Most people dread the unknown and this is why many avoid getting a colonoscopy. Little do they know that the actual procedure is, in fact, the easy part. Prepping for a colonoscopy can require many steps but it’s manageable — especially with what’s known as the split-dose approach. This method allows patients to break up that not-so-nice bowel prep drink in smaller doses, making it more tolerable and doable.
As board-certified doctors, our La Peer Colonoscopy Center of Excellence colorectal surgeons and gastroenterologists can provide you with preparation instructions for your upcoming colonoscopy. Simply call our office at 888.590.2129 to schedule an appointment today!
In order to have a successful colonoscopy exam, you must clean as much waste as possible from the large intestine (colon). If you neglect to do so, it can lead to your doctor missing polyps, tumors, and other problematic areas. The risk of complications and the length of the procedure can also increase when bowel preparation is not fully completed.
So you might ask — what is the problem? It’s that large quantity of not-so-pleasant liquid you have to drink prior to a colonoscopy. In a standard preparation, patients must drink about 32oz or 2 liters of a polyethylene glycol solution (bowel cleaning solution.) That’s a lot of solution!
Studies have shown that more than a third of people don’t complete the full preparation required for a successful colonoscopy. So what can you do?
The Split-Dose Method
To make bowel prep more tolerable, doctors are beginning to embrace the split-dose method, which allows patients to take 1 liter or 16oz of the liquid the night before the exam, and the remainder in the morning before the test. However, if you have an early morning colonoscopy, you have to drink the morning dose 4-6 hours prior to the test.
Not only does the split-dose approach make colonoscopy preparation more bearable, but it also does a better job at cleaning the colon. Studies are showing that doctors are able to detect more benign polyps in those who implement the split-dose method as compared to those who utilize the standard preparation technique.
Some Ways to Prepare for Your Colonoscopy
You may be asked to take some additional steps to ensure a clean colon:
- Follow a special diet the day before the exam. Typically, you won’t be able to eat solid food the day before the exam. Drinks may be limited to clear liquids — plain water, tea and coffee without milk or cream, broth, and carbonated beverages. Avoid red liquids, which can be confused with blood during the colonoscopy. You may not be able to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the exam.
- Take a laxative. Your doctor may suggest taking a laxative, in either pill form or liquid form the night before your colonoscopy or both the night before and the morning of the procedure.
- Use an enema kit. In some cases, you may need to use an over-the-counter enema kit — either the night before the exam or a few hours before the exam — to empty your colon.
- Adjust your medications. Remind your doctor of your medications at least a week before the exam — especially if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, if you take medications or supplements that contain iron, or if you take aspirin or other medications that thin the blood. You may need to adjust your dosages or stop taking the medications temporarily.
Ask About Our Colonoscopy Prep Approach
Preparing for your colonoscopy properly is extremely important. If you have an upcoming colonoscopy scheduled and want to know more about the split-dose method, contact our Beverly Hills office at 888.590.2129 and we will be more than happy to answer your questions. If you are overdue for a colonoscopy, we can handle that as well so call us today!