Physicians Banner

Colonoscopy Patient Instructions

An Important Exam Requires a Careful Preparation: The results obtained from the exam are dependent on your lower bowel (colon) being carefully cleansed and empty. An improperly prepared bowel may mean that the exam will have to be repeated at another time. Fecal matter (stool) left in the colon can hide important conditions that may be present. Therefore, it is very important that you follow preparation instructions as carefully as possible. No laxative preparation is fun. However, these instructions have been developed to make your preparation as simple, effective, and painless as possible.

A couple of hints: To fully evacuate the colon, the preparation will cause you to have many liquid bowel movements. Individual responses to laxatives vary widely. Plan to remain within easy reach of toilet facilities. You may apply a petroleum based product or diaper rash ointment to the anal area if you experience discomfort in that area from frequent stools. If you are having a menstrual period, it is okay to use a tampon.

Inform the staff if you are taking blood thinners such as Coumadin (warfarin), Plavix (clopidogrel), Ticlid (ticlopidine), Aggrenox (dipyridamole/aspirin), or lovenox. You will need to contact the prescribing physician to see if these medications can be stopped.

We consider this an elective outpatient procedure and advanced directives are not honored.

If you are a diabetic
:

  • Inform the staff if you are taking insulin or oral medication to treat your diabetes.
  • If you take insulin, contact the prescribing physician for instructions
  • If you take oral medications for diabetes, you should not take them the night before or morning of the exam. This should be verified with your physician.

At least 7 days before your procedure please be sure to:

  • Read all prep instructions and purchase bowel prep products from your pharmacy
  • Verify instructions for stopping your blood thinning medications from the office
  • Verify insulin instructions from your prescribing physician
  • Stop herbal and iron supplements
  • Arrange for a ride home after your procedure

Have blood drawn 2-3 days prior to the exam if it has been ordered.

There are a number of different preparations available for colonoscopy. For our patient's convenience, we have color coded the preparations. Please click on the link for information regarding the specific prep. The following instructions apply to all preparations.

1 day before procedure:

  • Clear liquid diet 30 hours prior to procedure. No solid food the day before your procedure. See link for clear liquid diet details.
  • You may take all of your normal prescription medications unless you are taking diabetes medications or blood thinners.

If you are a diabetic:

  • Inform the staff if you are taking insulin or oral medication to treat your diabetes.
  • If you take insulin, contact the prescribing physician for instructions
  • If you take oral medications for diabetes, you should not take them the night before or morning of the exam. This should be verified with your physician.

 

If you are taking blood thinners:

  • Inform the staff if your are taking blood thinners such as Coumadin (warfarin), Plavix (clopidogrel), Ticlid (ticlopidine), Aggrenox (dipyridamolelaspirin), or lovenox.

 

You will need to contact the prescribing physician to see if these medications can be stopped.


FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS ON YOUR COLOR CODED PREPARATION.