How to Prepare for a Colonoscopy

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You might feel anxious when thinking about preparing for and having a colonoscopy, but the process and procedure are rather simple and can be life-saving. Taking the mystery out of what’s involved can help.

Board-certified surgeon Jamshid Nazarian, MD, FACS, FAMBS, and our experienced team perform colonoscopies to screen for conditions like digestive disorders, colorectal cancer, and to remove polyps that could become cancerous. If you have colon cancer in your family history, you definitely don’t want to put off getting a colonoscopy.

Preparing for your colonoscopy

We have several tips that can help your colonoscopy prep be easy.

Where to start

You can start by making a few small adjustments to your diet a few days before your procedure. Simply eat smaller portions of food, and make sure they’re low in fiber. Recommended foods include:

  • Soups
  • Smoothies
  • Steamed vegetables
  • Fruit without the skin
  • White bread, pasta, and rice
  • Eggs
  • Chicken
  • Salmon

Stay away from foods like nuts, popcorn, fried meals, raw vegetables, and anything that’s high in fiber.

The day before

To fully prepare for your colonoscopy, you can only have clear liquids the day before. The following are permissible and can be enjoyable:

  • White grape juice
  • Sprite
  • JELL-O® (yellow-colored only)
  • Light colored gummy bears (not the dark ones)
  • Flavored sparkling water
  • Pedialyte® or Gatorade® (light-colored only)
  • Organic low-sodium beef or chicken broth

Our team also gives instructions on what laxatives you need to take to clean out your colon, which are part of your prep. For a more pleasant experience, drink it through a straw to help it go down easier and faster.

Bathroom prep

The frequency of emptying your bowels during the preparation can go much easier if you have toilet paper, wet wipes, and creams on hand.

Also, wear stretchy pants or loose bottoms to help with the ease of not having to button and unbutton them every time you need to go to the restroom.

Don’t cut corners

You might be tired of the process, but be sure to finish the entire prep. Your stools should be runny and clear for a successful colonoscopy.

Once your body has been fully prepared, most say the hardest part is over.

What to expect the day of my colonoscopy

When you arrive, we prep you for your procedure, which involves giving you a sedative to relax you. Most likely, you’ll sleep right through your colonoscopy, which only takes about 30-60 minutes. We then monitor you during your recovery for about an hour or more, as needed.

Dr. Nazarian talks to you once you’re fully awake, and then you’re released to go home. We also require that you have a friend or family member drive you home for your protection since you have been under sedation.

To find out if you should get a colonoscopy, book your appointment online or call our friendly office staff at 310-854-1174 today.

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