What Is the Prep Involved Prior to a Colonoscopy?


Quick Answer

Prep before a colonoscopy may include restricting food and drink, taking laxatives, and receiving enemas to completely clear the lower intestine and rectum, explains WebMD. Some patients may also be asked to take antibiotics in the days before the colonoscopy.

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Many people who are scheduled for a colonoscopy are asked to restrict solid food in the days leading up to the procedure, claims WebMD. Those going in for a colonoscopy also are commonly given laxatives to take by mouth. Before the procedure is done, the lower intestine and rectum need to be clear, so patients are also often given two enemas to ensure a clear view for the doctor.

Following the colonoscopy, patients need to make sure a ride home has been arranged, as sedatives are used to provide comfort, according to WebMD. Patients commonly feel gassy following the procedure and may experience cramping. Usually, the patient can return to his normal diet as soon as they feel like eating following the colonoscopy. There may be certain drugs that patients should avoid following the colonoscopy procedure, such as blood thinners, but only if polyps were removed. The patient should also be sure to read the discharge information the doctor gives them and reach out to the physician should any serious side effects, such as severe pain or excess rectal bleeding, occur.

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