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What is the bowel prep for a colonoscopy?

A:

Quick Answer

A colonoscopy bowel prep is a cleaning substance that completely empties the contents of the colon by causing frequent, high-volume diarrhea, states Harvard Health Publications. While the exact instructions vary by doctor preference and the time of the procedure, the prep usually starts the afternoon or evening prior.

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Full Answer

Examples of bowel-cleaning preparations include Golytley, Nulytely, Miralax, Visicol and magnesium citrate, according to Harvard Health Publications. To ensure a successful bowel prep, it's important for patients to eat a low-fiber diet during the few days prior to the procedure. Patients must also allow adequate time and privacy and plan on remaining close to a restroom while the bowel prep is being completed.

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