The first thing a patient should do before a colonoscopy is to clean our her colon, according to Mayo Clinic. This can done be by following a special diet or through the use of medicines.
Typically, the doctor gives the patient instructions on how best to clean out her colon, according to Mayo Clinic. Usually, the patient is restricted from eating solid food the day before the exam. Drinks are usually limited to clear liquids, such as water, tea or coffee without milk or cream.
The doctor may also advise the patient to take a laxative, according to Mayo Clinic. Usually, the patient is asked to take it the day before so the colon is cleaned out, but sometimes the patient may be instructed to take it that morning as well. She may also be instructed to use an enema kit, which can be found over the counter.
The patient should tell her doctor about medications at least a week before the exam, states Mayo Clinic. This is especially true in the case of diabetes, high blood pressure or other heart problems. Also, the patient should tell the doctor if she is using medications like warfarin, aspirin or any other medication that thins the blood. The dosages of these medications may need to be adjusted before the surgery.