Best Preparation for a Colonoscopy
Talk with the Doctor
- Make sure your doctor knows your medical history and is aware of all medications, including over-the-counter, supplements or herbal remedies, you are taking. Also, tell your doctor about any allergies you might have.
- A few days before the colonoscopy, start eating fiber in the form of fruits and vegetables, and/or start the liquid diet early. You have to get the stuff out of your system, so you might as well get a head start. Stock up on clear liquids like chicken broth, apple juice and water with electrolytes. Also, treat yourself to the ultra-soft toilet paper and buy some flushable baby wipes. Plan to take 2 days off of work---the day of the test and the day before.
The Big Empty
- In order to eliminate all fecal matter from the colon so the physician will have a clear view, your doctor will offer one of three ways to accomplish this. Golytely is a prescription that consists of a gallon jug and powder mix. Patients drink 8 oz. of the mixture every 10 minutes until the drink is finished or your system is empty. Phospho-soda is another emptying formula powder that is available over the counter and comes by itself or in a kit with a laxative and an enema or suppository. The last emptying formulas are Visicol, a 40-tablet regimen, and Osmo-prep, a 32-tablet regimen. If you have any questions, be sure to contact your doctor immediately.
The Day Before
- Have round-trip transportation arranged for your colonoscopy. You'll be too drugged up to drive yourself home. You'll start one of the emptying formulas and probably want to stay home to avoid any accidents, as you'll probably spend most of the day in the bathroom. It's a good idea to have a book or plenty of magazines on hand. While you're going through the emptying process, it's important to stay hydrated.