Preparation For Colonoscopy Using PEG Lavage Solution

An Important Exam Requires Careful Preparation

Your doctor has decided that colonoscopy is necessary to better evaluate your colon, or large intestine. An important examination such as this requires careful preparation. The results obtained from this exam are dependent on your lower bowel (colon) being carefully cleansed and empty. An improperly prepared bowel may mean that the exam will have to be repeated at another time. More importantly, fecal matter (stool) left in the intestinal tract can hide important conditions that may be present. Therefore, it is very important that you follow these instructions as carefully as possible. 

There is no perfect way to empty the colon. We have tried a variety of preparations over the past 20 years. It seems that the this lavage prep has been shown to be the cleanest and quickest. It is more expensive than the other laxative kits. But if the test is worth doing, it deserves the best possible preparation. 

A couple of hints... To fully evacuate the colon, this preparation will cause you to have many liquid bowel movements. Note that individual responses to laxative vary widely. Plan to remain within easy reach of toilet facilities. Many patients find that Charmin Plus toilet tissue minimizes the expected anal irritation from wiping. Also rubbing a small amount of hydrocortisone cream, such as Cort-Aid, around the anal area after each bowel movement can lessen the irritation. On the day of your exam, wear comfortable easily-removable clothing and leave jewelry and other valuables at home. If you are having a menstrual period, it is OK to wear a tampon. 

No laxative preparation is fun. However, this solution has been developed to make your preparation as simple, effective, and painless as possible. By "splitting" the preparation into two halves, it seems to be better tolerated. Please follow each instruction exactly as given. (If you prefer, it is permissible to drink the entire solution at one three hour sitting per the original directions printed on the container.) If you have any questions, please call our office at (432) 333-3433.

Colonoscopy Prep Instructions

Two Days Before the Examination: Go to the drug store and purchase your prep solution. You will need a prescription. If you have not received or have lost your prescription, call our office. For this preparation you may use any brand of PEG lavage solution. The most common prescribed is GoLytely. Other brands on the market are NuLytely and CoLyte. They all work the same way. Some come pre-flavored. Golytely is unflavored but you may add some lemon flavoring as mentioned below. Purchase the prep kit a few days before the day of preparation and read the instructions carefully before you begin. If you tend to be constipated, take an ounce of Milk of Magnesia a few days before so that you are not terribly constipated when you begin drinking the prep solution. If you develop vomiting during the prep, temporarily stop for one hour and resume. If vomiting persists, stop the prep and call our office for instructions.

One Day Before the Examination: Have a light breakfast. You may take all of your normal prescription medications. If you are taking Coumadin or Insulin call for special instructions before you begin your preparation. Please avoid Metamucil and foods with small seeds such as sesame seeds, kiwi, cucumbers for a few days before your exam. Prepare the solution according to the instructions on the bottle. To improve the flavor of the plain lavage solution, you may wish to add one or two packets of Crystal Light Lemonade-Flavored Soft Drink Mix from your grocery. Chill the solution in your refrigerator.

Approximately NOON Have a clear liquid lunch. No solids. No milk or cream products are allowed. Until bedtime, you may have as much clear broth, bouillon, tea, black coffee, strained or clear fruit juices, flavored jello, clear hard candy, or popsicles as you like. Please avoid red colored gelatin such as Cherry Jello. 

Approximately 2:00 PM Begin drinking the lavage solution. You should drink 8 ounces every 20 minutes until half of the solution is consumed. This will take about 3 hours. It is best to drink each glass quickly rather than slowly sipping it. It is better chilled. 

Approximately 5:00 PM: You will have finished drinking half of the bottle. You can expect most of the fluid to be evacuated within an hour or so. Have a CLEAR LIQUID supper. No solid foods, no milk products. 

Approximately 7:00 PM: Begin drinking the rest of the solution. You should drink 8 ounces every 20 minutes until the solution is completely finished. This will take about 3 hours. Although there is some variation from individual to individual, you will probably have finished evacuating most of the solution by 11:00 PM and be ready for bed.

Morning of the Examination Eat no solid food. You may have small amounts of CLEAR LIQUIDS up to four hours before your appointment, then you should remain fasting. You may take all of your regular medications unless otherwise directed. No Insulin. No Coumadin unless your doctor told you to do so.

You should arrive at the Center at least 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment. We will complete your registration, have you change clothing, perform any pre-operative orders which might be required by your physician, and answer any questions you might have. Please be on time so that you don't cause a delay which could affect many other patients within the same day. 

Since sedation is utilized, YOU MUST BRING A COMPANION WITH YOU who is responsible and is able to drive you home after your procedure and to assist you with follow-up care. Only one companion is necessary, and we ask that they remain in the waiting area during your procedure and recovery which totals about 90 minutes. You will not be able to drive a car, operate any machinery, go to work or eat out at a restaurant until the following day.