Are There Instructions to Prepare for a Colonoscopy?


Quick Answer

Doctors ask patients to clear out their colons prior to colonoscopy procedures, according to Mayo Clinic. A clear colon allows an unobstructed view of the colon and rectum during the procedure. Most doctors ask patients to follow a special diet the day prior to the exam and use enema kits or laxatives to clear the colon of waste. Patients may need to adjust their medications prior to the procedure.

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Full Answer

The day before the exam, patients generally eat clear liquid diets, notes Mayo Clinic. The diet usually consists of plain water, coffee and tea without cream or milk, carbonated beverages and broth. Patients should avoid red liquids, since they mimic blood in the colon and can confuse the doctor. Patients shouldn’t eat or drink anything after midnight the night prior to the exam.

Some doctors require patients to take a laxative the night before or the morning of the exam, while others recommend patients use enema kits instead, according to Mayo Clinic. The doctor may ask the patient to use the laxative or enema the night before and the morning of the exam.

Doctors request to review the medications of patients before colonoscopy procedures and may modify medications based on individual circumstances, according to Mayo Clinic. The doctor may order the patient to stop taking the medications temporarily or alter the dosage prior to the exam.

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