Colonoscopy is a life saving procedure. It is the best test to detect and prevent colorectal cancer. Yet people dread it because of lack of accurate information. If you are scheduled for colonoscopy, these are the 3 colonoscopy videos you need to see before your test.

What to expect before, during and after colonoscopy

Colonoscopy is a test that uses a flexible tube with a camera to look inside your colon.

Before the test, your doctor will explain the benefits, risks, and alternatives of colonoscopy to you.

You have to prepare your colon for the test by using a bowel cleansing agent to clean out your colon. This is called bowel preparation.

Just before the test, you will be given medications to make you sleepy and comfortable. The test can also be done without sedation.

Your doctor will insert the lubricated tip of the flexible tube into your colon through your bottom. During the test, your doctor has the ability to take a small piece of tissue from the colon, remove a polyp, mark a specific spot, treat a blockage, or stop bleeding. Any tissue removed during colonoscopy is sent to the pathologist for analysis.

The test lasts about 30 minutes.

After your colonoscopy, you will be taken to a room for recovery. You will be monitored until you wake up. You may drink and eat after that.

Someone will need to drive you back home after the test.

Remember, colonoscopy saves life.

How to use your bowel cleansing agent for colonoscopy preparation 

How to use your bowel cleansing agent 

Bowel cleansing agents are used to clean out the colon before colonoscopy.

A clean colon allows the physician to find polyps and remove them.

GoLYTELY, MoviPrep, SUPREP, OsmoPrep, Prepopik are examples of bowel cleansing agents.

Bowel cleansing agents can be used alone or in conjunction with over the counter laxatives like bisacodyl or magnesium citrate.

There are 3 ways to take your bowel cleansing agent: the day-before regimen, the split-dose regimen, and the same-day regimen.

In the day before regimen, the entire bowel cleansing agent is used the evening before the colonoscopy.

In the split-dose regimen, half the total dose of the bowel cleansing agent is used the evening before your colonoscopy and the 2nd half is used 4 hours before your colonoscopy. Split dosing leads to better colon cleansing and improved detection of polyps.

In the same-day regimen, the bowel cleansing agent is used in the morning of the colonoscopy. This can only be used for patients scheduled for afternoon colonoscopy.

Follow the advice of your physician regarding how you should use your bowel cleansing agents.

How to make colonoscopy prep more tolerable (tips and tricks)


  1. Ice. Chill the bowel cleansing liquid.
  2. Flavor. Add flavor with lemon juice, lemon slices or flavor enhancers like Crystal Light®.  
  3. Straws. Use a straw to drink the bowel cleansing agent.
  4. Menthol. Sucking on menthol candy like Halls cough drops while you drink the bowel cleansing agent improves the taste.
  5. Sweets. For hunger pangs, you can have honey, hard candies, gelatin, popsicles, fruit ices and sorbet.
  6. Wipes and Lubes. Use soft toilet tissue or flushable baby wipes to prevent anal discomfort. Have Vaseline or hemorrhoidal cream on hand.
  7. Fluids. Keep yourself hydrated with a variety of clear liquids.
  8. Entertainment. Watch a movie or read a book.
  9. Champion. Get someone to motivate you. If available, use a patient navigator.
  10. Reward. Plan to give yourself a special treat after the colonoscopy.

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