Colonoscopy Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is there any way that I can make this taste any better? You may try sucking on hard candy or rinse your mouth with water or a mouthwash.
  2. Why avoid red liquids? The red color can persist in the colon and potentially look like blood.
  3. One of the medications I was instructed to take the morning of my procedure is red. Can I take it? Medications should be taken the morning of your exam regardless of the color.
  4. I feel like vomiting and do not think I can drink any more. What should I do? It is important that you continue to drink the solution. Without a clean bowel, the doctor will not be able to see the inside of your colon to complete the examination. Wait 30-60 minutes and begin drinking the solution again. If not improved, call us and have a phone number of an open pharmacy in case we need to call in a prescription.
  5. I drank a lot of the solution and have not gone to the bathroom yet. What should I do? Keep drinking. Most people have a bowel movement after an hour; some patients may take two hours or longer.
  6. I am taking the prep and now having loose, watery stools. Do I still need the rest of the prep? Yes, you may still have solid stool higher in the colon that needs to be eliminated.
  7. I already have diarrhea before taking the prep, do I still have to take the laxative? Yes, you must take the prep as directed by your doctor. Your colon is approximately six feet long. The entire colon must be emptied for your physician to see the colon clearly.
  8. I see yellow color in the toilet bowl and a few flecks. What do I do? If you drank the entire solution or if your last bowel movements were clear enough that you were able to see the bottom of the toilet, you should be fine. It is okay if you have some flecks of material. This should not interfere with the examination.
  9. My bottom is so sore. What can I do? To clean the area, avoid rubbing. Gently pat with a wet washcloth. Apply Vaseline, Preparation H or Desitin liberally.
  10. Can I drink any nutritional supplements? No, as these are not clear liquids.
  11. Can I chew gum or suck candy? Yes, but nothing with soft centers or red colors.
  12. Can I wear my dentures? Yes, you may wear your dentures to the Endoscopy Suite. However, you may be asked to remove them prior to the procedure.
  13. I have been instructed not to take anti-inflammatories or blood thinners several days before the procedure. What can I take for headaches and pain relief? You may take Tylenol as directed.
  14. Can I have chicken soup? You can only have the broth; no noodles, chicken or vegetables.
  15. Can I have the colonoscopy if I am on my menstrual period? Yes, the procedure can still be performed.