August 28, 2013
A colonoscopy is a procedure used to identify digestive problems and screen for colon cancer. Many patients claim the worst part of a colonoscopy is the preparation that must be done the day before the exam. While each person's colonoscopy preparation will be different, here are the general steps to prepare yourself (you should always consult with your medical provider first):
Follow your doctor’s orders: Your physician will know exactly how you should prepare for your exam. Make sure you follow their instructions and ask any questions you may have.
Watch your diet: Most doctors will recommend a specific diet to be followed for the prep to be more effective. Because solid waste material will interfere with the colonoscopy image, you’ll have to confine your diet to liquids for 1 to 3 days before the test.
Clear out your system: Either the night before or the morning of your test, you’ll need to flush out your large intestine to make sure no waste material remains. Your doctor will inform you of what measures to take (enema or laxative).
Stay hydrated: Colonoscopy preps cause the body to lose a significant amount of fluid. It’s important that you stay hydrated and replenish your system by drinking during and after the prep.
Find a ride home: Due to the sedatives used during the colonoscopy, you will not be allowed to drive and should find someone to transport you home.
Call your doctor's office to schedule your next colonoscopy or use our practice finder to find a gastroenterologist in your area.