Preparing for a Colonoscopy


(bouncy strumming music) – Hello, I’m Dr. Lynn
Butterly, and I’m here today to talk to you about taking
the prep for your colonoscopy. You may have heard from many
people that the preparation is the worst part
about a colonoscopy, and for the vast majority
of people, that’s true. Therefore, we’re here today
to talk about some tips and suggestions that might
make it easier for you to take the preparation
for your colonoscopy, and to do a good job, which
is extremely important. Colorectal cancer is the second
most common cause of death from cancer in
the United States. Only lung cancer is more common
in men and women combined. On top of that, colorectal
cancer is one of the few cancers that we can actually prevent. There are two major
concepts in terms of cancer prevention and early detection. One is preventing the
cancer altogether. The other is detecting it
early so that your survival is prolonged and treatment
is more effective. Colorectal cancer gives
us the opportunity not only for early detection,
because finding a cancer early definitely
prolongs your survival, but beyond that, with
colorectal cancer, we can actually often prevent
it from happening at all, and the way we do that is
by finding small growths in your colon, called
polyps, removing them, and preventing them
from having a chance to grow into cancer. So how do we do that? Well the way we do that is
that we do a colonoscopy, which is a test using
a long, thin tube, approximately the
size of your finger, with a light on the end,
bends in all directions. It looks through your
colon or large intestine to find these small
growths called polyps, and then we can
painlessly remove them in a matter of seconds. There is no feeling
for removing a polyp, and in that way, it prevents
the polyp from having the opportunity to later
grow into colorectal cancer. So that is true
prevention, and therefore, we want to make sure that our
ability to do the colonoscopy and find the polyps is
as good as it can be. So how do we do that? Well, a very
important part of that is cleaning out the
colon appropriately so that we can see clearly
and find the polyps. As you might imagine, if
you’ve ever had a sore throat, when you go to the
doctor, and they look at the back of your throat,
it would be pretty tricky for them to see what
that looked like if your mouth were full of food. So clearly we want your
mouth to be empty of any food so that we can see the
back of your throat. The same thing happens when
you have a colonoscopy. We need your colon to be
really well cleaned out so that we can find these
polyps, even the small ones, and have the best
chance at removing them, and therefore, have
the best chance at preventing you from
getting colorectal cancer. So, what we need in order to
do that is a good preparation. And that’s why we’re here today to talk to you about
some tips and suggestions about how you can
get through the prep. Remember that whatever
we say here may differ from instructions
from your own doctor, and you need to follow
the instructions from your own doctor’s office. However, this will give you
some tips and suggestions, you may discuss them
with your physician if you think they
would be helpful, and utilize whatever your doctor
feels would be appropriate for you to use in
taking the preparation. There are several different
types of preparation for colonoscopy, but the one
we’re gonna talk about today is a commonly used
one, a four liter jug of powder mixed with water. I know it sounds daunting,
but it is possible to get through this prep,
and we are gonna discuss some tips and suggestions
to try to make that a little bit easier for you. Usually your doctor will
send you a prescription and let you know where to
pick up the preparation, and you will then
receive, as we said, specific instructions
from wherever you will be having your colonoscopy done. It’s important to follow
the directions given to you by the center that is going
to be doing your colonoscopy, and remember that what
we’re discussing here today are just suggestions
to make it easier. This is one way to do the prep, and you can always discuss
them with your endoscopist if they seem to differ
from the instructions you get in the mail. So you are going to pick up
