A person should eat low-fiber foods, fruits and vegetables a few days before the operation and should only take clear fluids on the day before a colonoscopy. Also, on the day of the procedure, a person should take clear fluids only. Nothing should be eaten or taken 2 hours before a colonoscopy, as advised by Harvard Medical School.
A clear fluid diet should include plain gelatin, water and broth, as stated by Mayo Clinic. This is recommended because clear fluid can easily be digested in the body and leaves no extras in the intestinal tract. Drinking a liquid that will initiate bowel-clearing diarrhea is also highly recommended. Prepping will depend on doctor's recommendation and the time of the colonoscopy.
A clear fluid diet is recommended because the colon needs to be empty for the procedure to be successful. If the early preparation is not done right, lesions and polyps can be missed during the operation. In some cases, the procedure may need to be repeated or rescheduled. Colonoscopy is an effective procedure that can help detect small colon cancers before they advance. It also helps in detecting and removing polyps, which can develop into cancer if not removed early enough.