Please know your insurance guidelines and check your insurance benefits. If your insurance requires a PCP authorization (insurance referral), please be sure our office has received this prior to your procedure to prevent any unnecessary out-of-pocket expenses for you. Also, not all insurance policies cover screening colonoscopies. For instance, if you are under 50 years old and/or have PPO insurance, this procedure may not be covered. Every insurance is different; please contact customer service for your insurance plan to check your benefit coverage.
Having a colonoscopy can be daunting, but with a little preparation and some knowledge the procedure is easier to handle. That’s what this brief guide is about. It’s broken into sections so you can refer to them as you need them. The sections are:
1. General checklist of things to do in the weeks before your procedure
2. Colonoscopy bowel preparation materials
3. 7 days before the colonoscopy
4. 2 days before the colonoscopy
5. The day before your colonoscopy
6. The day of your colonoscopy
We’re also here to help, so please call Elliot Gastroenterology at (603) 314-6900 with any questions or concerns.
General checklist of things to do in the weeks before your procedure:
You will receive intravenous sedation (propofol) during your procedure. Although short acting, propofol may have subtle, prolonged effects on your reaction and judgment time, thought processes, and wakefulness. We fully expect you will be able to return to your normal activities the day after your procedure. This includes driving and going to work.
These items are available over the counter at any store that has a pharmacy section. No prescription is necessary. For your convenience, the Elliot Pharmacy at River’s Edge and the Elliot Pharmacy at Bedford offer a Colonoscopy Bowel Preparation Kit for purchase. The kit includes generic MiraLAX and generic Dulcolax tablets (clear liquids are not included in this kit).
One week before your colonoscopy:
Two days before your colonoscopy:
Foods you can eat:
Turkey or Chicken (without skin)
Pasta (no red sauce)
Potato without skin
Foods you can't eat:
Fresh or dried fruit (exception of fresh banana)
Cooked or raw vegetables
Gum, Mints or Hard Candy
Anything with red, blue, or purple dye.
The day before your colonoscopy:
Eat a light breakfast before 8:00 AM. Please choose from the following:
Sample Breakfast Option #1
2 eggs any style
2 pieces of white toast (butter is ok)
Coffee/tea with milk or cream
Sample Breakfast Option #2
1 cup of plain or vanilla yogurt (no seeds, berries, nuts or fruit).
Coffee/tea with milk or cream
DRINK CLEAR LIQUIDS ONLY after 8:00 AM
Clear liquid is any liquid that you can see through, and includes:
Water, clear broth or bouillon, black coffee, or black tea (you may use sweeteners).
DO NOT use or drink milk products.
Gatorade, PowerAde, Vitamin Water, or Pedialyte that is clear, yellow, orange, or green. Electrolyte drinks are recommended to help you stay hydrated...
Lemonade, limeade, ginger ale, and clear sodas. DO NOT drink cola or root beer.
Apple juice, white grape juice, white cranberry juice.
Jell-O and popsicles are allowed if they are yellow, green, or orange colored.
Starting at 8:00 AM, drink ONLY clear liquids throughout the entire day. Do not eat any solid food after 8:00 AM.
Drink at least 8 glasses of water or clear liquids. It is important to drink fluids the day before the procedure to keep you hydrated. The more you drink, the better you will feel.
Please note that everyone reacts to laxatives differently. You may feel bloated, nauseated, or have stomach cramping while drinking the solution. This is temporary and will improve once you start having bowel movements. If you feel ill, stop drinking for 30 minutes and then resume drinking at a slower rate. Walking around between drinking each glass can help with bloating. Bowel movements usually start within 2 hours of starting to drink the liquids but may take longer.
The day of your colonoscopy:
After taking your medications, nothing by mouth, EVEN WATER, 3 hours before your procedure time or else your procedure WILL be cancelled!
Please call us if you continue to pass thick, brown liquid or solid bowel movements after completing the preparation. The best results include passing only yellow liquid.
Please bring to your appointment:
As a reminder:
You may receive a call from a nurse a few days before your procedure to review your health history and answer any questions you may have.
Should you need to postpone your appointment, we ask for a week’s notice so that we have time to offer the appointment time to another patient.
If you develop a fever, rash, cough, flu, or Covid-19 symptoms in the days leading up to your procedure, please notify our office immediately as it may affect your scheduled appointment.
Please call Elliot Gastroenterology at (603) 314-6900 with any questions.