Colonoscopy Prep: 9 Things You Should Know About the Procedure

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5. Break up your prep

Don’t drink your prep drink all at once! Drinking 32 ounces of it can be daunting, so doctors recommend breaking your prep. When you break up this special beverage and drink four 8-ounce glasses over the course of an hour, the mental stress of having “32 ounces” doesn’t seem so awful.

In other words, it’s much easier to consume 8 ounces every 15 minutes within an hour than to consume 32 ounces all at once.

6. Double check when to start your colonoscopy prep

Despite what the instructions on the packaging of your colonoscopy prep product may say, make sure you talk to your doctor to know when you should stop drinking liquids. If you don’t do this properly, it can impact your anesthesia during the colonoscopy.

Here’s the question that most patients ask themselves: “Will I be up all night?” The answer depends on what your doctor tells you. That’s why it’s important to double-check their instructions for when to begin your colonoscopy prep. If possible, bump it up a few hours earlier.

If you start drinking the prep in the evening, do it a few hours earlier to prevent staying in the bathroom all night. Remember that each person’s body is different—for some, it takes several hours, while for others, it works right away. Give yourself the time you need for the laxative to start working.

Your doctor should indicate when to start taking either the laxative drink or the pills. Some colonoscopy preps are taken all at once in the evening, others may be “split-dose” and taken over the course of several hours, often between an evening and the following morning.

Now, if you think you can’t drink the prep, a “split dose” is a great option as it tends to be more tolerable.

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