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What bowel preparation is needed for colonoscopy?

If the procedure is to be complete and accurate, the colon must be completely cleaned, and there are several colonoscopy preparations . Patients are given detailed instructions about the cleansing preparation. In general, this consists of drinking a large volume of a special cleansing solution or several days of a clear liquid diet and laxatives or enemas prior to the examination. These instructions should be followed exactly as prescribed or the procedure may be unsatisfactory (visualization of the lining of the colon may be obscured by residual stool), and it may have to be repeated, or a less accurate alternative test may be performed in its place.

Return to Colonoscopy

See what others are saying

Comment from: Marc, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: August 15

I developed Guillain-Barre symptoms after flu vaccination in November 2016. I still have all symptoms 10 months later. I was not paralyzed, but suffered muscle weakness, soreness in all extremities, lack of feeling in feet, and difficulty walking. I exercise very often and am gaining muscle strength, but still nothing much improved including lack of concentration and irritability. Hopeful I will improve sufficiently to be able to resume some employment and again able to drive a car, although my neurologist says maybe 6 to 8 more months.

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Comment from: tawcqt, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 26

I have had three colonoscopy procedures and will never do it again! I have had been sick every time I did it. The preparation is the worst! The prep medicines make me violently ill. Add to that the liquid diet and I feel miserable for three days! The bloating feeling afterwards lasted from Friday until Monday morning, so it is pretty much 5 days of misery.

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Comment from: mel, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 07

I literally just got home from having my colonoscopy. I was terrified for 3days. I followed the directions for preparation to a tee; white food 2 days before, no food and only clear fluids the day before and then in I went at 7.30 am. The PicoPrep did not work fast on me but the Glycoprep-C (the flagon of it) worked a treat. When I went in I was worried it was not all gone from my system so the doctor said he would suck it all out. I was upset they didn't have modesty shorts (would have tidied myself up a bit if I had known). The nurse said she would look into getting them. Anyway, once I was on the bed and cannula in, they put propofol in and I was out. The next minute I woke up and the nurses said it was all over and I had been in recovery for 20 minutes. The doctor came in after they gave me food and said it was all good. No gas in my tummy; happy about that too. They sent me home in a taxi and all the waiting patients were happy to see me out so quickly. No dramas or pain.

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