Prep for a colonoscopy typically begins one week before the procedure. In many cases, preparation may include temporarily stopping certain medications and avoiding alcohol use. You may also be advised to take medications to help clean out the bowels one to two days before the procedure.
The time leading up to the colonoscopy is known as the "colonoscopy prep" time. This is an extremely important part of your colonoscopy because it decreases the chances of any problems occurring and also makes sure that your doctor is able to gather as much information as possible during the procedure.
Colonoscopy prep begins about one week before the procedure itself. One to two days before the procedure, you will begin the process of cleaning out your bowels. This is called a bowel prep.
All of the information discussed in this article should be included in a patient handout that you should receive from your healthcare provider. Answers to most of your questions can also be found there. Please make sure that you follow the instructions carefully. A successful colonoscopy prep can help ensure that your doctor will find any possible problems.
As part of preparing for colonoscopy, one week before your procedure, you should not take any aspirin or NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Aleve®, Naprosyn®, Anaprox®, Naprelan®). You should also avoid alcohol during this time.
If you take Coumadin®, Ticlid®, or Plavix®, you should talk to your cardiologist about stopping these medicines three to five days before your colonoscopy.
Please let your healthcare provider know if you have:
- Sleep apnea
- An allergy to latex
- A pacemaker or internal defibrillator
- Had a hip replacement or knee replacement in the last year
- Been taking Sinemet®.
Finally, if you usually take antibiotics before going to the dentist, or if you have diabetes, be sure to let your healthcare provider know.