Colonic transit study

What is a colonic transit study?

This colonic transit study test investigates how long it takes for faeces to pass through your bowel. It evaluates the function of your colon, which is the lower portion of your GI tract and is around 5 feet long. It transports food from your colon to your rectum, and this can be used as a constipation test if your colon is working slowly.

You may be referred for this test if you have been experiencing troublesome bowel problems such as constipation.

How does the colonic transit study work?

This study is a non-invasive test which evaluates how long it takes for faeces to pass through your bowel.

To do this, firstly five small capsules containing plastic markers are ingested, you will be given an appointment four days after the first two capsules are ingested. An X-ray of your abdomen will then be taken, which will show up any markers left in your bowel. The test normally spans over 5-7 days, and you will be given specific timings by your consultant.

How much does a colonic transit study cost?

If you are paying for this test yourself and not through private medical insurance, the cost will be £250.

How do you prepare for a colonic transit study?

We will send you five small capsules which need to be taken approximately four days (100 hours) prior to your appointment.

After ingesting the capsules:

  • You should not take any laxatives such as Fybogel, Lactulose, Movicol, Senna, Ex-Lax, Laxido etc.
  • You should not take any motility agents such as Prucalopride, Linaclotide, Lubiprostone etc.
  • Please do not use any suppositories or enemas such as glycerine.
  • You may continue to take all other essential medication.

What does the colonic transit study diagnose?

This test evaluates how long it takes for faeces to pass through your bowel, which may provide an indication to the cause of your symptoms.

Following your test, your data will be analysed, and results written up into a report. The report will be sent to both you and your referring consultant/doctor, who will explain the results to you in a follow-up consultation.

Information leaflet
Information leaflet

Find more information about this test using our PDF download.


Sam went out of his way to expedite my results, phoning me with them after hours. He had already contacted his director and referring consultant before this call and offered me an additional test free to obtain further info regarding my issue. I will spread the word about how good your company is.

Manchester Patient