Bowel Prep Instructions

Bowel preparation is a crucial step before certain medical procedures, such as colonoscopies or surgeries, to ensure that the bowel is thoroughly cleaned. A successful high-quality colonoscopy requires thorough bowel preparation to ensure a clear and unobstructed view of the colon. This cleanliness enhances visibility, leading to more accurate diagnoses and treatments by reducing the risk of missed abnormalities. Read these instructions thoroughly in advance and ask your healthcare provider any questions you may have.


Preparing for your colonoscopy:

Purchase the prescribed bowel prep solution from your pharmacy. Inform your healthcare provider of any allergies, medical conditions, or medications you are taking.

Anti-platelets or blood thinners, such as Plavix, Brilinta, Coumadin, Eliquis, need to be stopped prior to the procedure; check with your healthcare provider. Aspirin CAN be continued.

If you are diabetic, closely monitor your blood sugar. Levemir and Lantus insulin do not need to change dosing. All other insulin medication: take 1/2 dose in the morning of your procedure. Do not take oral insulin medication on day of procedure.

3 Days Before Bowel Prep:

Follow a low-fiber diet for a few days before starting the bowel prep. Low fiber meals include meat/poultry, tofu, eggs, white pasta/rice, carrots/beans, and bananas/melons. Avoid whole grains, nuts, seeds, and raw fruits and vegetables, and fiber supplements.

Drink plenty of clear liquids, such as water, clear broth, and sports drinks, to stay hydrated.

Avoid alcohol, marijuana, herbal supplements.

1 Day Before the Procedure:

Morning: Consume a light breakfast with minimal fiber, such as eggs, plain toast and yogurt. From this point forward, avoid solid foods. Do not eat solid foods or milk products after 9am. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day.

Mix bowel prep and place in the refrigerator .

Then, begin a clear liquid diet, including water, clear chicken or beef broths, strained fruit juices (such as apple juice or white grape juice, lemonade), sports drinks, coffee or tea (no cream/milk), jello, popsicles (AVOID PURPLE OR RED COLORS) Avoid red or purple liquids, as they may be mistaken for blood during the procedure.

Afternoon/Evening: Start the prescribed bowel prep solution as directed by your healthcare provider. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day.

  • GoLYTELY 4L solution
    • Drink 1/2 of bowel prep starting at 5pm:
      • Drink 8 ounces of prep every 10-15 minutes until half of the solution is completed.
    • 8 hours prior to colonoscopy: drink the other half of bowel prep
      • Timing is crucial. For an early procedure, you may need to start drinking your bowel prep in the middle of the night. Drink 8 ounces of prep every 10-15 minutes until half of the solution is completed.
  • MiraLAX over-the-counter bowel prep: 1 bottle (238 g) MiraLAX, dulcolax 5 mg, 64 ounces of Gatorade
    • At 3 pm take 2 dulcolax tablets
    • At 5 pm, mix 238 gram MiraLAX in 64 ounces of Gatorade or water. Drink one 8 ounce glass every 10-15 minutes until half of solution is consumed
    • 8 hours prior to colonoscopy: drink the rest of the bowel prep. You may continue to drink clear liquids up to 2 hours prior to arrival time. Nothing by mouth 2 hours prior to arrival time.

Follow the recommended dosage and instructions on the bowel prep solution packaging. Drink the solution at a steady pace, taking small sips over the recommended time frame. Expect bowel movements to begin within a few hours. Stay near a bathroom as the cleansing process takes place. Continue drinking clear liquids to prevent dehydration.

Tips for a Smoother Bowel Prep:

  • Chill the solution before drinking to make it more palatable.
  • Use a straw to bypass taste buds and minimize the aftertaste.
  • Clear, cold liquids (water, clear broths, popsicles) between doses can be refreshing.
  • Avoid red or purple liquids to prevent confusion with blood during the procedure.

Remember, it is crucial to follow your healthcare provider's specific instructions. If you experience severe discomfort, dehydration, or have concerns during the bowel prep process, contact your healthcare provider promptly.

Day of the Procedure:

Continue to stay hydrated with clear liquids until the specified time before the procedure. Complete prep at least 5 hours prior to procedure and stop drinking liquids 2 hours prior to procedure.

Coffee or tea is fine on they day of procedure; HOWEVER, no cream, creamer, or milk. Take your regularly scheduled medication (except for blood thinners and oral diabetic medication)

Anesthesia with IV sedation is used for endoscopy, and therefore you must have a driver with you at the procedure. Although the procedure typically takes 20 minutes, the entire process from check in to check out will take around 3 to 4 hours

After procedure

After the procedure, endoscopic findings and discharge instructions will be provided from your health care team.

Do not drive, operate machinery, make critical decisions or do activities that require coordination or balance today

You must be accompanied by a responsible adult

Your commitment to following these instructions diligently is crucial for the success of your colonoscopy. A clear and well-prepared colon enables healthcare professionals to provide you with the best possible care. If you have any concerns or encounter challenges during the process, please contact your healthcare provider for guidance. Remember, your proactive approach to this screening contributes to your overall health and well-being. Thank you for prioritizing your health through this important preventive measure.