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ABOUT US OFFICE SERVICES PATIENT SERVICES GENERAL SURGERY QUICKLINKS Colonoscopy Preparation
Colonoscopy

How to prepare for Colonoscopy?

The doctor usually provides written instructions about how to prepare for colonoscopy. The process is called a bowel prep. Generally, all solids must be emptied from the gastrointestinal tract by following a clear liquid diet for 1-3 fays before the procedure. Patients should not drink beverages containing red or purple dye, Acceptable liquids include:

• Fat-free bouillon or broth

• Strained fruit juice

• Water

• Plain coffee

• Plain tea

• Sports drinks, such as Gatorade

• Gelatin


A laxative or an enema may be required the night before colonoscopy. A laxative is a medicine that loosens stool and increases bowel movements. Laxatives are usually swallowed in pill form or as a powder dissolved in water. An enema is performed by flushing water, or sometimes a mild soap solution, into the anus using a special wash bottle.

Patients should inform the doctor of all medical conditions and any medications, vitamins, or supplements taken regularly, including:

• Aspirin • Arthritis medications

• Blood thinners • Diabetes medications

• Vitamins that contain iron


Driving is not permitted for 12 hours after colonoscopy to allow

the sedative time to wear off. Before the appointment, patients

should make plans for a ride home.


During colonoscopy, patients lie on their left side on an examination table. 
The doctor inserts a long, flexible, lighted tube called a coloscope, or scope, 
into the anus and slowly guides it through the rectum and into the colon.