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FAQs

How long will this procedure take?

It’s usually 1-3 hours from start to finish.

Do I have to drink all the prep?

Yes. Even if your pharmacist tells you something else, and even if your poop is clear, you must drink the entire prep. If you don’t your colon may not be clean enough, which can result in an incomplete procedure and may require rescheduling.

What if I don’t like the taste of the prep?

Sucking on something sour, such as lemon wedges or sour candies, takes away the saltiness of the prep.

When will I begin having watery poop, and what should I do if it doesn’t start?

You may start having watery poop before finishing the entire prep, and that is fine. You must finish the entire prep even if you are having watery poop. If you don’t your colon may not be clean enough, which can result in an incomplete procedure and may require rescheduling.

My prep made me throw up. What should I do?

Some people do get nauseous or may even throw up the prep. If that happens, stop drinking the prep for 1 hour and restart more slowly. If you throw up again or still feel sick, you must call our office for instructions.

What is a clear liquid?

Allowed: water, black coffee, tea, clear fruit juices, soda, Gatorade, broth, popsicles, and JELL-O. Not allowed: any red liquids, alcohol, milk, creamers, juices with pulp (orange juice).

Can I take my medications during prep?

Yes, you can take your usual medications except as specified by your doctor (for example blood thinners, which need to be discontinued per instructions on your sheet). Also, diabetic patients need to follow specific instructions given to them.

What should I do if I get low blood sugar?

You can have sweetened drinks during prep even if you are diabetic. This includes Popsicles, JELL-O, juice, and soda. These are all fine to drink and considered clear liquids.

Can I come for my colonoscopy if I have a cold?

Yes, you can come in for your procedure. Please reschedule if you have a fever >100.4°F, are feeling very ill, or have trouble breathing.

I take antibiotics before my dental procedures because of a heart murmur. Will I need them before the procedure?

No, you don’t need to take antibiotics.

I didn’t follow the prep instructions about food and drink. Can I still have the procedure?

Usually a small dietary mistake will not ruin the prep, but you must call our office for additional instructions.

Can I take herbal supplements before the procedure?

You should stop taking iron, vitamins or herbal supplements 7 days before your procedure.

My bottom is sore and itchy. May I use something for this?

Yes, you may use any hemorrhoid remedy such as Preparation H or Tucks Medicated Pads. Vaseline or diaper rash creams may prevent chafing and tender skin. You may reapply as needed.

Can I drive myself home? Can I walk home, or take a bus or taxi?

No, you will be sedated (made sleepy) for the procedure. Someone must drive you home. You will not be allowed to take a taxi or bus unless accompanied by a responsible adult. You may not walk home after the procedure. If you have not made arrangements for a ride, we will cancel your procedure.

Does someone really have to stay with me the whole time?

Yes. You are having a medical procedure which requires you to have someone present in our lobby the entire time. If you come without a driver or a responsible adult, we will cancel your procedure.

Please Note

One week before your procedure DO NOT eat non-fat products containing olean or olestra. These leave a thick film on your colon wall making your colonoscopy very difficult.

Helpful Hints

You should coat your rectum with Vaseline or Desitin before you start drinking your laxative to help with irritation. Reapply after every bowel movement. You may also want to purchase moist bathroom wipes or Tucks wipes to help with irritation in between bowel movements.

Our doctors highly recommend drinking Gatorade or Powerade the day before your laxative prep and during your prep to prevent dehydration. However, DO NOT drink any liquid with red color.