The importance of the prep is:
to give the physician the opportunity to see important, potentially cancer-causing, polyps and remove them.
Preparing for your colonoscopy
The MOST IMPORTANT step before your colonoscopy is to empty out your colon by following the "bowel prep" given to you by your physician.
24 hours before your Colonoscopy
The general guidelines are: have a breakfast (cereal, grits, eggs) before 9am the day before your colonoscopy. After breakfast follow a clear liquid diet throughout the day. No red, orange or purple drinks and avoid milk or citrus drinks with pulp.
What Can You Eat?
You can eat honey, flavored gelatin, clear broth, popsicles, and hard candy. You must not eat any solid foods the day before your colonoscopy. You may only eat a clear liquid diet.
What Can You Drink?
Drink only clear liquids before your colonoscopy such as lemonade, 7 up and water. Be sure to drink at least 12 tall glasses (about 8-10 ounces each) of clear liquids throughout the day in addition to what you drink with your bowel prep. Avoid dark beverages such as coffee and coke. Do not drink alcohol before your test.
Taking Your Prep:
By the day before your test you should already have your “bowel prep” medicine. If not, call your doctor.
Below is a generic prep that you can follow if you can't reach your physician. This will be good in most situations.
For this preparation you need to buy the following (no prescriptions are needed):
1) Two 32 oz Gatorade (no red, purple, orange colors).Refrigerate if you prefer to drink it cold (this may give you chills because your body temperature will lower).
2) Dulcolax laxative tablets (not suppository or stool softener and you will need 4 tablets, 5mg, for the prep).
3) Miralax 238 grams (8.3 ounces) powder
One day before the colonoscopy:
Begin a clear liquid diet when you wake up. See clear liquid diet below. You may have a light breakfast before 9:00 am but you must begin a clear liquid (liquids that you can see through) diet after breakfast.
1) At 3 pm take 2 Dulcolax tablets.
2) At 5 pm mix half of the 238 gram bottle of Miralax in one 32 oz Gatorade. Shake the solution until the Miralax is dissolved. Drink an 8 oz glass every 10-15 minutes until the solution is gone. If you feel nauseated delay for 10 or 15 minutes until feeling subsides.
3) At 8 pm take the last 2 Dulcolax tablets.
4) At 9 PM mix the second half of the 238 gram bottle of Miralax in the last 32 oz Gatorade and drink the other half of the solution. Again drink one 8 ounce glass every 15 minutes
till finished with all of the solution.
5) Continue drinking clear fluids as desired. You should stop drinking liquids at midnight.
6) Call your nurse if you have questions or concerns.
Day of procedure:
After Midnight - you may have no more than 24 oz tea, water, Propel, or Gatorade but you must stop drinking these liquids 3 hours before check in time. Please no gum after midnight. Take your medications no later than 3 hours prior to your check in time.
YOU MUST HAVE A RIDE AFTER THE PROCEDURE! An adult must take you home.
If you have a pacemaker, mitral valve prolapse, artificial heart valves, or artificial joints, please alert your nurse or doctor.
You will need to arrive at the facility before your appointment time for your exam.
The following are a few hints to help with the preparation:
- Plan to remain close to toilet facilities
- Many patients find that Charmin Plus toilet tissue minimized anal irritation from wiping
- Rub a small amount of hydrocortisone cream on the outside of the anus to lessen irritation
- If you are having a menstrual period, it is OK to wear a tampon
- No colon preparation is fun; however, this regimen has been developed to make it as simple and effective as possible. Please follow each instruction as given.