Colonoscopy Explained


Ontario Colonoscopy Clinics performs 3 types of procedures:



(removal of a polyp)



Patients will need to prepare for those procedures according to the instructions provided by the doctors and staff when booking their appointment. More information on the preparation can be found below or downloaded here.

About Colonoscopy


A colonoscopy is a direct visual examination of the entire large intestine or colon. The colonoscope, a specialized piece of equipment, is inserted into the rectum and maneuvered through the full length of the colon. The scope is over one meter long and about the width of a finger. Images from the scope are transmitted to a video monitor that your doctor uses to inspect the lining of the bowel. If any abnormalities are found, pictures and biopsies can be taken, as small pieces of tissue can be removed during the procedure.

Sedation is given for the procedure; therefore, you will need to arrange for someone else to drive you home.

The colonoscopy is a very safe procedure, but as with any invasive test, there are some risk. A perforation or hole in the bowel is made in less than 1 in 3000 cases. If this occurs, surgery may be required to repair the bowel. The likelihood of detecting a colon polyp or a colon cancer is much higher than the chance of a perforation.

You will need to clean out or prepare the bowel prior to the procedure. To view the complete, printable version of the preparation instructions. More information on the preparation can be found below or downloaded here.

About the Polypectomy or Polyp Removal


Polyps are small, mushroom shaped growths that form on the inner lining of the colon. If left alone, some polyps will continue to grow in size and can develop into colon cancer. If a polyp is seen during your colonoscopy, your doctor will use a thin wire snare to lasso and remove it. The polyp can then be retrieved and sent for microscopic evaluation. Your doctor will ask you for a follow-up at the office to discuss the results.

About the Gastroscopy


A gastroscopy is a direct visual examination of the upper intestinal tract (esophagus, stomach and duodenum). During your visit to Ontario Colonoscopy Clinics, your doctor may suggest a gastroscopy if you have upper intestinal symptoms such as indigestion and heart burn, or if you have signs of possible upper intestinal bleeding such as anemia (low blood count), or a positive fecal blood test. Pictures and biopsies can be taken during a gastroscopy.

Preparing for your Colonoscopy


3 days before your procedure:

  • Buy 1 box of Pico Salax (contains 2 sachets) from the drug store, the clinic or the doctor’s office
  • Do not use instructions that come with the Pico Salax, instead follow instructions on this page


1 day before the procedure drink only clear fluids including:       

  • Water, juice, clear soup
  • Jello (NO RED JELLO)
  • Tea or coffee WITH NO MILK OR CREAM

No Solid Food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

6 PM on the day before the procedure:

Take your first sachet/package of Pico Salax.

How to prepare each Pico Salax sachet/package:

  • Mix contents with 150 ml (5 oz) of cold water and stir constantly for 2-3 minutes
  • If the mixture heats up while stirring, allow it to cool before drinking

Drink at least 3 large glasses of a clear fluid in the hour after taking sachet.

Nothing to drink or eat for 3 hours before your procedure

On the day of the procedure:

Take your second sachet/package of Pico Salax 4 hours before your scheduled procedure time.

For example, if your procedure is at 08.00 am, you will need to get up at 04.00 am to start your preparation!

And remember, nothing to drink or eat for 3 hours before your procedure.


Take your regular blood pressure and heart medications as usual on the day before and on the day of your procedure with sips of water.

Medications such as:

  • Coumadin and Plavix, may have to be stopped for 5 days before your procedure * (Please consult your family doctor or endoscopist)

  • Xarelto and Eliquis may have to be stopped for 2 days before your procedure*(Please consult your family doctor or endoscopist)

  • ASA (baby aspirin) should be stopped 5 days before procedure.

  • Do not take Diabetic pills on the day of the procedure but bring with you to clinic

  • If you are a Diabetic and on insulin, * (Please consult your family doctor or your endoscopist)

If you take these medications, please consult your family doctor or your endoscopist.

After the procedure:

You will be sedated and will not be able to drive for 24 hours.

A responsible adult must accompany you on the day of the procedure to safely drive or accompany you home, upon discharged from the clinic. * (or risk the cancellation of your procedure)


    If you have more question, visit our FAQs & Resources page or contact our office.