HF 8118

Getting Ready for Your GI Procedure (Special Prep)

Read this entire document at least 1 week before your test.

1 Week Before Test

Arrange Transportation

Due to the sedation medicines, you must have a responsible adult drive you home. It is recommended that you are observed for at least 6 hours after discharge.

Health Changes

Please tell us about any major health changes, illnesses, or recent hospital stays you have had since you scheduled your test. If at any time you have symptoms of illness (cough, stuffy nose, sore throat, fever, body aches, chills), please call the procedure center to reschedule your test. You should not have this test while ill.

Blood Thinners and Diabetes Medicines

You must call the doctor who prescribes this medicine to see if you need to stop or adjust your medicine before your test. That doctor will tell you how to safely do this.

The UW Digestive Health Center suggests talking to your doctor using the table shown. That doctor should give you the final advice on stopping these medicines.

Ask your doctor about your bleeding risk with this test. If your doctor feels your bleeding risk is low, they will likely have you follow the schedule below to stop your blood thinning medicines. If your doctor feels your bleeding risk is high, they may have you follow a different timeline.

The list below has common blood thinning medicines. It does not include all blood thinning medicines.

DHC Med List

If your doctor tells you not to stop your medicine, please call the Digestive Health Center at 608-890-5010, as this may affect your procedure.

Iron, Multivitamins with Iron and Fish Oil

Stop taking these 5 days before your test. (You do not need to contact your doctor first).

Please Follow Prep Instructions Outlined Below:

EGD (non-colon procedure)

 Stop all food ___________ before the test.
 Begin clear liquid diet ________________ before the test. Stop all clear liquids 4 hours before arrival.
 Day of test, take daily medicines at least 1 hour before your arrival with no more than ½ cup (4 ounces) of water.
 Special instructions: __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Colonoscopy/Flex Sigmoidoscopy (colon procedure)

 Begin low fiber diet ___ days before the test.
 Stop all food _______________ before the test.
 Begin clear liquid diet _______________ before the test. Stop all clear liquids 4 hours before arrival.
 Day before test, take daily medicines, except those you were told to stop. Take your medicines at least one hour before or one hour after drinking your prep.
 Day of test, take daily medicines at least 1 hour before your arrival with no more than ½ cup (4 ounces) of water.
 Special instructions: ___________________________________________________________________________

Tips for a Successful Colon Prep

Plan on each dose taking several hours. Stay near a bathroom. Stock up on soft toilet paper and reading materials.

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

Drinking the prep through a straw may help 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).

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

Clear Liquid Diet

  • Clear liquids include:

  • Water, clear sports drinks like Gatorade®

  • Broth

  • Black coffee, tea, soda

  • Apple juice

  • Jell-O®

  • No creamers, milks or other dairy products

  • No red or purple liquids or Jell-O

  • No solid food

  • No liquids with ‘pulp’

Low Fiber Diet

Stop the following foods and medicines. These foods may slow your digestion, and your colon may not be clean enough for your test:

  • Corn, popcorn, seeds or 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).

What to Bring

  • CPAP or BiPAP and any inhalers that you use.

  • Eyeglass or contact lens case, denture cup.

  • Ostomy supplies

  • Wear comfortable clothing.

  • Phone number for your driver

Do not bring:

  • Jewelry

  • Money

  • Other valuables

Before the Test

  • When you arrive, you can choose if your driver waits in the waiting room or in your private room where they will hear private health information.

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

  • A nurse will review your health history, take your vital signs and attach a heart monitor.

  • A nurse will place an IV and give you medicines to help you relax and keep you comfortable.

  • Your visit will take about 2-3 hours.

After the Test

  • Your doctor will review the results and give you a report. We strongly suggest that you have your driver in the room with you to hear the results.

  • You may feel tired when you leave.

  • Spend the day resting at home. You cannot drive or return to work. You can return to your normal routine the next day.

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

  • If you stopped blood thinning medicine before your test, ask when it can be restarted.


If you have biopsies taken or polyps removed, you can expect to get lab results 1-2 weeks later. Your results will be sent to your MyChart account. If you don’t have a MyChart account, someone will call you with results or results will be mailed to you.

When to Call

  • If you are still passing solid stools or your bowels have not started to empty by the morning of your test.

  • You have severe cramps.

  • You feel dizzy or lightheaded.

  • You have constant pain, rectal bleeding and/or a fever.

Who to Call

Patient Resources

(If you need help finding a ride to and from your test)

Digestive Health Center

(608) 890-5010

UW Hospital GI Procedure Clinic

(608) 263-8094

Meriter/Unity Point

(608) 417-6389