What is it?
A Colon Transit scan is a test to examine if there is a problem with the movement of food through the bowel (colon). It examines how long it takes for a meal to move through the colon. A colon transit scan provides functional information that other tests may be unable to provide.
What do I need to do before the procedure?
Make sure you remember to bring any previous films or reports to the appointment. Wear warm comfortable clothing. You will also need to:
- Fast for six hours - fast for 6 hours prior to the first appointment. You can eat and drink normally after this
- Medications - take your medication as normal but do NOT take laxatives for the 5 days of testing
- Advise of pregnancy or breastfeeding - let the service know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
What will happen?
A colon transit scan usually takes 5 days to complete. At your first appointment, you will be given a glass of water in the morning which contains a small amount of a radioactive tracer. This does not alter the taste of the water, and has no side effects on you. You will then be asked to return in the afternoon for your first scan. The scans take ten minutes and you will need to lie very still. You are able to breathe normally.
For the next four days, you will come back to have another ten minute scan each morning.
What can I expect after?
There are no after-effects from having a colon transit scan. Once it is finished, you can go home. You are able to drive immediately after the test. Your results will be sent to your GP or specialist.