How to Prepare for Your Colonoscopy – UVM Medical Center


(mellow guitar music) – Your doctor has scheduled
you for a colonoscopy. While it may not be
anyone’s favorite exam, this close-up look at your intestines is an extremely important
test that screens for and may prevent colon cancer. For your doctor to get a good look at the lining of your colon, it must be clean and clear. If it’s not, the doctor
may have difficulty detecting and identifying any areas of question or concern. That’s why the day before your exam you’ll take medicine designed
to cleanse the colon. You’ll also have to follow
a diet of only clear liquids the day of your prep. Most people find the exam
itself to be easy and painless and many even sleep through it, but for some first-time
colonoscopy patients, the preparation can be
a little intimidating. Rest assured, the colonoscopy
process is safe and doable. We’ve created this video to
help you through each step from start to finish
without any surprises. – [Narrator] Seven days
before your colonoscopy, some of your medications
may need to be stopped or managed differently than usual. If you take insulin or a blood thinner, speak to the prescribing doctor about how to manage the medication
before and after your colonoscopy. If you take an iron supplement, discontinue use seven days prior. You’ll be able to resume when
the procedure is completed. If you take an MAOI, call
and report this to our office so that we may discuss best practices. Seven days prior,
you will also need to avoid eating foods with seeds,
as they can remain in your colon
even after the prep. You can eat them again once
your procedure is complete. Pick up the prescription bowel prep liquid from the pharmacy. Arrange a ride home with someone you know for the day of your procedure. You will be comfortably sedated before and during the colonoscopy, and even if you don’t realize it, you will be sedated when
it’s time to go home. Your driver will need to be
responsible for your welfare, so no taxi, Uber, Lyft, or bus. If you live far from UVM Medical Center, consider staying at a nearby hotel the night before your procedure
so you may get your travel out of the way
before the bowel prep. There are many local hotels,
some offering discounts to UVM Medical Center patients. The day before your procedure,
you need to follow a clear liquid diet from
the moment you wake up. It doesn’t matter
what brands you choose, but clear liquid items
include apple juice, white grape juice, tea, clear soda, such as 7-Up or ginger ale, clear soup broth or a bouillon broth. Any Kool-Aid or sports drinks
that are not red or purple. Popsicles, Italian ice,
and Jell-Os that are not red or purple and do
not have anything added such as fruit, milk, et cetera. Hard candies that are not red or purple and do not contain caramel or chocolate. And of course, water.
Plenty of water. That’s it. No solid foods,
no coffee, no alcohol. No dairy. No smoothies. Only clear liquids. Around four p.m., prepare
the colon prep liquid. The container will already
have powder in it. That’s the cleansing medication. Fill the container with
lukewarm drinking water to the fill line. The liquid may be somewhat cloudy. Do not use juice, soda,
or any other liquid. After adding water, you may
add approved flavor packs. This would either be a
flavor pack that came with the prescription
or Crystal Light packet that is not red, pink, or purple. Put the cap on tight
and shake the container to dissolve the powder. Once the powder is dissolved, the solution needs to
be kept refrigerated. As a side benefit, it is
easier to drink when it’s cold. Around six p.m., it’s time to drink the first half of the prep liquid. You’ll drink the other half tomorrow, five hours prior to your procedure. It’s very important to drink
all of the prep liquid. When taking a dose of the prep liquid, it’s easiest to drink the prep liquid directly after you remove
it from the fridge, when it’s at its coldest. Some people find eating
a bite of a Popsicle or an Italian ice directly beforehand helps offset the taste. Each dose should be
approximately eight ounces, or one cup. You’ll need to take a dose
every 15 minutes for two hours. That’s eight one-cup doses. To keep on schedule, set a
15-minute timer on your phone, your stove or microwave, or with a traditional kitchen timer. Some people prefer to
drink it with a straw because you can better avoid the liquid hitting your taste buds. Have your favorite clear
beverage or broth ready as a chaser or a hard
candy to suck on afterward. This can help offset the
taste of the prep liquid. If the prep makes you
feel a bit uneasy, take a brief break to
let your stomach settle, and then pick up where you left off. It’s important to drink all the liquid. When you are drinking this liquid, you will want to be near a bathroom that will provide you with some privacy. You may also want to
have wet wipes available to avoid irritation, as you
will be going to the bathroom frequently for a while. The liquid bowel prep is
designed to cause diarrhea. For some people, it can cause
nausea, bloating, or cramping. These will pass. Exactly when the bowel prep
will begin taking its effect is different for everyone. Rest assured, the medicine is working. It could be after the first dose or two, or it could be over an
hour after you start. As you continue to drink
the prep liquid and eliminate waste, your stool
will become lighter in color, watery, and particle-free. It may be similar in color
and consistency to urine. The day of your procedure,
you need to continue your clear liquid diet. You can take approved
morning medications with small sips of water. Five hours prior to your procedure, begin round two of the
liquid bowel prep. When you complete the prep,
if your stool does not yet appear clear and the color of urine, please contact our office. Three hours before your procedure, you need to stop drinking
completely, not even water. Leave your home at a time
that ensures you’ll arrive at the hospital one hour
prior to your procedure. Please do not wear any jewelry
or bring any valuables. When you arrive at the
hospital, a lobby receptionist is always available to help direct you. Check in at registration in
the main lobby, level three. After registration,
you’ll be at the hospital for about two to three hours. Your driver will need to pick you up from the Endoscopy suite in the West Pavilion on the fourth floor. They cannot pick you up on the curb or in front of the hospital. After your procedure,
you are free to eat normally. Your body may be a little
sensitive the next day, so you may want to start with
foods that are easy to digest. – We hope this video has
helped ease your mind and improve your understanding of the colonoscopy preparation process. If you have any additional questions, please contact your
colonoscopy provider’s office.

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