(Answers by Dr John Gibbons MBBS (QLD) FRACP, Director of Medical Services, Eastern Endoscopy Centre)
- Can I take tablets for my bowel prep?
International and Australian Gastroenterological studies alike have shown that the identification of polyps and cancers depends heavily on a well prepared bowel. These studies have shown that a split bowel preparation, as we use at Gastro Services, offers a superior result over any tablet form of the preparation. Our professionals practice evidence based medicine and we are all about providing the highest quality service to ensure your best outcome.
- Can I drive home or catch a taxi after the procedure?
The sedating drugs continue to affect a person for 12 hours after their administration and it is against the law to be in charge of a vehicle or heavy machinery during this time. You may catch a taxi after the procedure but must have an accompanying responsible adult other than the taxi driver. It is also important to realize that a person is not capable of operating equipment including cooking appliances, being solely responsible for small children or making important/ legal decisions during this 12-hour period.
- Do I really need to have someone at home with me after the procedure?
Often patients look and sound completely back to their normal selves soon after the procedure. However, the sedating drugs remain in your system for 12 hours and during this time irresponsible decisions can be made which could compromise your safety. There is also a risk of falls, bleeding and fainting.
- Why am I restricted with travel plans after a colonoscopy?
There are well documented bleeding risks following polypectomy (polyp removal) performed during a colonoscopy. The major risk following polypectomy is in the first 3 days and hence we recommend no long distance car travel or air travel during the first 3 days' post-procedure. Following this, there is continued risk of bleeding for up to 28 days' post-procedure so we recommend that travel to remote places and overseas travel is deferred until after this period.