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Before a colonoscopy procedure, the contents of the colon have to be emptied. This is usually done through a liquid only diet for 24 hours as well as drinking a solution to help clear the bowels. If the bowel prep is not completed correctly, polyps and lesions can be missed and the entire procedure may have to be repeated.
Below is the most common bowel preparation for colonoscopies. Your physician at St. Joseph’s will discuss specifics for your procedure.
On the day before and up to the procedure, consume clear liquids only: broths, soft drinks, tea and coffee (with no milk or creamer), clear juices or Jell-O (but no red, blue, or purple coloring). You may also be asked to avoid nuts, seeds, hulls, skins, or other insoluble fiber for a day or more before beginning clear liquids.
This is an electrolyte-balanced solution consumed in large amounts (4 liters, or about 1 gallon) the evening before a colonoscopy. You will need to drink 8 ounces every 10 minutes until the bowel’s output runs clear or the solution is completely consumed. In another approach, the dose is divided into 3 liters the night before and 1 liter the morning of the colonoscopy.