What Is a Colonoscopy Screening?
Colonoscopy screenings are done to detect abnormal occurrences and disease in the large intestine, or colon. The procedure is done using a long and flexible tube known as a colonoscope or endoscope to look into the crevices of the large intestine. The tube is inserted into the colon through your rectum. During the procedure, your doctor views your bowel, rectum and other areas by suctioning, irrigating or injecting air into the bowel. This is why the prep for a colonoscopy is very important, your physician needs to ensure there should be no obstruction of view during the examination. The gastrointestinal tract must be clear of any waste. Doctors are able to remove cancerous tissue or polyps from the colon during the procedure if the colon is clean.
Prior to a colonoscopy, we encourage you to visit with your Dignity Health physician to discuss your medical history, allergies, bleeding disorders, medications and any other existing conditions you may have. Having this information beforehand helps him/her complete a very thorough evaluation.
Your physician can answer any detailed questions you may have about how a colonoscopy is performed. To find a doctor, call (623) 423-0822.
Preparing for Your Colonoscopy
Miralax/Gatorade Colonoscopy Prep
Bowel cleanout is done at home prior to your colonoscopy. This will be a combination of a clear liquid diet and an oral laxative called Miralax which can be purchased at your pharmacy (s)ee your colorectal surgeon for a prescription.
You will also be instructed to purchase 64oz of Gatorade or sports drink (o)nly light colored NO RED or BLUE! and 3 Dulcolax tablets (no prescription needed).
5 Days Prior to the Colonoscopy: Don’t take any iron pills, anti-inflammatory drugs or blood thinners such as Motrin, Ibuprofen, Advil, Naprosyn, Aleve, and Aspirin higher than 81mg. Tylenol is okay.
***If you are on a blood thinner such as Coumadin (Warfarin), Pradaxa, Xeralto, or Plavix you must stop 5 days before the procedure. Please make sure your prescribing doctor is aware!
**Patients who take Diabetic agents such as insulin or oral diabetic pills DO NOT take evening doses the night before your colonoscopy or the morning of the colonoscopy. You will not be eating or drinking after midnight. Please continue to check your blood sugar and if you have a critical reading treat yourself as you normally would. Call your doctor if you have any questions.
One Day Prior to the Colonoscopy:
- Clear liquid diet only (from the time you wake up until procedure)
- At 3pm: take 3 Dulcolax tablets
- At 5pm: Mix the whole bottle of Miralax into 64oz of Gatorade. Shake well. Drink 8oz glass every 10-15 minutes until gone. You may still have clear liquids until bedtime.
Nothing to Eat or Drink after Midnight and the Morning of the Procedure!
**If you are on Blood Pressure medication and/or Heart Medications please take them the morning of surgery with a small sip of water.
What is considered a clear liquid?
- Soups: Clear broths, bouillon
- Beverages: Tea, Coffee (no cream or milk added), Kool-aid, carbonated drinks, Gatorade
- Juices: Apple, Cranberry, Orange (no pulp), Grape
- Desserts/Treats: Jell-O, Ice Popsicles, Water ices
For More Information
The Colorectal Surgery program is located at St. Joseph’s Westgate Medical Center. We are in the Medical Office Building next to the hospital, north of Glendale on 99th Avenue.
For more information or to make an appointment, call (623) 423-0822.
St. Joseph’s Westgate Medical Center
7300 N. 99th Avenue
Glendale, AZ 85307