(08) 9722 1975
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SJOG Bunbury Medical Centre, Suite 1, Corner Bussell Hwy and Robertson Dr Bunbury WA 6230

Colonoscopy Bunbury

Understanding your colonoscopy procedure

Have you been told you need a colonoscopy? It’s normal to have questions and concerns about this common procedure. Serving the Bunbury and South West community, we’re here to provide expert care and answer all your questions.

Colonoscopy Bunbury

What is a colonoscopy?

At South West Colorectal Surgery we perform colonoscopies for diagnosing and preventing colorectal conditions. 

During a colonoscopy, we use a thin, flexible tube with a camera at the end, known as a colonoscope, to examine the interior of your colon and rectum.

“We can spot any unusual changes or growths like polyps, growths, or inflammation inside your colon and rectum. If we find polyps, we can usually take them out right then, which is important for preventing colorectal cancers.” 

Dr Xavier Harvey – Surgeon, Member of the Colorectal Surgical Society of Australia and New Zealand

A colonoscopy can help catch problems early, which is key to getting better outcomes. 

Reasons for a colonoscopy

A colonoscopy helps us check for several things inside your colon and rectum. We might do it to look for early signs of cancer, find out why you’re having stomach pains or problems going to the bathroom, or check on conditions like ulcers or inflammation. 

It’s also a way to keep an eye on any changes if you have a history of issues with your colon.


Colonoscopy preparation

Preparing for your colonoscopy

To prepare for your colonoscopy, there are a few important steps you’ll need to follow. 

First, you’ll have to change your diet a bit and avoid certain foods to make sure your colon is clear for the procedure. We’ll give you specific instructions on what to eat and drink.

Before your colonoscopy, adjusting your diet is important to make sure we get a clear view during the examination. We’ll ask you to avoid certain foods, like grains, seeds, and nuts, that can linger in the colon. Instead, you’ll switch to a light diet, mainly consisting of clear liquids like broths, tea, and clear juices, a day or two before the procedure. This step helps to prevent any residue in your colon, allowing for a thorough and effective examination. 

You’ll also need to take a special laxative solution that we provide, which will help clean out your colon. It’s crucial to follow all the guidelines we give you, so we can see everything clearly during the procedure. We’ll make sure you know exactly what to do and when, so your colonoscopy goes smoothly and provides accurate results.

The laxative preparation is a key part of your colonoscopy prep. It’s a special drink that will help clean out your colon completely. Though it’s not the most enjoyable part, it’s crucial for a successful examination. You’ll need to follow our specific instructions to drink this solution, usually involving a certain amount within a set time frame. It might be uncomfortable and require frequent bathroom visits, but it’s necessary for a thorough inspection of your colon.

Colonoscopy procedure

What to expect on the day?

Your colonoscopy procedure will be performed at either St John of God Bunbury Hospital, or Bunbury Day Hospital.

  1. When you arrive, we’ll check you in and review your preparation steps to confirm you’re ready for the procedure.
  2. You’ll change into a hospital gown and an IV line will be placed, which is used to administer sedatives or pain medication to help you relax during the colonoscopy.
  3. During the procedure, you’ll lie on your side while we insert the colonoscope into your rectum and guide it through your colon. You may feel pressure or a mild sensation, but the goal is to keep you as comfortable as possible. The colonoscope transmits images to a monitor, allowing us to examine your colon’s lining.
  4. After the colonoscopy, you’ll rest in a recovery area while the sedative wears off. This usually takes about an hour. You might feel groggy or bloated, but these sensations will gradually go away.
  5. You will need someone to drive you home. It’s important to rest for the rest of the day and follow any specific post-procedure instructions we provide.
  6. You will receive a written procedure report before you leave and a follow-up appointment will be scheduled if required.
  7. If any samples or polyps were removed we send them off for analysis.
Dr Xavier Harvey

After colonoscopy

After the procedure

At South West Colorectal Surgery, clear communication is central to our care. Here is what you can anticipate post-procedure:

Post-procedure discussion: If your colonoscopy doesn’t show any serious problems but you’re still having bothersome symptoms, we can discuss the options at a follow-up consultation.

Further treatment planning: If your colonoscopy uncovers any issues requiring surgical intervention, we will clearly explain what we found and what comes next. It’s important to us that you understand everything and agree to any surgery. We’re here to help and give you all the info you need while we plan and schedule your treatment.

  • Bleeding, especially if tissue is removed or a polyp is taken out
  • Perforation, or a tear in the colon or rectum wall
  • Adverse reactions to the sedative used during the procedure
  • Infection, although very rare
  • Abdominal pain or bloating after the procedure
  • Complications from existing heart or lung conditions
  • Risk of missing small polyps or lesions

Frequently asked questions

A colonoscopy usually takes about 30 to 60 minutes, but you should plan to be at the clinic for a couple of hours to allow time for preparation and recovery.

You’ll be given medication to make you relaxed and drowsy, so you’ll likely be asleep and not feel anything during the colonoscopy.

You can usually start eating and drinking a few hours after the procedure, but it’s best to start with light foods and drinks to see how you feel.

You will be given a written report of your colonoscopy on the day of the procedure. . If we took polyps or biopsies, it might take a few days to a week to get those results. We will schedule a follow-up appointment with you to discuss things further if that is required.

South West Colorectal Surgery

Get in touch

Have questions or are you ready to schedule your appointment? Contacting us is easy: 


Give us a call: Reach out to our friendly team at (08) 9722 1975 to discuss your needs, ask any questions, or book an appointment.

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South West Colorectal Surgery

Suite 1, Medical Centre St John of God Bunbury Hospital
Cnr Bussell Hwy and Robertson Dr
Bunbury WA 6230

(08) 9722 1975