What Can I Expect from Colonoscopy Preparation?

Colonoscopy preparation explained.

colonoscopy preparationColonoscopy is generally a painless and extremely safe procedure. Preparation for these procedures can vary greatly in both cost and composition. Dr. Jeffrey Weber talks about the colonscopy preparation and what patients can expect from the treatment.

The colonoscopy is a very important screening tool for colon cancer. Doctors must be able to see in order to successfully complete the procedure. That is why preparation is needed. This generally involves a low-residue diet the day before the exam and drinking lots of fluids during the examination. Patients will also have to take one of the many available preparations either the evening before, or half that evening and half the following morning.

Video Transcripts

Jeffrey Weber, MD: Colonoscopy is not something to be feared. The examination itself is generally painless and extremely safe, the preparation can be done in a way that it is not uncomfortable.

Colonoscopy is an examination that often times is misunderstood. Generally, people are more fearful and more apprehensive about the preparation than for the examination itself. We have to clean the colon in order to be able to see the lining of the colon adequately to detect small polyps. Small polyps are what we are looking for. If we remove a polyp when it is small and benign, there is no chance that it is going to come back and there is no chance that you will develop cancer in that area. The preparation therefore needs to be adequate and thorough.

Preparation generally involves a cathartic of one type or another, we are going to make you go to the bathroom, you have got to get cleaned out before the procedure. This generally involves reducing your diet to a low-residue diet the day before the examination, drinking lots of fluids during the examination and then taking one of the many available preparations, either the evening before or as a split prep, half in the evening and half in the morning, three hours before the examination. These preparations vary greatly both in their composition and in their cost. Newer preparations are very simple and have had 80 to 90% patient satisfaction. The old standard preparations were more tedious, more difficult and less palatable and difficult to do.

You have to talk to your gastroenterologist before the procedure, find out what is available for you in way of preparation to make this the easiest and smoothest operation possible. The examination itself is very simple and in the right hands extremely safe. Complication rates are generally less than 1 in 10,000 and when done by an extremely well-trained physician, such as a general surgeon or a gastroenterologist, are completely safe.

Dr. Jeffrey Weber
Dr. Jeffrey Weber, Chief of Medicine at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) at Western Regional Medical Center, earned a medical degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also earned a bachelor’s degree. Following medical school, Dr. Weber completed both an internship and residency in internal medicine at the Georgetown Division of the District of Columbia General Hospital in Washington, D.C. He then moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and completed a fellowship in gastroenterology at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Dr. Jeffrey Weber

Latest posts by Dr. Jeffrey Weber (see all)


This information should not be relied upon as a substitute for personal medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Use the information provided on this site solely at your own risk. If you have any concerns about your health, please consult with a physician.

© 2020 Cancer Answers LLC