Patient Comments: Colonoscopy - Preparation

What steps did you take in preparation for your colonoscopy?

Comment from: MEF, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 26

With a family history of CC (colon cancer), I had my 7th colonoscopy yesterday. My first one was with medication, and all the rest without. I have a very long colon so they have to manipulate my stomach at times to get the extra length needed to see the entire colon. However, it is not nearly as painful as I am reading. I am there 1/2 hour before, about 45 minutes for the procedure, in particular when removing polyps, then I dress, talk to the doctor and drive home. Pico-Salax is the easiest prep and if you eat carefully starting two days before the procedure and drink liquids, including Boost type products the day before, even the preparation is relatively painless. My understanding is that 98% of British people have a colonoscopy without medication. Once I read that, I decided to try it as well. If you do it without medication, you will never go back to IVs, nausea, not knowing what is going on, and needing to be driven around. The pain is not excruciating. So you groan a bit once in a while.

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Comment from: Bekah, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

I used Suprep in preparation for my colonoscopy. I found it easiest to tolerate using very cold water and a straw. I'm just glad there wasn't a whole gallon of it to drink, just 16 oz. The things I got to make the prep more pleasant are: Depends (they were a godsend as they keep any accidents you might have less messy than if you didn't have them), flushable wet wipes (so much less irritating than toilet paper), Boudreaux's butt paste (to apply before starting my prep and after every BM (bowel movement), it kept me from getting sore). I also stopped eating meat five days before my procedure, I stuck to eating soft, easily digested food, which meant less to purge from your bowels. The actual colonoscopy was a breeze, the prep was unpleasant, but not unbearable.

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Comment from: trkaren, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I have just returned from my colonoscopy, the second one I have ever had. The most pain I felt was the IV needle prick. I was very anxious about the prep and obsessed on how to best handle it for the past week. Having had an awful experience years ago with a warm, salty mix that I had to take I was fearful. I put myself on a low residue diet 3 days prior to this test, and did not eat any meat or fish. A liquid diet on prep day was easy. I mixed my Miralax with two different bottles/flavors of Gatorade as directed. I took my Ducolax and waited. I had no results until I started the Miralax. I found freezing paper cups until slushy gave me an option to use a spoon when drinking was getting tiresome. I sucked on Jolly Ranchers if I felt queasy. I did not have awful stomach cramps. The process took 3 hours to start and didn't stop (enough to sleep for another 6 hours). I still had to use the bathroom before my 8 am procedure. Use diaper cream before you start, baby wipes, and soft toilet paper. You will be fine and it will be over. Good hydration on prep day seemed to prevent a headache, and being a migraine sufferer that is essential.

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Comment from: Melinda, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 24

I'm 46 years old and going for my first colonoscopy in the morning at 8:15. I'm doing the preparation as I type. This stuff is nasty but I'm worried about pain or being put under. I'm doing this because my brother passed from colon cancer two years ago at age 44.

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Comment from: pennycat, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 12

I had my first colonoscopy recently, at age 51. The preparation was not pleasant, mostly due to the liquid diet the day before, and the horrible tasting stuff you have to drink. I found that holding one's nose while drinking it helps. Just push yourself through it! I didn't suffer any cramps. The procedure itself, for me, was painless. I had three polyps removed, but no aftereffects, except one strange one, amnesia! According to my husband, I woke up in the recovery room and chatted with him, and was very polite to the staff. He helped me dress, and drove me home. I have no memory of any of it! Pretty weird, but sort of funny, too. Now that I've been through it, I won't be so nervous the second time. My condolences to anyone who has had a bad experience, however.

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Comment from: Chris, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 10

I had my first colonoscopy today. I was a wreck the entire week, for absolutely nothing. The preparation was a breeze (Prepopik), fantastic. I was sedated with propofol and anti-nausea medication. It was done in 20 minutes and on my way home 30 minutes post procedure. I slept most of the day and drank lots of water. Don't let others' experiences frighten you, not everyone is the same. Key is a good gastroenterologist. Good luck!

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