Attached are detailed instructions to help you prepare for your colonoscopy. Here is a checklist of things to do as you prepare for your colonoscopy. As you do each one, check it off the list by marking an “X” in each box. Make sure each box has been checked prior to coming in for your procedure.

Before you Start:

  • Read these instructions carefully.
  • Make sure you have your bowel prep. If not, call your doctor.
  • Make sure to purchase two (2) Dulcolax Laxative pills 5 mg each (over the counter).
  • Make sure you have no questions about your medications. If you do, call your doctor.
  • Make sure you have made arrangements for someone 18 years and older to drive you home from the colonoscopy.
  • See the list of foods you can eat and should avoid starting 2-3 days before the test.
  • Please visit our website at www.dlcfl.com for additional education with videos.



You have been scheduled for a colonoscopy at Endo-Surgical Center. We know it can be challenging to get ready for a colonoscopy. We also know that you may have many questions about the procedure. We created these instructions to help answer your questions and get you ready.


The purpose of a colonoscopy is to look inside your large intestine (colon) for possible polyps, cancers, and other conditions. Just before the procedure starts you will receive some medicine to make you sleepy. The doctor will pass a flexible tube that has a small camera and headlight see the inside of your colon on a TV monitor. The doctor can take biopsies of any abnormal areas, and can also remove polyps. You will wake up shortly after the test. Most people do not remember having the procedure.



If the inside of the colon is dirty then your doctor may not see important things, like polyps or cancer, and may even have to do the test again. This would mean that you have to start over and come back on a different day, and nobody wants to do that.

If you come in with your colon properly emptied out the doctor will be able to see the entire colon and make this a “ONE AND DONE,” meaning just that: do it once, do it right and then be done.


You should stop taking non---steroidal anti---inflammatory medicines (e.g., ibuprofen) and Aspirin unless it has been prescribed by a doctor.

If you take Plavix (Clopidogrel), Coumadin (Warfarin), or other blood thinning/anticoagulation medicines you should discuss what to do with your doctor.


Make sure that you have picked up the “bowel prep” medication that was prescribed for you.

Begin a low fiber diet, please see foods allowed:

What to eat:

  • White rice, plain white pasta, and crackers
  • White bread without nuts and seeds
  • Refined hot cereals, such as Cream of Wheat, or cold cereals with less than 1 gram of fiber per serving
  • Pancakes or waffles made from white refined flour
  • Tender meat, poultry, fish, eggs and tofu
  • Milk and foods made from milk — such as yogurt, pudding, ice cream, cheeses and sour cream — if tolerated
  • Butter, margarine, oils and salad dressings without seeds

Foods to avoid:

  • Whole---wheat or whole---grain breads, cereals and pasta.
  • Brown or wild rice and other whole grains, such as oats, kasha, barley and quinoa.
  • Dried fruits, prune juice and raw vegetables.
  • Fruit, including those with seeds, skin or membranes, such as berries.
  • Dried beans, peas and lentils.
  • Seeds and nuts and foods containing them, including peanut butter and other nut butters.
  • Coconut, popcorn, flax seed and psyllium


  • Breakfast — clear liquids only, no solid foods.
  • Lunch — clear liquids only, no solid foods.
  • Lunch --- take two (2) Dulcolax pills with 8 ounces of water (over the counter).
  • Dinner — clear liquids only, no solid foods.
  • Drink plenty of clear liquids throughout the day.
  • Take half of the bowel prep at 5:00pm, drink 8 ounces glass every 15 minutes until you have completed one---half of the prep.
  • If you have diabetes and take Lantus take only ½ your typical dose.

Liquids you CAN drink include:

  1. Soups: Clear Bouillon, Chicken Broth, Vegetable Broth, Beef Broth or Consommé.
  1. Beverage: Tea, Clear Gatorade, Clear Kool-Aid, sports drink such as Gatorade, Decaf Black Coffee - Please DO NOT add Milk or Creamer.
  2. Juices: Strained fruit juices (without pulp) including Apple, White Grape, Lemonade, White Cranberry - Nothing RED and PURPLE.

