Preparing for Colonoscopy

General information
Colonoscopy is a procedure in which the entire lining of the large intestine
(colon) is examined visually by means of a long flexible camera. If polyps
or other abnormalities are found in the bowel during the procedure, the
surgeon can often remove them through the instrument. Colonoscopy with
polypectomy is one of the most powerful tools we have available for cancer
prevention in modern medicine. The procedure takes from 15 to 45 minutes
depending upon degree of difficulty and what needs to be done. Intravenous
sedation is given to make the procedure better tolerated. While you will not
be put to sleep, you will be drowsy during the procedure and for a period
of time afterwards, so it is important that you arrange to be taken home by
a friend or partner and not drive for the remainder of the day. We strongly
suggest that a responsible adult be with you for the rest of the day and night.

Diet instructions

One week prior to the examination:
Avoid taking Metamucil or similar products, stop eating any foods that
contain nuts, fiber, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, kiwi, cucumber tomatoes or
any other type of small seeds.  Stop all iron supplements.

The day before your procedure:
The day prior to the procedure you should have no solid food, only clear
fluids. A clear fluid item means that you can see through it when held up to a
light, i.e. water, clear tea, clear coffee (no milk or creamer), consommé soups,
Jell-O (avoid red or purple Jell-O, no toppings), pop, Gatorade, juices without pulp,
popsicles (no sherbets and no frozen fruit bars), etc. You may drink two cans
of a liquid meal replacement such as ‘Boost’ (available at the drugstore) on this
day if you are very hungry. Drink plenty of clear fluids, not just water. Avoid
milk. You may have hard clear candies.

Do not drink or eat anything with red or purple coloring: Red/purple food
coloring can leave a residue in the bowel that resembles blood. Keep this in
mind when purchasing Jell-O, Popsicles, hard candy, drinks, etc.

Medication Instructions – should I take my usual medications?

Most medications should just be continued as per usual with the only issue being that nothing should be taken by mouth within 4 hours of a colonoscopy, even pills.   However, certain medications require a plan that should be discussed with the Pezim Clinic physician.  Aspirin should be continued if you are taking it because of a history of actual heart problems, stents, heart attacks, stroke or vascular issues.  If you are just taking aspirin because you think it is a good idea, that should be stopped ten days prior to a colonoscopy.  If you are on a true blood thinner such as Coumadin (Warfarin) or Pradax or you are on a platelet inhibitor called Plavix or a a similar medication, discuss this with the Pezim Clinic physician.  Polyps cannot be removed if a patient is taking a true blood thinner or Plavix.  If you are diabetic, you should plan to carefully follow your blood sugars during preparation and be prepared to alter the doses of your medications (usually reduce them) since you will probably be consuming less calories than you normally do.  Most patients taking Metformin, for example, would be advised not to take a dose the morning of the procedure.  They can resume it after the procedure when they begin eating again.  We would rather have the blood sugar a bit high when you are undergoing a colonoscopy than have it too low.  Iron should be stopped a week before a colonoscopy as it gums up the colonoscope. 

Preparing your colon for examination (bowel prep)  Please follow the instructions provided at the time of your consultation.

Preparation may vary from patient to patient. You will be given specific prepartaion instructions at the time of your initial consultation. If you have lost or misplaced your instructions please contact the office and we will be happy to email you another copy.

Arriving at the Clinic
The Clinic is an allergy-free zone. DO NOT WEAR ANY PERFUME OR SCENTED
HAIR SPRAY OR LOTION/CREAM TO YOUR PROCEDURE. Do not apply body
cream on the day of your procedure. Body creams and lotions prevent medical tape from properly adhering to your skin.

You should arrive at the Clinic at 20- 30 minutes before your scheduled
appointment. The Clinic is located in the Hycroft Building at the northwest
corner of Granville Street and 16th Avenue. There is pay parking below
the building (enter from alley off 16th Avenue). Do not wear jewelry (no
earrings, rings or bracelets), or contact lenses. Do not bring any valuables
with you to the Clinic. Please wear a tampon if you are menstruating.

Confirming or canceling your appointment
You must confirm your appointment 7 business days prior to your
appointment or your appointment will be given to another patient. You will receive an email or text confirmation prompt to confirm your appointment. 

If you are unable to reach the Clinic by phone, please leave a message or contact us via email. In case of sudden onset of illness, please call us to cancel as soon as you feel you are not well enough to attend. If there is a reimbursement fee for your procedure, it will have been discussed with you ahead of time. We accept debit cards, cash, Visa, MasterCard.

© Pezim Clinic, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada