General Frequently Asked Questions
What are the indications for a colonoscopy?
Some of the indications for colonoscopy include screening for colon cancer, change of bowel habits, blood in your stool, abdominal pain, weight loss, anemia, constipation, diarrhea, family history of colon cancer, family or personal history of colon polyps, inflammatory bowel disease, and other symptoms that may be related to gastrointestinal disturbances.
What are the indications for an upper Endoscopy or EGD?
Some of the indications for an upper endoscopy include anemia, abdominal pain, bloating, belching, loss of appetite, weight loss, heartburn, acid reflux, difficult or painful swallowing, nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms that may be related to gastrointestinal disturbances.
What do I need to prepare for a procedure?
If you are scheduled for an endoscopy procedure, you will be instructed on how to prepare for the exam by our office. Please bring your insurance card, photo ID, copy of Advance Directive (if applicable), list of current medications including dosage and frequency, list of known allergies to medicines, and a responsible driver that can stay with you throughout your entire stay.
How long does the procedure take, and how long will I be in your facility?
An actual endoscopy procedure takes anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes, depending on what procedure is being done (colonoscopy or EGD) and what the findings are. You will be asked to arrive at the endoscopy center 45 minutes (for EGD) or 1 hour (for colonoscopy) prior to the scheduled time of your procedure to allow time to prepare you for the procedure. A nurse will go over your medical history and place an intravenous catheter in your vein that will be used to administer medication that will make you sleepy during the procedure. You will be monitored in the recovery area for at least 15 minutes after the procedure. The total time in our facility for an endoscopic exam is approximately 2 to 2.5 hours.
Is there any way that I can make the preparation taste any better?
You can try sucking on hard candy. You can rinse your mouth with water or mouth wash.
Why avoid red liquids during the preparation?
The red artificial dye stains the lining of the colon and can look like blood.
One of the medications I was instructed to take the morning of my procedure is red. Can I take it?
Medications for blood pressure and heart conditions, seizure medication and Prednisone should be taken the morning of your exam, regardless of color. Wait to take your remaining med's until after your procedure.
I feel like vomiting and don't think I can drink any more. What should I do?
It is important that you continue drinking the solution if possible. Without a clean bowel, the doctor will not be able to see the inside of your colon to complete the examination. If you do vomit, wait 30 minutes and begin drinking the solution again. If not improved, call us (616-752-6525). Have the phone number of a pharmacy that is open ready, in case we need to call in a prescription.
I drank a lot of solution and haven't gone to the bathroom yet. What should I do?
Keep drinking. Most patients have a bowel movement after an hour; some may take 2 hours or longer.
I am taking the prep and am now having loose, watery stools. Do I still need the rest of the prep?
Yes, you may have solid stool higher in the colon that needs to be eliminated.
I already have diarrhea before taking the prep, do I still have to take the laxative?
Yes, you must take the prep as directed by your doctor. Your colon is approximately 5 feet long. The entire colon must be cleared for your physician to see the colon clearly.
I see yellow color in the toilet bowl and a few flecks. What do I do?
If you drank the entire solution, or if your last bowel movements were clear enough that you were able to see the bottom of the toilet, you should be fine. It is OK if you have some flecks of material. The yellow color is a result of bile that normally colors the feces. This should not interfere with the examination.
My bottom is sore. What can I do?
To clean the area, avoid rubbing. Gently pat with a wet washcloth. Apply Preparation H or Desitin liberally.
May I drink alcoholic beverages?
Your should not drink any alcoholic beverages prior to your procedure since they can cause dehydration, and some wines may thin your blood, and they can interact with the sedation you receive.
May I chew gum or suck on candy?
Yes, but nothing with soft centers or red color.
May I brush my teeth?
May I wear my dentures?
Yes, you may wear your dentures to the Endoscopy suite. However, you may have to remove them prior to your procedure.
I have been instructed not to take anti-inflammatories or blood thinners several days prior to my procedure. What may I take for headaches and pain relief?
You may take Tylenol as directed.
May I have chicken soup?
You can only have broth. No noodles, chicken, or vegetables allowed.
May I have a colonoscopy done if I am on my menstrual period?
Yes, your procedure can still be performed. We ask that you use a tampon if possible (not absolutely necessary).
Do I need a prescription for the laxatives?
It depends on the preparation instructions you were given. Colyte and Nulytely require a prescription.
What if I don't have a driver to bring me home?
You will need to reschedule your procedure to a time when you will have a driver available.
Your instructions say not to chill the Colyte—the package directions/pharmacist says to chill?
We recommend that you do not chill, as it tends to cause the chills.