Colonoscopy Preparation

Prior to your colonoscopy, you will need to take an oral laxative preparation (frequently referred to as “colon prep”) to clean out your colon. There are several colon preparations available, and your provider will generally recommend one for you based on your particular situation. For example, if you have constipation or previously had a colonoscopy with inadequate colon cleansing, your provider may recommend a larger volume of colon prep or the addition of milk of magnesia prior to the colon prep.

If you are seen for an office visit at Northwest Gastroenterology prior to your colonoscopy, you may receive instructions regarding your colon prep at the time of your office visit. If your procedure will be more than a month after your office visit OR you are healthy and undergoing colonoscopy for colon cancer screening without a preceding office visit, you will have a separate no-charge visit (or phone call) with one of our pre-procedure staff to review your medical status, at which time your colon prep instructions will be given.

People often have questions about their colon preps, which is why we have a Frequently Asked Questions section addressing many of these. Please review the FAQ if you have questions either before or after your visit with us.

You will likely receive your personalized colon prep instructions on a calendar-style handout that lists what you should be doing during the week prior to your colonoscopy. A generic version of the calendar is provided here:

For reference, though, you should refer to your personalized handout for detailed instructions.

If you lose your colon prep instructions or get a different colon prep from the pharmacy (for example, if your insurance does not cover the colon prep that was prescribed), you can use the following instructions on how to take the various colon preps, though – again – these instructions do not take into consideration any personalized instructions you may have received.

As always, you can Contact Us with any questions.