the preparation ahead of time. You’ll also wanna be prepared,
have all your supplies on hand so that you’re not
running out in the last minute trying to get the things
to make your test easier. So here are some
suggestions for getting ready ahead of time. First of all, you’re also
going to be on what we call a clear liquid diet the day
before your colonoscopy. Clear liquids are
liquids that are clear. If you hold them up to
the light in a glass, you can see through them. That’s a good way to
figure out if something is a clear liquid or not. So for example, orange
juice filled with pulp is not a clear liquid. Examples of clear liquids that
you do want to have on hand would be, for
example, apple juice, white grape juice, ginger
ale, other clear drinks, jello, broth, bouillon. Those are really good
because if you feel cold while drinking the prep,
some broth or bouillon may help you to feel warmer. Some hard candies to
suck on in between taking glasses of the liquid, and anything else that falls
into a clear liquid category. If you have questions, your
endoscopy center can tell you what constitutes a clear
liquid and what doesn’t. Other things you might
want to have on hand are plenty of toilet
paper, because this prep does involve spending
some time in the bathroom, a magazine or book
that you like, any special wipes to use
if you feel that those make you more comfortable
as you go along. And anything else that helps
you to feel comfortable. It’s only a few hours,
and you want to make them as easy as you possibly can. In general, the way
people take the prep is to drink one glass
every 15 minutes or so until they begin to feel full. Most people do
begin to feel full after a number of glasses,
and at that point, it’s sometimes
helpful to just pause. Take a break, stop
drinking for a while, you can walk around,
take your time, in order to help the
liquid to pass on through. If you continue to try
to force the liquid down when you feel really
full, it can result in nausea or vomiting,
that does happen sometimes, but this is one way in
which you might be able to minimize that from happening. As you begin to work your
way down through the jug, you will begin to notice as
you pour glass after glass, that fortunately the amount
remaining is getting less. However, as people get about
halfway through sometimes, they sometimes can
feel discouraged. It feels like a lot to do. Just remember, the end
goal is to have your colon be really clean so that
the doctor can find all the polyps there are. So don’t get discouraged. Take a little break. Walk around if you need to, and then come back to
it, and you will know that taking the prep and
having a successful colonoscopy has got to be easier than
getting colorectal cancer. So keep that in mind, try
not to get discouraged. You will make it to the
end, and when you do, your colon will be clear. Now there’s some other tips
about taking the gallon jug if that’s the prep
that you’re taking, and one of those is to
split the prep in half. So half the preparation,
the afternoon and evening before the test, and the
other half or part of it the morning of the test. Not every endoscopy center
gives these instructions this way, and it is
important to follow the instructions
that you are given, but if you are given
instructions for a split prep, that may help you, because
what you will be doing is working on cleaning out
the colon the night before, trying to get a
decent night’s sleep. There is liquid that
reaccumulates overnight, and therefore, taking a
few glasses in the morning can help to get that
last bit of liquid out. Remember to give yourself
plenty of time for this, because you’re only drinking
every 15 minutes or so until you feel full,
taking a break, and then taking the rest. And also, you want to
finish the preparation an hour and a half to two hours
before you leave the house, because you want it
to move through you while you still have
a bathroom handy, and not while you’ve
gotten in the car and are driving an hour and
a half to your colonoscopy. So keep that in mind,
that finishing the prep well before leaving the
house is another helpful tip. Now in addition to splitting
the prep into two sections, you want to keep the
end goal in mind. The end goal is that
