Colonoscopy Frequently Asked Questions

Q:Can I drink anything other than water?

A: Yes, it is important that you drink a variety of allowed clear liquids to avoid the possibility of becoming nauseated and dehydrated. Download Clear Liquid Sheet

Q:What if I ate seeds, nuts, or popcorn 1-2 days before?

A: Please, no more, and inform the nurse when you arrive.  You will need to drink more clear liquids (in addition to the printed instructions) to rid yourself of those.

Q:Can I have peanut butter?

A: Yes, until you are to begin the “clear liquids only” portion of the preparation; then no peanut butter.

Q:Is it okay to do clears since I am a diabetic?

A: Yes, clear liquids are ok if you are diabetic.  You should have special instructions because you are diabetic.  If not, call the office (22-COLON).  During the prep, your oral intake is less thus your regular diabetes medications may make your glucose level too low.  That’s why special instructions are needed.

Q:Is orange juice (with or without pulp) or Sunny D considered an “orange drink”?

A: No, but Tang is considered to be an orange drink.

Q:Can I have Gatorade with red “dye”/is purple Gatorade okay?

A: Red is forbidden (can look like blood, can obscure polyps); any other color, including purple, is okay.

Q:Can I mix my Miralax with anything other than Gatorade?

A: No

Q:Must I buy the whole pack of Dulcolax tablets?

A: Yes. Check the dollar store as the packages may be cheaper to purchase there.

Q:Do I have to be home when I take the Dulcolax?

A: No, but you may need to hurry to the bathroom.

Q:Will I be up all night going to the bathroom?

A: Most people can get plenty of sleep. Some people sleep all night.

Q:Can I start my prep later ie. At 5 pm after work?

A: Yes, but then you must delay the Miralax (take this 3 hours after starting the Dulcolax)

Q:What do I do if I have trouble drinking all that liquid?

A: We suggest an afternoon colonoscopy in order to split the bowel prep between 2 days.

Q:Can I take my anti-anxiety medications the morning of my procedure?

A: If it is a medication you are taking on a regular basis then it is okay to take at home on the day of your colonoscopy. If it is a new medication you are seeking, it is NOT okay because:

  • You cannot sign a consent while on a new sedating medication
  • You may have an adverse reaction to a new medication with would be problematic prior to the colonoscopy.

Q:Can I take other medications before the procedure?

A: Yes, Instructions are available on the medication information form that is provided to each colonoscopy patient which should be carefully reviewed. Download Medication Guide for In-Office Procedures

Q:Can I have a colonoscopy if I have my period?

A: Yes

Q:Why can’t I take a taxi/bus to and from my procedure?

A: When you leave it is necessary to have someone who is responsible for safely taking you to your destination regardless of whether or not you receive sedation (anesthesia)

Q:Is it really necessary to take my nail polish off?

What about acrylic nails?

A: Yes, the oxygen monitor uses your fingertip to assess some vital signs, oxygen level, etc. You do not need to remove acrylic nails.

Q:Why do I have to stay in town for 10 days after the procedure?

A: Very rarely a large polyp requires removal. It can take more than a week for that removal site “scab” to heal. Until it heals, there is a remote chance of a life threatening hemorrhage.

Q:Can I wear make-up/lotion?

A: No. It interferes with the monitoring equipment and process.

Q:Do I need to stop my blood pressure medication?

A: No, you need to CONTINUE your blood pressure medication. Blood pressure meds are NOT blood thinners.

Q:Will I be charged a cancellation fee?

A: Yes, here is the link to our cancellation policy

Q:Will my colonoscopy be covered?

A: The vast majority of colonoscopy procedures are covered. Remember, covered is DIFFERENT than your deductible. If you haven’t met your deductible you may be obliged to pay. The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, requires a SCREENING colonoscopy to be FULLY PAID by your insurance company. We do recommend that you contact your insurance company though because every policy is different.

Q:Will I be able to drive home?

A1: NO. You may be given sedation for your procedure. Your driver must accompany you and wait for you in our office until your procedure is done and you are discharged. We ask that your driver remain in our office in the event there is an emergency or complication during your procedure.
A2: If you undergo a “Sedation Free” colonoscopy, you may be able to drive yourself home.
**IMPORTANT** you still must have a responsible adult in your company for discharge.

Q:Why can’t I drive myself home after the procedure?

A: Due to the sedation given during the procedure, you are considered legally impaired. The sedation impairs your judgement and reflexes. You will not be permitted to drive until the following day after your procedure.

Q:I seem to be all cleaned out but I haven’t finished my prep. Do I have to finish?

A: Yes, you must follow the preparation instructions given to you. You must be completely emptied out to help ensure an accurate and thorough exam.

Q:Can I chew gum during the prep?

A: Yes.

Q:Can I have sugar in my coffee/tea during my clear liquid diet?

A: Yes, you may use sugar or sugar substitutes in your drinks during your clear liquid diet.

Q:When can I resume usual activities?

A: In most cases, the following day but please note that on some occasions your doctor may alter your activities/diet when a large polyp has been removed, etc.

Q:Why do I have to wear socks?

A: We want you to have something on your feet if you have to run to the bathroom (especially during summer time when sandals are popular).