Pre-Colonoscopy Preparation Tips

The preparation for a colonoscopy is the least-looked-forward-to part of the colonoscopy, but it is necessary to ensure a thorough and safe procedure. Fortunately, most colonoscopies performed today require only a day’s preparation, whereas prior years required several days’ worth. The prep is done in order to give your GI doctor an unobstructed view during the colonoscopy, so your colon is clean and free from debris.

While pre-colonoscopy prep might be different for each person, let’s talk about some general tips for preparing for your colonoscopy, and where you can go in California to see an experienced gastroenterologist who performs thorough, trustworthy colonoscopies to help you stay free from colon cancer.

Tip #1: Follow the Special Prescribed Diet Before Your Exam

Your gastroenterologist’s practice will explain what you will need to do in preparing before the colonoscopy. The key is to completely clean out your bowels, which are your intestines. The colonoscopy checks the large intestine, or colon.

The day before the exam, your diet must be limited to clear liquids and light-colored gelatin, like light orange Jell-O. Do not consume Jell-O or gel-type desserts or drinks that are purple or blue, as this will interfere with the gastroenterologist’s scan during the colonoscopy. Anything solid or darkly colored is a no-no.

You will be encouraged to enjoy light-colored or clear beverages, gelatins, and particle-free soups of your choice, such as:

  • Light-colored Gatorade (not red, blue, or purple)
  • Lemonade (without pulp)
  • Light-colored Jell-O
  • Clear broth
  • Clear/light-colored ice pops
  • Coffee (without milk)
  • Tea (without milk)
  • Ginger ale
  • Sprite and similar clear sodas

You must avoid any liquid or gelatin with blue, red, or purple food coloring, as they can be confused with blood during the exam of your colon.

Tip #2: Take the Prescription Drink to Empty Your Colon

Your doctor will prescribe you a special drink. Take this drink as directed. Note that this drink tastes better than the pre-colonscopy prescription drinks of prior years.

You will likely be directed to drink it the night before and the morning of the procedure. Do not hesitate to drink it along with a sports drink or other clear beverage you enjoy.

The laxative drink will clean out your colon by quickly pushing out the remaining waste in the large intestine.

Tip #3: Ask the Doctor to Adjust Your Medications if Necessary

If you have diabetes, a heart problem, high blood pressure, or anything else that requires taking daily medication, be sure to inform the gastroenterologist or their staff during your pre-colonoscopy prep appointment. Notify the doctor about any blood-thinning medicine like warfarin, anticoagulant medicine like rivaroxaban or dabigatran, or platelet-affecting medicine like clopidogrel you might be taking.

The gastroenterologist will either temporarily adjust the dose of your medicine or suggest that you discontinue taking the medication briefly before the procedure.

Tip #4: Stay Near the Bathroom and Wear Loose and Comfortable Clothing

During your prep, make sure to stay near a bathroom so that when the urge hits you – which is very hard to hold back – you are in the bathroom right away. Keep moist wipes nearby to soothe the irritated skin from diarrhea.

Because you will be limited in this way, do not schedule anything during your prep day, except maybe in the morning before everything begins to work out of your system. If you work a normal Monday-Friday schedule, it is best to schedule your colonoscopy for a Monday so that your prep day will be on Sunday.

Where to Have a Colonoscopy in California

If you need to have a colonoscopy, Genensis Healthcare Partners is here for you. Our board-certified gastroenterologists will not only perform your colonoscopy, but our medical team will be sure to give you thorough directions about how to prepare your colon pre-colonoscopy. If you have any questions at any time, feel free to call us.

If you are looking for a gastroenterologist to perform your colonoscopy in the West Hills and San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, schedule your procedure with Dr. Cyrus Badii. He has years of successful experience in removing even the tiniest of polyps and helping his patients remain free from colon cancer and colorectal cancer.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our outstanding gastroenterologists, contact Genensis Healthcare Partners today at our location near you, or fill out our easy-to-use appointment request form online now. We look forward to being your partner in health!