Preparing for a Colonoscopy

articles / Preparing for a Colonoscopy

What to do before the colonoscopy procedure

How to prepare
for Colonoscopy?

Due to the practicality of using this procedure, it is widely recommended if you are experiencing any type of discomfort in your lower digestive tract or if you are at risk for certain gastrointestinal issues. A colonoscopy can detect even minor issues that may not present any visible symptoms, so it is important to be aware of the possibility of this procedure if you are having any type of stomach troubles.

A colonoscopy is an important screening test to detect and prevent colorectal cancer. It is a procedure that requires some preparation in order to ensure the success of your appointment.

Colonoscopies are a very common and helpful procedure for diagnosing issues with the lower digestive tract. This diagnostic tool is widely used to detect problems such as ulcers, polyps, inflammation, IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), diverticular diseases and some cancers.

The process itself is quite straightforward and painless; it involves an experienced doctor and a thin, flexible tube with a camera which is passed through your rectum.

Knowing what to do and when to do it can help make the experience easier and less stressful. This guide will give you step-by-step instructions on how to prepare for your colonoscopy, beginning 1 week before the procedure all the way up until the day itself.

One Week Before Your Colonoscopy

Plan Ahead

The most important thing you can do one week before your procedure is to plan ahead. Make sure you have enough time off work or school and that any other commitments are taken care of. You should also stock up on any supplies you need, such as laxatives, stool softeners, or prebiotic drinks (it’s usually provided by your clinic).

You may also need to stop certain medications at this point. If you have questions about what you need to do specifically, contact your gastroenterologist’s clinic.

Two Days Before Your Colonoscopy

switch to a low fiber diet

This is when the diet changes begin. Two days before your procedure, switch to a low fiber diet. This means avoiding foods such as:


Stick to clear liquids only during this time period; this includes water, broth, tea or coffee without cream or milk products, clear fruit juices without pulp (like apple or white grape juice), clear lemonade without pulp, and sports drinks with no added colors or flavors (like Gatorade).

One Day Before Your Colonoscopy

Do not eat or drink anything aside from the list above!

On the day before your colonoscopy you will need to follow a clear liquid diet all day long; this includes all of the same things listed above.

You will also be asked to take a laxative; follow the instructions provided by your doctor’s office for how much to take and how often it should be taken throughout the day. Do not eat or drink anything else aside from what was mentioned above! Remember to stay hydrated!

Guide on Taking Your Laxatives

To ensure your colonoscopy is successful, you will need to take a series of laxatives prior to the test. Your gastroenterologist will inform you on how many sachets and when they should be taken for optimal results. To make it more bearable, we suggest chilling them or using a straw – whichever suits! As these medications have strong purgative effects that can cause multiple trips to the bathroom, staying close by one is essential during this time period.

Do not worry if your bowel movements change colour. They may become yellow or clear as you clean out your colon. This is a sign that your colonoscopy prep is working.

Day of Your Colonoscopy

no eating or drinking anything other than water for at least six hours prior

Depending on the time in which your Colonoscopy is scheduled from you wake up, you should try avoiding eating or drinking anything other than water for at least six hours prior to your scheduled procedure time. This includes all beverages, including coffee and tea. To stay hydrated, drink plenty of water throughout the day leading up to your procedure and in between meals if allowed by your doctor. If you are allowed to drink fluids on the day of your procedure, make sure they are clear liquids like water or clear fruit juices—avoid anything that contains milk or pulp.

You may take sips of water up until 2 hours before the procedure. Drinking water after this point may cause you to be sick during the Colonoscopy.


The best way to ensure that you have a successful colonoscopy is to stick with a clear liquid diet in the 24 hours leading up to the procedure and following any additional instructions provided by your physician regarding food consumption prior to undergoing a colonoscopy. By following these guidelines, you will be able to make sure that you have a healthy and successful experience when undergoing this important medical procedure.

Preparing for a colonoscopy takes time but following these steps will ensure that everything goes smoothly leading up to the procedure itself. Following these instructions will help make sure that everything goes as planned at your upcoming colonoscopy appointment!

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A colonoscopy, performed by a qualified and experienced gastroenterologist, is a very safe procedure that involves minimal discomfort for the patient. Although there is a risk of perforation and bleeding, it is extremely rare, occurring in 1 in every 1000 cases.

No. The colonoscopy is performed under general anaesthesia. As you will be asleep, you will not experience any pain at all. However, after the procedure, some patients may feel some bloatedness.

It depends on your risk levels for contracting colon cancer, along with any other medical conditions. However, after a polyp-free colonoscopy, most people won’t need another one for the next 5 to 10 years.

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