The Bowel PrepA very important part of colonoscopy is being able to see inside your large intestine or colon. If your colon has too much food in it, your doctor will not be able to see your colon clearly. To help your doctor see it better, you will need to clean out your bowels by using special medications. Cleaning out your bowels is called a bowel prep. This is one of the most important parts of having a colonoscopy, even though it is done on the day before the procedure.
(If your doctor has prescribed Nulytely®, Golytely®, or Colyte® for your bowel prep, visit the eMedTV article Bowel Prep for specific information. If your doctor has prescribed Fleets Phospho-Soda® for your bowel prep, click Bowel Prep Using Fleets Phospho-Soda.)
Because the medications used during the colonoscopy can make you forgetful, you should have someone accompany you to the healthcare facility to listen and take down any important information you will need to take home with you. This person should also drive you home.
You should not drive or operate any heavy machinery for at least 24 hours after your procedure. Furthermore, you should avoid alcohol and any prescription sedatives for 24 hours because the medication used in the procedure can stay in your system for up to 24 hours.
If a polyp was found or a biopsy was done, you should not take aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, or any prescription medications that thin your blood for at least 24 hours.
Prepping for colonoscopy correctly is an important part of learning about the health of your large intestine and colon. Again, please follow the instructions for completing the prep carefully so that your doctor can gain as much information as possible from your colonoscopy.
Both the colonoscopy prep and your colonoscopy involve a private and sensitive area of your body, so your healthcare team will make every effort to make you comfortable. As always, if you have any questions, please ask your nurse or doctor.