How to Prepare for A Colonoscopy
One important factor in having a quality colonoscopy is to practice good colonoscopy preparation. This is also the most difficult part of the procedure since it requires you to be on a clear liquid diet and to drink a laxative the day before of the procedure.
What is A Colonoscopy Prep Diet?
A colonoscopy prep diet involves having a clear liquid diet the day before the procedure. You can only drink fluids that are transparent.
Emptying the contents of the colon is a key requirement for a successful colonoscopy. If the bowel prep isn’t up to par, polyps and lesions can be missed; the colonoscopy may take longer (increasing the risk of complications); or the whole process may need to be repeated or rescheduled, meaning another day of bowel prep.
Prepare for Your Colonoscopy by Planning Ahead
Be sure to ask your gastroenterologist any questions you have regarding your colonoscopy. Make sure you receive your colonoscopy prep instructions well before your procedure date, and read them completely as soon as you get them.
Planning for a Colonoscopy
Here are a few scheduling tips to help you prepare for your colonoscopy.
- Arrange for someone to drive and accompany you to the procedure. You will need a companion that can take care of you if needed. An Uber driver alone is not an option unless you want to have the procedure with no sedation.
- Clear your plans the night before the procedure. After receiving sedation for your procedure, you will not be able to work or performed skilled tasks.
- Consider the best time to schedule your colonoscopy based on colonoscopy prep requirements (fasting, etc)
- Please make sure that you pick up the solution for your procedure preparation ahead of time.
Colonoscopy Prep Timeline
3-4 days before
Start eating a low-fiber diet: no whole grains, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, or raw fruits or vegetables.
1 day before
Don’t eat solid foods. Instead, consume only clear liquid diet like clear broth or bouillon, black coffee or tea, clear juice (apple, white grape), clear soft drinks or sports drinks, Jell-O, popsicles, etc.
To make a bad-tasting liquid prep easier to drink, try one or more of the following if it doesn’t come flavored: add some Crystal Light or Kool-Aid powder (again, not red, blue, or purple); add some ginger or lime; drink it chilled; drink it through a straw placed far back on your tongue; hold your nose and drink it as quickly as possible; quickly suck on a lemon slice after you finish each glass; hold a lemon or lime under your nose while you drink. You can also follow the solution with a sip of something good tasting.
Water can get boring, so keep a variety of clear liquids on hand. On the day before your colonoscopy — when you’re restricted to clear liquids — you can have popsicles, Jell-O, clear broth, clear soft drinks, Italian ice, or Gatorade. But take nothing with red, blue, or purple dye. Drink extra liquids before, during, and after your bowel prep (usually until a few hours before your procedure), as well as after your colonoscopy.
As on the previous day, clear liquid foods only. Don’t drink anything four hours before the procedure.
2 hours before your colonoscopy
- Have an empty stomach
- Please wear comfortable clothes.
- Do not forget your identification card.
These colonoscopy prep tips will help to ensure that your procedure goes smoothly. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at our San Diego clinic located in Chula Vista.