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Colonoscopy Preparation Instructions

Additional Instructions

Colon Prep – It's not that bad ...

Your prep is important. We will work with you to make sure that your preparation is not terribly difficult and, more importantly, that it works! A perfect prep means that you have the best possible screening process.

When a patient is perfectly prepped for a procedure, the procedure can be performed as planned and the diagnosis or treatment that results from the procedure will be of the highest possible quality. A poor prep process can result in cancellation of a test/procedure, or questionable results. In either case, the test or procedure may have to be repeated, after the patient has been properly prepped.

How does one have a “perfect prep”? The best way to prepare is to partner with your physician. Your doctor’s job is to give you all the information needed and your job is to read and follow directions to the letter. The staff at GI Associates is available to help you if you do not understand the procedures.

Lower GI preps have come a long way over the last few years and now are a much easier process than they once were. Prep solutions have dramatically improved. They are more effective and efficient and cause less discomfort. Due to their increased effectiveness, you may not have to drink as much volume of the solution to cleanse your colon.

The newer solutions work quickly and are very effective in terms of emptying and cleansing the colon and lower GI tract. They come in many different flavors. What do they taste like? They are a bit salty with whatever flavor chosen, if you decide to add flavor to your prep. How do they work? The patient drinks all of the prep solution, which involves drinking a glassful every 10-15 minutes or so. That causes the colon to empty by producing diarrhea. It works quickly and effectively.

Tips for a perfect lower G.I. endoscopy prep:

  • Plan to be at home, close to a bathroom when you are drinking the prep.

  • Distract yourself by doing something non-challenging (like watching a movie or reading a book)

  • Dress comfortably, in loose-fitting clothes.

  • While drinking the prep solution, you may have any hard candy, Popsicle, jello, or clear liquid, except red.

  • Refrigerate the prep to get it really cold (but not frozen) before you start drinking it.

  • Keep a blanket handy because the prep may make you cold. Place your blanket in the dryer for 10-15 minutes to warm it up.

  • If you usually drink bottled water, be sure to mix the prep with bottled water instead of tap water.

If you get nauseated, try these tips:

Everyone has a different tolerance level for colon preps. Some people never get nauseated during the prep, while others have a tough time with it. Here are some tips for cutting down on nausea. Here are some tips for cutting down on nausea:

  • Breathe through your mouth or hold your nose while drinking the prep.

  • Drink the prep through a straw.

  • Lie on your left side to reduce nausea, lying flat may make it worse.

  • If terribly nauseated, take a 30 min break, walk around and try to resume gradually to complete the prep.

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