March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month and it’s a great time to talk about how to get ready for your first colonoscopy. Being prepared will make you more comfortable the day of your procedure.

A few days before the procedure

Though most of your bowel clearing will occur the day before your procedure, it helps to start thinking about it a few days before. Read the instructions from your doctor thoroughly so that you’re not scrambling at the last minute. You should also stock up on these foods to eat and drink a couple days before the procedure to make the night before the procedure more comfortable:

  • Low fiber snacks and meals
  • Sports drinks
  • Popsicles
  • Broths or liquid foods

Stay away from hard to digest foods, including meat, fruit and vegetables. The day before the bowel clearing procedure, have a large breakfast, but then smaller meals for lunch and dinner.

The day before the procedure

Make sure to eat easy-to-digest foods the day before and eliminate red drinks from your diet, as they can be confused with blood.

Read the instructions given by your doctor very carefully. You may also want to have a family member read them with you and help you understand when to stop eating, drinking and how frequently to drink the solution. Be sure to note the timing, as this is critical before undergoing a colonoscopy.

Following are some recommendations from Dr. Suman Kaur of Digestive Disease Associates in Hinsdale, IL, to make you more comfortable during the elimination phase:

  • Rest before and during
  • Stay home and close to the bathroom
  • Wear loose clothing
  • Use diaper rash cream before the diarrhea starts
  • Use baby wipes instead of toilet paper to prevent rashes or irritation
  • Have a good book or magazine if you feel you might be in the bathroom for a while
  • Have different types of liquids available so that you’re not tired of one

The day of the procedure
Depending on your doctor’s instructions, you may have to take one more dose of MoviPrep. You should stop eating or drinking at least two hours before the procedure. Be sure that you have someone to drive you to and from the procedure and let them know that you’ll need about 15-45 minutes of recovery time before you go home.

Most of all, relax and be sure to ask your gastroenterologist’s staff any questions to put you at ease.

Getting screened can save your life. If you’re over the age of 50, or if you are 40 with a family history of colon cancer, schedule your colonoscopy with our board certified gastroenterologist, Dr. Suman Kaur. Call Digestive Disease Associates in Hinsdale, IL at 630-325-4255.


Note: This information shouldn’t take the place of a physician’s care. Please see your physician or Dr. Suman Kaur with any questions or concerns.