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Colonoscopy Preparation

If you have a colonoscopy in your future, the following is a guide to prep you for surgery. It is important that you follow the directions below exactly as they are stated.

Do not substitute any other liquid (including water or juice) for the Gatorade® or Powerade®. Not using the Gatorade® or Powerade® may cause life-threatening electrolyte imbalance. It is very important that your colon (large intestine) is completely clean and empty.

This is so your exam will be comfortable, accurate and safe. You need to start to prepare for the exam three days before the exam. Please be sure to provide us with a good phone number. If we are unable to touch base with you two days prior to your scope for a reminder call, we will need to cancel your procedure.


10 days before the exam

Warfarin, plavix or other prescribed blood thinners may need to be stopped but please check with your provider or anticoagulation clinic for specific instructions before doing so. Some medical conditions will require you to take a different form of anticoagulation rather than stop it completely.


7 days before the exam

Ask your provider about stopping aspirin and aspirin containing products as well as anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic over the counter medications such as Ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve, or Motrin.

Stop all vitamin and herbal supplements as they may also cause blood thinning.


3 days before the exam

Purchase these items 3-7 days before exam:
  • 2 tablets bisacodyl (Dulcolax). These tablets must contain 5 mg of bisacodyl each. Do not use Dulcolax stool softener.

  • 1 bottle of Miralax,® 8.3 oz

  • 64 oz Gatorade® or Powerade®. Regular Gatorade® or Gatorade G2® or Powerade® is okay but not red. If you are diabetic, buy Gatorade 2® or Powerade Zero®. Do not substitute any other product. Refrigerate it if you wish to drink it cold. NO RED or PURPLE LIQUIDS.

  • 1 bottle magnesium citrate, 10 oz.


Start a low fiber diet

  • No raw fruits or vegetables, whole wheat or high fiber foods, nuts or popcorn.

  • No Metamucil, Fibercon, bran or bulking agents.* See below for more low fiber choices.

Arrange for your ride home

If you need to cancel or reschedule your exam, please call 715-294-5668 at least 48 hours before your appointment.


2 days before the exam

  • Continue low fiber diet.

  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water during your day.

Do not eat any solid foods after midnight.


1 days before the exam

Begin clear liquid diet.

You can have: Water, clear broth or bouillon, coffee or tea (without milk or creamer), Gatorade® or Powerade®, Pedialyte, carbonated and noncarbonated soft drinks, Kool Aid or other fruit-flavored drinks, strained fruit juices (no pulp), Jell-O, popsicles and hard candy.

Do not have any red or purple liquids or any kind of alcohol.

Drink at least 8 glasses of water during the day.

  • At noon (12:00pm) take the two bisacodyl (Dulcolax) tablets by mouth. You may or may not have a bowel movement after taking these tablets.

  • Between 4pm and 6pm mix 1 bottle of Miralax® with 64 oz of Gatorade® or Powerade® in a large pitcher or bowl. Drink one 8 oz glass of the solution every 15 minutes until the mixture is gone.

  • Nothing after Midnight


Day of the exam

3 Hours before arrival time

  • Drink 10oz bottle of magnesium citrate. Follow this with an 8oz glass of water and then no more drinking until your test is complete.

  • You may take your morning medications with a tiny sip of water.

  • Your stool should be clear yellow to be ready for the exam.

  • Please don’t wear fragrant perfumes or lotions the day of your exam.

Bring these with you to the exam

  • Someone to drive you home You must have a driver. If you do not have a driver present for this procedure, your procedure will need to be rescheduled.

  • Insurance card


Low Fiber Diet Recommendations

Recommended Foods:

Bread, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta

  • White bread, rolls, biscuits, and croissants, melba toast

  • Waffles, French Toast, and pancakes

  • White rice, noodles, pasta, macaroni, and peeled cooked potatoes

  • Cooked cereals: Farina, Cream of Rice

  • Cold cereals: Puffed Rice, Rice Krispies, Corn Flakes, and Special K


Tender cooked and canned vegetables without seeds: carrots, asparagus tips, green or wax beans, pumpkin, spinach, lima beans


  • Strained fruit juice

  • Canned fruit, except pineapple

  • Ripe bananas

  • Melons

Milk / Dairy

  • Milk, plain or flavored

  • Yogurt, custard, and ice cream

  • Cheese, cottage cheese

Meats and other proteins

  • Ground, well-cooked tender beef, lamb, ham, veal, pork, fish, poultry, and organ meats

  • Eggs

  • Peanut butter without nuts

Fats, Snacks, Sweets, Condiments, and Beverages

  • Margarine, butter, oils, mayonnaise, sour cream, and salad dressing

  • Plain gravies

  • Sugar, clear jelly, honey, and syrup

  • Spices, cooked herbs, bouillon, broth, and soups made with allowed vegetables

  • Plain gravies

  • Sugar, clear jelly, honey, and syrup

  • Coffee, tea, and carbonated drinks

  • Plain cakes and cookies

  • Gelatin, plain puddings, custard, ice cream, sherbet, Popsicles

  • Hard candy or pretzels

  • Ketchup, mustard

Foods to Avoid:

Bread, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta

  • Breads or rolls with nuts, seeds, or fruit

  • Whole wheat, pumpernickel, rye breads, and cornbread

  • Potatoes with skin, brown or wild rice, and kasha (buckwheat)


  • Raw or steamed vegetables

  • Vegetables with seeds

  • Sauerkraut

  • Winter squash, peas, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, onions, cauliflower, baked beans, and corn


  • Prunes and prune juice

  • Raw or dried fruit

  • All berries, figs, dates and raisins

Milk / Dairy

  • Yogurt with nuts or seeds

Meats and other proteins

  • Tough, fibrous meats with gristle

  • Dry beans, peas, and lentils

  • Peanut butter with nuts

  • Tofu

Fats, Snacks, Sweets, Condiments, and Beverages

  • Nuts, seeds, and coconut

  • Jam, marmalade, and preserves

  • Pickles, olives, relish, and horseradish

  • All desserts containing nuts, seeds, dried fruit, coconut, or made from whole grains or bran

  • Candy made with nuts or seeds

  • Popcorn

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