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For Patients

Colonoscopy Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is there any way to make the prep for my colonoscopy taste better?

You can try drinking the solution through a straw. You can periodically rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash. Even sucking on hard candy (NOT red or orange) may help with the taste.

Why avoid red liquids?

The red color can persist in the colon and potentially look like blood.

I feel like vomiting and I don't think I can drink any more solution. What should I do?

It is important that you continue to drink the solution in its entirety. Without a clean bowel, the doctor will be unable to complete the examination. If you experience nausea, wait 15 minutes and resume drinking the solution slowly. If you do vomit, wait 45 minutes and begin drinking the solution again. As previously recommended, try sipping the solution through a straw.

I drank a lot of solution and have not had a bowel movement yet. What should I do?

Keep drinking the solution. Most people have a bowel movement after an hour. Some patients may take two hours or longer to have a bowel movement.

I am taking the preparation and am having loose watery stools. Do I need to finish the prep?

Yes. You may have solid stool higher in the colon that needs to be eliminated.

I already have diarrhea. Do I still need to take the prep?

Yes. You must take the prep as directed by your physician. Your colon is approximately six feet in length. The entire colon must be emptied for your physician to view your colon clearly.

My bottom is sore. What can I do?

When cleaning the area, avoid rubbing. Gently pat with a wet washcloth or moist baby wipes.

Can I drink alcoholic beverages?

No. Do not drink any alcohol prior to your procedure, as it may cause dehydration.

Can I brush my teeth?

Yes.

Can I wear my dentures the day of the procedure?

You may wear your dentures, but will be asked to remove them upon entering the surgery suite.

Can I have the colonoscopy done during my menstrual cycle?

Yes. The procedure can still be performed. It is preferable that you wear a tampon instead of a pad; however, this is not required.

I don't have a ride home. Can I still come in for my procedure?

It is imperative that you come to your scheduled procedure with a driver. The facility will make no exception to this rule. If you are unable to make your procedure due to this circumstance, please call our office as soon as possible to reschedule for a later date.

How soon should I pick up my preparation that was prescribed for my procedure?

The pharmacy will not hold onto the prescription for more than three days from when it was written, so the sooner you pick it up the better.