what you are passing should look pretty much
like what you’re drinking. If you are passing
brown fluid of any kind, your colon is probably
not cleaned out enough, and it would be a good idea
to contact the endoscopy center for instructions. If you are drinking
the second half of the preparation on
the morning of the test, which you will finish well
before leaving the house, then your goal is to
have what you pass when you go to the bathroom
look like pretty much what you’re drinking,
or slightly yellow
tinged, not brown, no food particles, no other
kind of particles, but clear. One of the things that you
can do if you don’t like the taste of the
liquid is to flavor it with a flavoring such
as Crystal Light, which is available
in any grocery store, comes in different flavors. You want to avoid any red
or purple-looking liquid the day before the
colonoscopy only because we want to be sure that
nothing appears to be blood in your colon if
there’s no blood there. That’s the reason
that your instructions will probably say to avoid
red or purple liquids. So the Crystal Light
comes in flavors, and what we would recommend
is that you obtain several different flavors,
because if you only use one flavor, you will
probably never want to drink anything that flavor again
for a good, long time. So, give yourself a selection. Don’t add the flavor directly
to the entire gallon, because if you do
that, you will be stuck with one flavor for
the entire drink. What’s better or more
useful in many cases, is to add the powder,
the Crystal Light powder to your glass of the prep,
so you have the prep, pour it into your glass,
you’re going to flavor it with a little Crystal
Light, you’re gonna vary the flavors of Crystal
Light that you use so you have a little
bit of variety, and for many people, that
helps to get over the taste and get through the preparation. There are some other
things that you can do to this preparation to make
it a little easier to drink. One of the things is to
remember that if you have it in the refrigerator,
and as you drink it, you’re getting shaking chills and it just feels
too cold to you, you can take it out
of the refrigerator and let it return a little
closer to room temperature. On the other hand,
if you’re drinking it at room temperature
and it feels awful and you’d like it to be cold, you can put it in
the refrigerator. So in other words, you
can vary the temperature in order to make it a
little more palatable. Some people find that drinking
through a straw also helps, especially if they’re
starting to feel a little full and maybe a little nauseated. So you can take a break, you
can then get yourself a straw and begin drinking
through a straw. So straws would be another
thing to have on hand if you have trouble drinking
large amounts of liquid. Remember the objective
is to have what you pass when you go to the
bathroom be clear, looking a lot like what you’ve
been drinking or like water, or maybe slightly yellow tinged, but no brown, no particles. If you are passing brown liquid, call your endoscopy
center for instructions, and that will help
you to be cleaned out. The other things we
talked about are the clear liquid diet, the
broth, bouillon, all the things you want to
have on hand to help you. You can take those the
day before the test and on the morning of the test, but it will be important
to have nothing by mouth at least two hours
before the procedure, and those instructions
may vary according to your endoscopy site as well. There are also very
important instructions about what to do with
your medications, which medications to take,
which ones not to take. If you’re a diabetic, what
to do with your insulin, and it is extremely
important that you have those instructions and have
spoken with your physician and your endoscopy center
so you know just what to do. Then you just need to
go to it, stick with it, it will clean out your colon. If you do the prep correctly,
your doctor will have the best chance possible to
find any polyps that could be within your colon,
to get rid of them, and to reduce your chances
of getting colorectal cancer. So keep the goal in mind,
it is to prevent you from getting colorectal
cancer, and that’s worth it. So, here’s to your health.

