Preparing for a Colonoscopy

A colonoscopy is the only sure way of detecting colon cancer. However, nobody wants to get one! From the salty preparation drink to the purgative, a powerful bowel cleansing substance, most people dread the entire procedure.

GIs do differ on which preparation option is best.

What it Takes

Emptying the colon is key to a successful colonoscopy, and thus the bowel prep is vital; otherwise, lesions and polyps can be missed. Failing to cleanse the bowels will also make the colonoscopy take much longer, increasing the risk of further complications.

Also, the entire process may need to be rescheduled or repeated which will require another round of bowel prep.

Many health experts including Dr. Guru N. Reddy from, an affiliate of United Surgical Partners International, have recommended some ways of preparing the bowel for colonoscopy.


Eat a low fiber diet a few days before the procedure. You’ll want to avoid seeds, grains, nuts, vegetables and raw fruit. 24-hours before the procedure you should avoid solid foods, concentrating on liquids like black coffee, bouillon, clear juice and soft drinks.

On the day of the procedure you should concentrate on clear, liquid foods. Do not eat or drink anything two hours before the colonoscopy.

Bowel Prep

The afternoon before the colonoscopy you should drink a liquid that triggers bowel cleansing diarrhea. However, the precise colonoscopy prep instructions should follow the preferences of your doctor.

Many doctors prefer the split dosing method. In this method, patients take half the prep the night before the procedure. They take the other half about six hours before the procedure. This method is one of the most efficient.

Successful Colonoscopy Prep

Make the colonoscopy prep as comfortable and smooth as possible by following these steps.

  • Obtain your prep instructions early. Read them carefully to ensure you understand them.
  • Make sure you’ll have the privacy and time to complete the prep with as little stress as necessary.
  • Drink a lot of fluids the day before the colonoscopy.
  • Try flavored options if your magnesium citrate is bothersome to drink.
  • Wear loose clothing and stay near your bathroom. As the prep starts to work you will experience diarrhea.

Peter Simpson

Learn More →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *