Congratulations – you’ve made the appointment to take control of your colon health and get a colonoscopy! However, you may be anxious, nervous or confused about what to expect or what to do during your colonoscopy prep. Forget all of the horror stories you might have heard from family and friends and follow our simple guidelines to get you through your prep.
What can I eat during my prep?
We recommend decreasing the residue in your diet and refrain from eating hard-to-digest foods such as nuts, seeds, corn, and popcorn, at least 5 days prior to your exam. The day before your procedure, you should NOT eat any solid food AT ALL. You can only drink CLEAR LIQUIDS such as water, mineral water, clear broth, popsicles, tea, soda, apple juice, and black coffee (no creamer).
Although alcohol spirits and liquor are clear liquids, these beverages can lead to severe dehydration and should NOT be consumed day before your procedure. Also, please avoid red and purple-colored liquids as it can be confused with blood at the time of the procedure.
What types of Preps can I choose to use?
There are various types of preps available at Zazen. We will always recommend the best prep for you based on your health history and your insurance coverage.
This prep uses a prescription formula of Miralax along with Ducolax (Bisacodyl) tablets and Gatorade, Vitamin Water, or other sport drink (no red or purple). This prep can be taken in two-doses the evening before and about 4-5 hours before your procedure.
This prep comes in a jug as a powder that you add lukewarm drinking water to. The liquid will be clear and will need to be kept refrigerated. You must drink 1 (8 oz.) glass of prep every 10 minutes, preferably in rapid drinking versus sipping. Your first bowel movement should begin about one hour after your first glass of prep. You will continue drinking the prep until your watery stool is clear and free of solid matter (usually takes about 3 liters of prep). You must not eat or drink anything after midnight when using this prep.
Magnesium Citrate Prep
This prep uses three bottles of over-the-counter magnesium citrate, in either the original or lemon flavors. You can find these at Walgreens, CVS, HEB, or Wal-Mart. The prep requires you to drink a bottle of prep drink at 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 6 p.m. (each with three 8-ounce glasses of clear liquid) the day before your procedure. If you develop nausea during the prep, add ice cubes and drink the prep with a straw.
This prep is a two-day split regimen with two 6-ounce bottles. The regimen is taken at 6 p.m. the evening before and 4-5 hours before your procedure. The prep is added with 16-ounces of cool drinking water and taken with 2 additional 16-ounces of drinking water within an hour after prep consumption.
This prep uses also uses a two-day split regimen, with prep consumption taken at 6 p.m. the evening before and 4-5 hours before your procedure. The kit contains 4 pouches of prep solution and a disposable container for mixing. The prep is made by mixing one pouch of A and one pouch of B with lukewarm drinking water in the provided container. The container is important to use as it is divided by 4 marks (8-ounce portions) that mark how much you should drink every 15 minutes during consumption. You can refrigerate the solution before drinking if you find it more appealing.
After consumption of prep, follow-up by drinking 16-ounces of clear liquid to ensure an effective prep.
This prep has the lowest liquid dose needed out of all Preps. It is a split-dose prep with 2 packets of Prepopik for oral solution taken separately. Take the first packet at 4:00p.m. the day before your colonoscopy. Follow this dose with five 8-ounce cups of clear liquids. Take the second packet 10:00 p.m. the night before your colonoscopy. Follow the second dose with 3 cups of clear liquids.
As an added bonus, Prepopik also comes in Orange and Cherry flavors!
This prep is the only one to come in a pill form. The prep requires that you orally take 32 tablets total with 2 quarts of clear liquids. On the evening before the colonoscopy, you will take 4 OsmoPrep tablets with 8 ounces of clear liquids every 15 minutes until you’ve taken a total of 20 tablets. On the day of your colonoscopy, you will finish the rest of the tablets. About 3-5 hours before the procedure take 4 OsmoPrep Tablets with 8 ounces of clear liquids every 15 minutes until you’ve finished taking the remaining 12 tablets.
Note for all Preps: It is important that you stay hydrated throughout your prep, regardless of which prep you utilize. Dehydration is common due to the nature of the preps so please continue to drink plenty of clear liquids before, during, and also after your colonoscopy prep.
What can I do about the bad taste?
If you are finding the taste of your prep to be a hinderance, we recommend adding Crystal Light (no Orange or Red flavors) or iced tea/tea bag to improve the flavor. Refrigerating the prep can also help. Some also find drinking through a straw towards the back of your throat can help bypass the taste.
What can I do if I get nausea or start vomiting?
To prevent nausea, we recommend drinking a cup of ginger ale before you start your prep to help settle your stomach. Continue drinking ginger ale between preps as well to keep your stomach relaxed. Increasing the time in between drinking the preps can also help alleviate nausea.
If you are vomiting, take a 30 minute break from the prep. If you are still vomiting, call us immediately at 281-869-3009.
What do I do about taking my everyday meds?
Before starting your preps, please let us know of all medications you take. If you take daily meds for blood pressure, diabetes, arrhythmias, seizures, anxiety, thyroid, and asthma inhalers, please take these in the morning. Let us know if you take medications such as blood thinners, aspirin, Plavix, Coumadin (Warfarin), Effient, Pradaxa, or diabetic “sugar pills’ insulin. Please do not take any weight loss meds, iron supplements, or water pills (diuretics).
How do I know if I’ve completed my prep properly?
You will have completed the prep successfully if you are finding that your stools are no longer solid but are clear or yellow liquid.
What if I experience discomfort and irritation?
You most likely will experience some gastrointestinal discomfort at first as the prep works through your system. This is completely normal and should pass within 2-4 hours. A heating pad held on your abdominals can help soothe this discomfort.
If you experience irritation from passing stools, we recommend using baby wipes, petroleum jelly, zinc oxide ointments and/or hemorrhoidal creams to soothe the area.
Is there anything I should bring with me to my colonoscopy appointment?
Yes! Please bring someone to drive you home after your procedure. This is very important as you will NOT be in the state of mind due to sedatives to drive afterwards.
What should I expect after my procedure?
You will be very groggy from the sedation and possibly weak. You should expect to take the day off and relax with some books or movies on the sofa or in bed. You will probably experience bloating and gas from the air that is used to fill your large intestine during the procedure. This feeling should pass within 24 hours.
Can I got to work next day?
Most people are able to go back to work the next day. However, depending on how well you react with the sedation used during the procedure, you may want to take another day off to recoup if you’re still weak or groggy.
What can I eat after my procedure?
You will probably feel very hungry after your procedure and will want to enjoy a large meal. However, before rushing to your favorite restaurant you should start by eating small, light meals to prevent shocking your system. We recommend vegetable soup, fruit juices, and plenty of hydrating liquids (no alcohol!). You should be able to return to your normal diet 24 hours after your procedure.
Can I take my meds after the procedure?
Yes, you may return back to normal with all of your daily medications. If you are taking blood-thinners or aspirin, consult with the doctor on when you should begin taking them again.
When will I have another bowel movement?
It may take a couple of days of eating solid foods again before you will have a complete bowel movement.
Will I experience pain, bleeding or extreme bloating after my procedure?
If you are experiencing pain, bleeding or extreme bloating, call Zazen Medical at 281-869-3009 immediately!
When will I get my results?
You will receive your results at a scheduled follow up with Dr. Tamerisa or Dr. Asamoah in clinic, unless discussed otherwise. Please refrain from calling the office before your scheduled time to obtain results over the phone. Our staff cannot provide any medical information over the phone.
If you have any questions we weren’t able to answer, let us know by calling us at 281-869-3009 or sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to seeing you on the day of your colonoscopy! If you haven’t yet scheduled your colonoscopy, don’t push it off – we offer convenient Saturday appointments and you can request an appointment online today!