100 thoughts on “Preparing for a Colonoscopy”

  1. Will say, months after colonoscopy seems as if stomach acid is not like it used to be. I seem to have acid reflux and heartburn now. I heard from others, same symtoms. Think about if you really want colonoscopy done.

  2. Thanks for the commentary it made me feel a little better. It's getting close to D day, first time and I'm a little unnerved. 😐😶😐😶

  3. Man doc im on my own but i know my body is as healthy as it was in my early teens and dont need any colonoscopy, i wont go into to detail i figure someone oughta say something to you about you playing "god" when your college classmates (scientists) say life evolved and its "not debatable" and "scientific fact" and you bring it out. Im just glad i didnt get around xrays (radiation) with that nauseating remark about doomsday machines and armageddon around and colonoscopies. 53 and would have done something that not even suggested by a Doctor to colon cleanse.

  4. Read a long long book on the pot like War and Peace ! Dont put your elbow in your ear or in your you know what. Best of health to everyone.

  5. Just watching this paint dry presentation helped clear my colon. The urge was overwhelming.
    Is it possible that too many colonoscopies will cause one to pass brain matter?
    You decide.

  6. I just had a colonoscopy and would not do it again. The insurance company called me twice to say that since I was over 60 I should have a colonoscopy and that it was a covered benefit. I had the procedure and a very small polyp was discovered and removed. Then the insurance company refused to pay for the procedure, telling me that it wasn't covered because of the polyp, leaving me with a very large bill that I wasn't prepared to pay. I would have been a long time dead before that little polyp ever caused me any problems. Nearly everyone over 60 is going to have a polyp so I tell everyone I know, don't do it, it is a trick, kind of like asking a girl out on a date, then making her pay.

  7. Do not do this unnecessary procedure. The insurance will cover it and doctors are all over it. Had one done and had 2 perforations and went septic quickly. That is the quick story. Please use other methods, they are out there. It is a scam. It will harm you more than help you. I know. By signing the forms you can wind up dead and no culpability, or have a colostomy bag and then further surgery, or like me have life saving surgery and then six months later have mesh placed in your abdomen and never feel the same. There are other tests out there, please, begging, please, do not give these MD’s and insurances money. Thank you. God Bless You.

  8. Thanks for the video. I'm dreading drinking this solution not the actual procedure. I'm headed out to buy my crystal light or the generic brand. I pray that helps.

  9. Had mine done today, a breeze. Nurse said I can mix the powder with any liquid that is clear. So next time I will use clear cranberry juice and not Gatorade.

  10. I have my test tomorrow, I have no problem with the taste. Mines taste like Orange, just waiting for nature to start move.😁

  11. The first few 8 oz. cups is a breeze. Shitting is the usual. Then the feces turns to diarrhea and it comes faster, and sometimes when i AM DRINKING THAT STUFF.

  12. It tastes like the CRUCIATIUS CURSE combined with liquified metal. Thank goodness I have not barfed! The sooner I choke it all down, the better! But meanwhile, the whole colonoscopy process is depressing. EXPECTO PATRONUM!

  13. I thank you Dr Butterly on making this video
    I’m scheduled for a colonoscopy in 2 days
    Your video made me less anxious
    I’m only sorry I can’t give you a big hug …
    Thanks again 😊

  14. Mine is tomorrow 28 , 2018 . And I messed up by eating today … day before … but I’m hoping the prep will clear me all out 😭

  15. I have an appointment on March 4-2019. I will do my best to avoid any kind of meals 3 days prior to the procedure.. don't wait for the last moment..

  16. I am in my 3rd hour into drinking this crap . I have shit about 6 times . When you hear your stomach make a noise , your ass better  DAMN BE RIGHT BACK !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Well it's me . I'm back . Pure tired as hell ! I Have the shaks , Hell I can't even spell I'm so damn tired . ASS is sore , raw , been through 3 rolls of toilet paper . Had to stop using toilet paper , it started feeling like damn 80 grit sand paper . Now using baby wipes , but the baby wipes feel like they got damn gasoline on them . Bye again !

  18. Best of luck to all of you having yours, found cancerous spot during mine, the last two years have been pretty shitty…..pun intended. Cancer, surgery, chemo, neuropathy and so on………

  19. Fab thanks, all the info helps, watching lots of videos so good cross section and the comments too! people leave fab comments…thanks people x

  20. every cancer can be prevented; it does not mean, there will be a success; but they can be prevented, in certain cases. however, that entails nutrition; and, is a self-directed process, not a mechanical medical procedure.

  21. I’m hopefully going to have one at Dartmouth in April. I’ve tried and failed the prep twice! My doctor is going to see about doing something a little different. I’ve been told there may be a pill rather than Miralax or golytely. Wish me luck!

  22. Tip: ColoGuard. I don't know why people choose to go through ALL this … um, shit, if you're just getting a colon cancer check. ColoGuard worked for me, just fine an dandy. Colonoscopy? I'll just say… NO.

  23. I love this video – did an excellent job and lessened my fears and gave me some good info – thank you and I wish you were my doctor

  24. Make sure you are well hydrated two days before. I missed one because I was dehydrated. 10-12 hours before it blew at two in the morning. Doc said stay home!!