Taking your “bowel prep”: The instructions for taking it will come from the pharmacy along with the prep. For your procedure we recommend a “split prep”, which means you will take one half of the prep the evening before the test, and the other half the day of the test. In the morning you should mix and refrigerate the prep. Start taking your prep in the evening at 5:00 PM. Drink 8 ounces every 15 minutes until you have completed one---half of the prep. After you are done, we recommend drinking at least 8 ounces of clear liquid to help prevent dehydration.

Do NOT have any solid food until after the colonoscopy.


What to eat: you must not eat any foods, suck candy, or chew gum until AFTER the colonoscopy is over.

What to drink: You may drink water, black coffee (without sugar, milk or cream), apple juice, soda pop, or club soda. Stop drinking these liquids at least 4 hours before the colonoscopy.

Medications: DO NOT take any medication for diabetes. You may take your other medications with a small sip of water.

Taking your “Prep”: You should have already completed one---half of the prep the night before the procedure.

You must take the second half of your prep (again- 8 ounces every 15 minutes) starting 6 hours before the time your colonoscopy is scheduled, and finish it at least 4 hours before, even if that means having to get up very early. For example: if your colonoscopy is scheduled for 7:00 AM then take the second part of your prep at 1:00 AM and finish by 3:00 AM the morning of your colonoscopy. If your colonoscopy is scheduled for 9:00 AM then take the second part of your prep at 3:00 AM and finish by 5:00 AM the morning of your colonoscopy. We know it is hard to get up this early, but it is very important to take the second part of your prep 6 hours before your colonoscopy in order to get the best results.

After you complete the prep do not take any other liquid or food. Arrive on your scheduled appointment accompanied by an adult 18 years or older who can drive you home after the procedure. Please make sure you bring your insurance card and a list of your current medications. You should expect to spend up to 4 hours in our procedure’s unit.


After the colonoscopy is completed, we will observe you in a recovery area for approximately 15- 30 minutes. Before you leave, the doctor will explain the results of the exam, and give you a report and instructions. The person who came with you must drive you home. You cannot drive or go back to work for at least 12 hours (unless you have a colonoscopy without sedation, which is very uncommon).


What are the side effects of “bowel prep”?

You will have lots of diarrhea from the bowel prep. This will start anywhere between a few minutes to 3 hours after you start the prep. You will spend a lot of time on the toilet once you start taking the prep. So, plan to be home, and plan to be near a toilet. Most people have bloating and abdominal discomfort and many reports feeling cold. This is normal. Do not be alarmed if you feel these symptoms. Many people have nausea. This is also normal. Some people do not like the taste or smell of the medicine. However, it is still important that you drink all the prep as directed. Rarely some people throw up while taking the prep. If this happens call us at 407-384-7388.

How do you know when your prep is working?

The stool coming out should be clear liquid and without particles. You know you’re done when the stool coming out is yellow, light liquid, and clear — like urine.

My prep hasn’t started working yet. Is that OK?

Different people respond differently to the bowel prep — some people start having diarrhea within minutes of taking the prep, while others have no response for an hour or more. If you have waited more than 3 hours without a response, then it may not be working well. Be sure you are drinking enough fluid, as instructed above. If that doesn’t work, take the second part of your prep and continue to drink fluids. It should work eventually. If not then call us at 407-384-7388 if the medicine is still not working at all despite drinking enough fluid and taking the colonoscopy prep medicine as prescribed.

How long will the test take?

The test itself usually takes 10-30 minutes, though you should expect to spend up to 4 hours.

Can I drive myself home after my colonoscopy?

No, you will receive medication to make you sleepy during the test. That means you cannot drive after the test and must instead arrange for someone to drive you home.

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