Skip to page contentSkip to footer
Important: Please read at least 1 week before your procedure.
1 Week Before
  • Arrange for an adult to drive you home. You will not be able to drive or return to work after your procedure.

  • You may take a cab or bus only if you have an adult who can go with you.

  • If you need help finding a way to get to and from your visit, contact Patient Resources at 608-821-4144.

Health Changes
Tell us about any major health changes, illnesses, or recent hospital stays.

Blood Thinning Medicine
You may need to stop or adjust your blood thinning medicine before your procedure. You must call the doctor who prescribes the medicine to discuss this or we may have to reschedule your visit.

Diabetic Medicines
You may need to stop or adjust your diabetes medicine and/or blood sugar testing while you prep. You must call the doctor who prescribes the medicine to discuss this or we may need to reschedule your visit.

Iron and Vitamins with Iron
Stop taking 5 days before your procedure. (You do not need to contact your doctor first).

Constipation
You may need extra prep if you are often constipated or have not had a clean colon for a past procedure. Please call to discuss this in more detail.

3 Days Before Procedure

Low Fiber Diet
Stop these foods and medicines:

  • Corn, popcorn, seeds and nuts

  • Uncooked vegetables, beans and lentils, potato skins

  • Fruits with skins or seeds

  • Whole grain breads, granola or high fiber cereals

  • Fiber supplements (like Metamucil®, Citrucel®, or Benefiber®).

  • Anti-diarrhea medicines (like Kaopectate®, Lomotil®, Pepto-Bismol® and Imodium® or loperamide)

Buy supplies 3-5 days before test. You do not need a prescription.

  • 4- Bisacodyl 5 mg laxative tablets

  • MiraLAX® (238 gm or one 8.3 oz bottle)

  • Two-32 oz bottles of Gatorade® or Powerade® (no red, blue or purple)

  • Magnesium citrate 10oz / 296 ml bottle

1 Day Before Procedure

If your arrival time is before noon:

  • 10:00 am - Start clear liquids.

  • 4:00 pm – Take 4 bisacodyl tablets. Drink 1 bottle (10 oz/296 ml) of magnesium citrate,

  • 6:00 pm – Start prep. Drink 1 bottle of Miralax solution (32 oz bottle).

  • If your arrival time is after noon:

  • 3:00 pm - Start clear liquids.

  • 6:00 pm - Take 4 bisacodyl tablets.
    Drink 1 bottle (10oz/296 ml) of magnesium citrate.

  • 8:00 pm - Start prep. Drink 1 bottle of Miralax solution (32 oz bottle).

Clear Liquid Diet Rules

  • No creamers, milks, or other dairy products

  • No red or purple

  • No solid food

  • Drink at least 8 glasses of clear liquids all day to prevent dehydration

Clear liquids include these “see-through” items:

  • Water

  • Clear sports drinks like Gatorade®

  • Broth

  • Black coffee, tea, soda

  • Apple juice

  • Jell-O®

Medicines
Take your daily medicines today, except those you were told to stop. Take your medicines at least one hour before or one hour after drinking your prep.

Mix Prep

  • Mix half of MiraLAX® powder in 32 ounces of Gatorade® or Powerade®. Mix to dissolve.

  • Okay to keep it chilled.

  • Drink 1 cup every 10 – 20 minutes.

  • Expect liquid stools to begin in 1-2 hours.

  • Okay to drink clear liquids after MiraLAX prep.

You may have bloating and/or nausea. You will have loose, then liquid, stools. This is normal. If you have a great deal of nausea or vomiting, slow down or stop for 30 minutes. Then start again. If your bowels do not begin to empty after several hours, or you have severe cramping, feel dizzy, or lightheaded, call us at (608) 890-5010.

Procedure Day

Diet

  • No food

  • Stay on only clear liquids (no red or purple)

  • Nothing to drink 4 hours before your arrival time

Bowel Prep

  • Five hours before checking in: drink the remaining bottle of the Miralax solution (32 oz bottle).

As you finish the prep, your stools should be watery clear or yellow, with no solids (flecks of stool are OK). If you are still passing solid or brown stools, call us at (608) 890-5010.

What to Bring

  • CPAP or BiPAP and any inhalers that you use

  • Eyeglass or contact lens case, denture cup, ostomy supplies

  • Wear comfortable clothing

  • Do not bring valuables, money, or jewelry

What to Expect

  • Your visit will last about 2-3 hours, from the time you check in until the time you can leave.

  • It is up to you if your driver stays in our waiting room or in your room where private medical information will be discussed.

  • Before the procedure, the doctor will talk with you, answer questions, and ask you to sign a consent form.

  • A nurse will place an IV.

  • Medicines will be given to help you relax and keep you comfortable.

  • After your procedure, your doctor will talk with you about the results and give you a report. We strongly suggest that you have your driver wait in your private room to hear the results with you.

  • You will feel sleepy when you leave.

  • Plan to spend the day resting at home. You cannot drive or return to work due to the sedation medicines. Most patients can return to their normal routine the next day.

  • If you have biopsies taken or polyps removed, expect to get lab results in 1-2 weeks, either by phone or by mail.

  • It may take up to a week for your bowel habits to return to normal.

  • Tips for a Successful Colon Prep

  • Keep liquid chilled.

  • Plan on each dose taking several hours.

  • Stay near a bathroom. Stock up on soft toilet paper and things to read.

  • If you don’t like the taste of the prep, you may add yellow lemonade
    Crystal Light® to the mixture. We suggest mixing it into 1 glass at a time.

  • Drinking the prep through a straw may help improve the taste.

  • Between glasses, you can chew gum or suck on slices of lime or lemon or hard candies (avoid red or purple candy, as these can stain your colon).

  • After you mix the prep, we suggest you put it in the fridge. Take it out of the fridge at least 2 hours before you start drinking it, so you won’t feel too cold.

  • If you get chilled, try putting a blanket in the dryer to warm it up before using.

See website for more information such as a prep video, diet tips, and prep worksheet.
www.uwhealth.org/digestivehealth

Who to Call
Digestive Health Center
(608) 890-5010 or 1 (855) 342-9900
UW Hospital GI Procedure Clinic
(608) 263-8094

Meriter/Unity Point
(608) 417-6389

If you are a patient receiving care at UnityPoint – Meriter, Swedish American or a health system outside of UW Health, please use the phone numbers provided in your discharge instructions for any questions or concerns.