the strict cleaning procedures undertaken on the equipment after each procedure.

Perforation after colonoscopy has been quantified at 1/1000 cases for standard colonoscopy. Removal of larger polyps increases this risk. ln the case of a perforation it is possible surgery may be required.

Occasionally a complete colonoscopy may not be possable (the ability to examine the whole length of the large bowel). Reasons for the increase in possibility of incomplete colonoscopy includes previous abdominal surgeries leading to scar tissue and diverticulosis (benign pockets forming in the colon), among other causes. If a complete colonoscopy cannot be performed a CT colonoscopy (special X-Ray) can usually be done on the same day to examine the rest of the colon.


No investigation in medicine is perfect. Colonoscopy is more accurate than barium enema, but up to 3% of cancers can be missed. Small polyps can be missed in up to 6% of cases.

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Suite 2A/330 High St,
Ashburton 3147
Ph: 9885 8100
Fax: 9885 6495
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Cabrini Brighton, Suite 6
243 New St.,
Brighton 3186
Ph: 9885 8100
Fax 9885 6495
View on map


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