Colonoscopy Prep Instructions and FAQ

Colonoscopy Preparation Instructions

Please choose from the prep instruction sheets below:

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Colonoscopy Preparation

What can I eat on a clear liquid diet?

Please review the following document: Clear Liquid Diet

What are examples of clear liquids that I can take the day before my colonoscopy?

In general, if light can shine through a liquid, it is considered a clear liquid. Such examples include water, apple juice, soda, and coffee without creamer. You may also have Jell-o (not red), soup broth (without noodles or vegetable), and popsicles (not red).

Can I drink alcohol the day before my procedure?

We do NOT recommend that you drink alcohol the day before your procedure, since we routinely give sedatives before and during the procedure. The sedatives can interact with alcohol.

Why am I instructed to take the second part of the preparation five hours before my procedure? Do I need to wake up in the middle of the night to do this?

Recent studies have shown that completing the preparation five hours prior to the procedure improves detection rates of colon polyps. Many physicians recommend that the preparation be taken in this manner. Depending on your appointment time, this may require you to wake up in the middle of the night to complete the preparation.

Do I need a driver? Does my driver need to stay with me throughout the procedure?

Most procedures involve sedation, and if yours does, you will need someone to drive you home. The driver must be present throughout the appointment.

I have vomited part of my preparation. What should I do?

Unfortunately, it is not unusual to become nauseated after taking the colonoscopy preparation. If your stool output is a light-yellow liquid or clear, without solid debris, the preparation that you have completed is probably adequate. If you have been unable to drink enough of the liquid due to nausea or vomiting, please call our office for further instructions.

Can I start my preparation earlier than the stated time?

We recommend that you follow the written instructions, including the starting time. This is to help ensure that your preparation is effective in aiding our ability to detect colon abnormalities such as polyps.

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