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American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons

Colonoscopy Preparation FAQs

I lost my preparation instructions! How can I get another set?

You can find instructions here or by calling our office.  

How long does it take to complete the bowel prep before a colonoscopy?

The whole process takes approximately 4 to 6 hours. Plan to be close to a toilet during this time.

Why do I have to drink so much clear liquid?

All bowel preps may cause you to become somewhat dehydrated. The volume of liquid will help prevent dehydration and provide lubrication to aid in emptying the bowel of stool. More information on the clear liquid diet is available here.

Can I have chicken soup while on the clear liquid diet?

You may have only the broth. No noodles, chicken or vegetables are allowed.

Can I chew gum or suck on hard candies while I am preparing for the colonoscopy?

Yes, you may. 

I feel like vomiting after drinking the prep. What should I do?

It is important to take as much of your prep as possible. Try drinking the solution more slowly. Walking and other activities usually decrease nausea. You may feel fullness and cramps after starting the laxatives. This is normal. Diarrhea usually begins in 1-2 hours. Call our office if your vomiting is unmanageable. 

My bottom is sore from using the restroom. What can I do?

Make sure you use soft toilet tissue or pre-moistened bathroom wipes to prevent soreness. Avoid rubbing. Gently pat the area and apply a protective ointment such as Vaseline or Desitin between bowel movements. 

Can I have my colonoscopy if I am on my menstrual period?

Yes, the procedure can still be performed. 

I have a cold. Can I still have my colonoscopy?

Typically, you can still have your exam done with a cold. However; if you have a high fever or are short of breath, our procedure may be delayed until your cold passes. 

Why do I have to arrive at the surgery center/hospital an hour before my appointment? 

Patients are asked to arrive early to complete necessary paper work, change clothes and for the placement of an intravenous (IV) line for sedation. 

Can I go back to work after my procedure?

No, you may not drive or work the day of your procedure.

  Preparing for Your ColonoscopySutab Prep InstructionsMiralax Prep InstructionsColyte & Gavilyte Prep InstructionsColonoscopy Preparation FAQsSuprep Bowel Prep KitDischarge Instructions


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