Getting ready

Getting your letter

Once you've been referred you'll get a letter, in the post or by email, telling you when your colonoscopy will be.

Some hospitals will phone you to book you in, but you should also get a letter – call the hospital if you do not get one.

Your letter will:


If you're pregnant, or taking any medicines, let the hospital know as soon as you get your letter.

Getting ready for a colonoscopy

2 days before

For 2 days before a colonoscopy, you should only eat plain foods like:

Your letter should tell you what you can eat and drink.

1 day before

The day before your colonoscopy you'll need to drink sachets of laxatives to empty your bowels ready for the test.

Most people:

Stay at home and be near a toilet after you've starting drinking the laxatives.


You need to drink the laxative as it says on your letter. Otherwise the specialist may not be able to do your colonoscopy.

Page last reviewed: 14 November 2022
Next review due: 14 November 2025