  25. Please have one. I had one and I had a rectal polyp it was benign. My doctor wants to see me in 7 years, which is now in 5 years. I had a very good experience I won't miss going back, my health means a lot to me . This test can save your life. Don't procrastinate if you need a allie please don't ask for help. It can be scary but it's a good thing for you to do.

  26. this chemicals made me so sick i pooped at least 10 times sometimes every minute or so i can't fo to my appointment if i feel i have to poop on the street…

  27. I would like to thank you for posting this resourceful information. I have a very active imagination and can foresee gloom and doom. Your video is informative, and gives facts. I have the first half of my four litre jug done, rest this evening. Grateful…

  28. I have Lynch Syndrome. Found this out by having genetics work up on my precancerous polyps. Have mine removed every 3 yrs. And I do not use that prep. Miralx is the best way. Wont make u sick and it has no taste.

  29. most of the other products she has on counter are horrible for you, will make you feel crappy, esp while its your only intake drinks

  30. My "cheese steak" joke works every time!! It's extremely palatable for (Gastroenterologists & surgical staff) with a little sense of humor the morning of. Or not, lol

  31. I'm not a hairy person & was wondering if I should wax my butt prior to the appointment just so I'm smooth ?

  32. 5 minutes you finally start hearing why you came here 'But wait let me make sure? still ten minutes left ?

  33. My appointment is Monday morning @9 I’m up now trying to figure out how to start it’s 2:30am and I’m hungry I haven’t ate since 4 something that evening plz” what should I do for that

  34. I have my colonoscopy this Thursday. I hope good because 5 years ago my doctor found found a precancerous polyp.

  35. Update I went to bed and woke up around 1:30 it’s about two now and I haven’t left the toilet 😂 it’s liquid and it just feels wrong.
    PRO TIP: apply Vaseline every time you’re done pooping.

  36. Great tips! I just finished my first colonoscopy several hours ago.
    The straws helped, wish I had thought to vary how I flavored the laxative liquid (I’ll never look at Sprite the same way again!). Keeping the prep cold was a great idea. All went well!

  37. Best way to get cleaned out is take 2 stood softeners and stop eating 48 before you need to go on Liq diet and drink the nasty stuff. I only had to drinl half of the nasty suff because I had a big jump on cleaning my colon out. It was cleaned out before i finishe the liq diet. Drink only half to make sure I was cleaned out and I was. Alot less nasty suff I had to drink. You want to be sure your clean out.

  38. Remember if your Colonoscopy is on April fools day do no prep at all. The Dr will love your sense of humor

  39. Just like they used to demand prostate exams, this is a very primitive procedure. More people die from complications of colonoscopy than from colon cancer. The colon cancer incidence rate is HIGHER for people who have had colonoscopy than those who have not. This is in part to the introduction of cancer cells into the body from the removals. Most cancers in the colon develop from lesions not polyps. Most polyps are harmless and a natural part of your colon. Learn up on the dangers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woREV5D1DLQ

  40. My first prep was an absolute nightmare cause they made me use Go-lightly. Took me 10 hours to choke that nasty, salty crap down. I was exhausted the next day. Never again. Just had my second one July 19, 2019. They let me use 4 Dulcalax tablets and 8.3 oz. of Miralax powder. One ounce of powder in each 8oz. glass of clear Gatorade. Tasteless and odorless. Ate very light 2 days before, liqiud only the day before procedure and the whole thing was a breeze. Doctor said I did a great job cause he found a pollop he wouldn't have seen if I wasn't so clear. Get up in plenty of time before leaving for hospital and take a good hot shower. Relaxes you and lets you expell anything that is left. Good luck.

  41. I'm currently prepping. I had my second dose of Plenvu an hour ago. I'm hating this right now. I seriously can't wait to get this stupid scope over with.

  42. Confused about the split prep vs the prep I have. Supposed to have clear liquids for 24h, then the prep, two bottles of mag citrate PLUS a gallon of golytely . Love how you mention walking around. Um….how? Diapers?

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