Bowel preparation

Bowel preparation

If you have been booked in for a colonoscopy , you will need to complete a bowel preparation. This ensures that the surface of the bowel is as clean as possible.

We offer multiple different options in bowel preparation, and your doctor will have given you instructions on how to correctly prepare.

Three days before the procedure

From three days before the procedure you will need to avoid foods containing fibre, such as fruit, vegetables, whole grain bread and cereals, as well as nuts and seeds.

Approved foods

Approved foods include:

  • White bread (no whole seeds)
  • Pita/Turkish bread
  • English muffins
  • Cereals such as corn flakes and rice bubbles
  • Crackers such as Sao or Jatz (no seeds)
  • Lean meat (beef, pork, lamb, chicken and fish)
  • Peeled fruit
  • Peeled vegetables, including potato (except beetroot, which is not allowed)
  • Eggs
  • Butter/margarine
  • Spreads such as vegemite, promite and marmite
  • Cheese
  • Custard
  • Ice-cream
  • Chocolate

Foods to avoid

Food you cannot eat include:

  • Wholegrain bread and cereals
  • Vegetables with skin, including
    • Corn
    • Peas
    • Onion
    • Tomato skin or seeds
    • Capsicum skin
    • Eggplant
  • Legumes, including
    • Baked beans
    • Kidney beans
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fruit yoghurt
  • Fibre supplements

One day before the procedure

The day before the procedure you can have breakfast and a light lunch (from the approved foods above). After that, you will need to progress to clear fluids.

Approved clear fluids

  • Clear soup (e.g. broth)
  • Jelly
  • Cordial
  • Soft drinks
  • Sports drinks
  • Water
  • Black tea or coffee (no milk or non-dairy creamer)
  • Juice (no pulp)

Ensure that the liquids you are drinking are clear, yellow or orange; no blackcurrant, red, purple, green or blue drinks or jelly are allowed as these may stain the bowel.

In the afternoon or evening before your procedure (depending on the time of your procedure) you will need to take the bowel preparation according to the instructions.

The day of the procedure

You can drink water up to two hours before your scheduled admission time. After this, you should not consume any other food or drinks.


Your doctor will advise whether you need to stop any regular medications you are taking. You will need to advise them of any medications, either prescribed or over the counter, that you are taking during your consultation prior to your procedure.