Colonoscopy and Cleansing

iinformation about the colonoscopy and what to do before the appointment.

You have an appointment for a colonoscopy. You will need to clean out your colon before the colonoscopy (cleansing). This pamphlet provides information about the colonoscopy and what you should do.

What is a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is an examination of your colon and rectum with a camera attached to a thin, flexible tube (colonoscope). The scope can be used to take tissue samples or remove polyps.

The colonoscopy is carried out by a doctor or a specially trained nurse. A colonoscopy usually lasts 30-50 minutes. However, you can expect your visit to the hospital to last up to three hours.

Visit www.hvidovrehospital.dk/koloskopi to watch a film about colonoscopies.

    Illustrationen viser tyktarmen og endetarmens placering i kroppen.
    Foto: Colourbox

    Preparation

    It is important that you follow the directions in this pamphlet before your appointment. If not, we will need to stop the procedure and reschedule your appointment.

    Do not drive after the colonoscopy

    If you receive pain-relieving medication or sedatives in connection with the colonoscopy, you must not drive, ride a bike or operate heavy machinery for the next 24 hours. Therefore, make arrangements with relatives and possibly your workplace beforehand.

    At least seven days before the colonoscopy

    Call the endoscopy unit 331E at +45 38 62 16 00 (press 3) on weekdays from 08:00-15:00 if you:

    • Suffer from a kidney or heart condition or phenylketonuria (PKU) or G6PD Deficiency.
    • Take blood-thinners other than acetylsalicylic acid (Hjertemagnyl, Hjerdyl, Magnyl) or Dipyridamole (Persantin, Asasantin Retard, Aggrenox ).

    You are welcome to contact us if you have any questions.

    Cleansing

    Cleansing is an important preparation prior to a colonoscopy. The cleansing will empty your colon. Any residue in your colon may make it difficult to identify signs of disease, e.g. small polyps, and may result in us having to repeat the procedure after another cleansing.

    You can pick up the laxatives Plenvu and Movicol without prior agreement on weekdays between 08:00-15:00 at:

    • Hvidovre Hospital, Section 331, entrance 3, at reception in ambulatoriet (the outpatient department).
    • Amager Hospital, Endoskopiafsnit (endoscopy unit), entrance 3, 1st floor (closed during school holidays).

    Bring this pamphlet with you so the staff can see which laxatives you need.

    You can also purchase the laxatives at the pharmacy without a prescription. Gangiden and Moxalole can be used instead of Movicol.

    Follow these instructions and not the ones included with the laxative.

    7 days before the colonoscopy

    • Stop taking iron tablets or drops, if relevant.
    • If you are already taking laxatives, you can continue to do so.
    • If you have bowl movements every three days or rarer, take a sachet of Movicol every day, both morning and evening, up to the day before your colonoscopy.
    • Take your usual medicine up to 2 hours before the colonoscopy. You can begin taking your medicine again after the procedure.

    3 days up to the colonoscopy

    Avoid bread with grains and foods that are high in fibre such as tomatoes, apples, oranges and grapes. You can eat bread without grains.

    The day before the colonoscopy

    Food and beverages until 19:00

    • Do NOT drink or eat dairy products as they may impede the cleansing.
    • Breakfast: White bread, soft or hardboiled egg, coffee/tea without milk.
    • Lunch and dinner: Boiled white meat, for example chicken or white fish, peeled boiled potatoes, white rice, white pasta, white bread.

    Between 19:00 - 20:00

    Take one dose of Plenvu:

    • Pour the contents of one sachet into a 500ml container. 
    • Add 500 ml of cold water and stir until the powder has dissolved. This can take up to eight minutes.
    • Drink the mixture over the course of 30 minutes. If you drink the mixture too quickly, you may become nauseous or throw up.
    • Drink an additional 500 ml of fluid within the next 30 minutes.

    Once you have consumed the mixture, you will experience diarrhea within the next few hours. 

    From 19:00 and until two hours before the colonoscopy you may only drink water, cordials, soda, juice without pulp, non- alcoholic beer and broth.

    On the day of the colonoscopy

    3-4 hours before the colonoscopy

    Take two doses of Plenvu:

    • Pour the contents of two sachets (both A and B) into a 500ml container. Add 500 ml of cold water and stir until the powder has dissolved. This can take up to eight minutes.
    • Drink the mixture over the course of 30 minutes. If you drink the mixture too quickly, you may become nauseous and throw up.
    • Drink an additional 500 ml of fluid within the next 30 minutes.

    Once you have drunk the Plenvu mixture, you can expect to have diarrhea.

    2 hours before the colonoscopy

    Do not drink any liquids during the two hours before the colonoscopy. You may not smoke.

    Colonoscopy

    You may experience some discomfort and pain during the colonoscopy. You will therefore be offered pain relievers and a sedative. They will be administered intravenously via your arm or hand. In certain cases, the sedative may cause difficulties remembering, or make you tired or confused.

    Risks in connection with the procedure

    In general, a colonoscopy is a safe procedure.  There is a slight risk of complications if tissue samples are collected during the procedure.

    There is a risk of haemorrhage if polyps are removed during the procedure (1-2 out of every 100 procedures) In rare cases, the colon is punctured (1-4 out of 2,000 procedures).

    After the colonoscopy

    You can drink and eat normally after the procedure.

    If you have not received pain relievers or a sedative during the procedure, then you can go home as soon as you have been informed of the results of the procedure and discussed further plans for treatment.

    If you have received pain relievers or a sedative, you will be observed in the recovery room. You will then be informed of the results of the procedure and discuss any further plans for treatment. You can go home as soon as you feel up to it.

    The results and any further plan for treatment will be given to you both orally and in writing.

    You may experience discomfort and bleeding

    In the hours following the procedure, you may experience some discomfort and a gaseous sensation in your stomach. There may be some bleeding if tissue samples have been taken. If you experience heavy or continued bleeding from your colon, pain in your stomach or fever, contact Hvidovre Hospital:

    On weekdays between 08:00-15:00, call the endoscopy unit 331E at +45 38 62 16 00 (press 3). Outside these hours, call the gastroenterology emergency unit at +45 38 62 57 62.

    Please note

    • Do not bring valuables (jewellery, money and similar) as the hospital cannot replace them if they disappear.
    • Smoking is not permitted on hospital grounds.
    • Contact the blood bank with regard to quarantine if you are a blood donor.
    • We offer beverages after the colonoscopy, but not food. It is therefore a good idea to bring a lunch box.
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