Frequently Asked Questions

How do I prepare for a colonoscopy/gastroscopy

Preparation for a colonoscopy or gastroscopy procedure is incredibly important in ensuring the effectiveness of the procedure. Below is an outline of the preparation process for each procedure.


A cleaned bowel will allow the doctor to be able to see the lining inside the bowel clearly. However, if the preparation is poor, there is a chance that the procedure will be stopped, meaning that you will need to organise a time to repeat the procedure in the future.

The preparation for a colonoscopy usually involves:

10 Days prior to the procedure

  • Cease the intake of all multivitamins as well as iron tablets.

4-5 Days Prior to the procedure

  • Begin a low fibre diet. Undergoing a low fibre diet will assist with making the bowel cleansing process a lot easier.
  • Foods to choose include plain white bread, lamb and chocolate.
  • Foods to avoid include pizza, baked beans and brown rice.

Day prior to the procedure

It’s important that you only consume clear fluids including, jelly and water on this day.

You will receive a bowel preparation solution from your doctor prior to the procedure. It is important that you follow the instructions given by your doctor on how and when to consume the solution.

Day of Colonoscopy

As with the previous day, only consume clear liquids. It is important to stay hydrated, so drink plenty of water, even if you don’t feel thirsty.

Do not eat or drink anything for at least 2 hours prior to the procedure. Bowel now should be free of any food participles and urine should be clear. No more liquid until the end of the procedure.

Most importantly, always follow the direct instructions given by your doctor!


For a safe examination, it is important that the stomach is free from liquids and food. It is recommended that you stop consuming any food or 6 hours prior to the gastroscopy and for liquids between 3 – 4 hours. If continued, the doctor will be unable to get a clear view of the stomach. Alcohol should not be consumed for at least 24 hours prior to the procedure.

If you take medication, it is very important that you check with your doctor to see what you can and can’t take leading up to the gastroscopy. Some medications can increase the overall risk of bleeding occurring a couple days prior. Your doctor may suggest that you cease the consumption of certain medications up to two weeks prior to the procedure.

Consultations are bulk-billed and require a referral from a GP prior to attending.

If you don't have a referral from your GP, don't worry. Contact our team and we can arrange one for you!
Dr Stephen Watson is still available for telephone consultations during the current COVID-19 situation.