What is a Colonoscopy

If your symptoms don’t go away or other tests are not conclusive, your doctor will recommend that you go to a GI (Gastroenterologist) doctor. Your GI will recommend a colonoscopy.

To prepare for this procedure you have to have an empty colon so the doctor can see what is going on in there. To obtain an empty colon you must take a prescription laxative that will make you go to the bathroom even more then you already are. Please follow the instructions carefully. If your colon is not completely clear, it may interfere with the ability to diagnose your problem and could even require that the test be repeated.

Your GI should ask if you have a history of congestive heart failure or kidney failure as certain prescription laxatives may be contraindicated and he will have to give you a different kind of laxative.

On the day before the procedure, you will be on clear liquids only, no solid foods or milk products.

Clear liquids are coffee, tea, soda, water, apple/ white grape juice, broth, Jello, Gatorade, and popsicles. NO RED LIQUIDS. Keep on these clear liquids all day until you go to bed.

You may not have anything to eat, drink or chew after midnight so try and see if you can get an early appointment for the procedure.

If you are diabetic, take blood thinners or aspirin, heart, or blood pressure medications, please refer to special instructions which your GI will give to you. Don’t smoke the day of the procedure. If you are asthmatic, please bring your inhaler. If you are diabetic, please bring your insulin or other medications. Bring a complete list of all your medications, including dosages when you go.

There are a few different types of laxatives that the GI can give you. One is strictly liquid that you will drink over the course of the day before. Another has 4 pills you take and you won’t have to drink quite so much liquid. There is also something called Pico-Salax or Picolax depending on what country you are in; it is easy to take, 2 small doses, and not unpleasant to drink. The following bowel movements are not so bad, rather infrequent and not irritating. Discuss the options with your GI. People say the prep is the worst part of the procedure.

Note: You will be spending a lot of time in the bathroom, so before you start the prep make sure you clean your bathroom, because you will be spending a lot of time in there you will notice every little spot. Make sure there is plenty of extra soft toilet paper. A good book to read is also a good idea.