Many people will tell you that the worst part of a colonoscopy is the prep. Preparation is critical, though, to help your doctor identify any polyps — it also helps the colonoscopy go faster. Some colonoscopy prep involves drinking up to four liters of a prep solution to help cleanse your colon. Even for someone who typically drinks a lot of fluids, that’s a large amount and you have to drink a few ounces every 15 minutes, which makes the prep almost a full-time job.
Your doctor may prescribe a gentler prep regimen OsmoPrep, which uses pills rather than liquid solutions. You will take about 32 pills while drinking clear liquids. Some people find the pills more palatable than the liquid solutions used in other prep procedures. OsmoPrep is not recommended for patients with renal insufficiency or congestive heart failure.
Like all colonoscopy prep procedures, the goal is to clean out your colon, so there’s no avoiding the diarrhea and stomach cramping. But at least you aren’t topping that off by trying to chug down large quantities of liquid. Colonoscopy prep is never anyone’s idea of a good time, but it is critical to finding polyps and preventing colon cancer.
Take the next steps:
- Learn how a colonoscopy is performed.
- Check out our colonoscopy FAQs.
- Find a healthcare provider.
- Learn more about Digestive and Liver Health services at the University of Michigan.
The University of Michigan Digestive and Liver Health services is one of the largest programs in the country, providing prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases involving the gastrointestinal tract and liver. Our 60-plus physicians are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of all diseases of the gastrointestinal system.
For more than 160 years, the University of Michigan Health System has been a national leader in advanced patient care, innovative research to improve human health and comprehensive education of physicians and medical scientists. The three U-M hospitals have been recognized numerous times for excellence in patient care, including a #1 ranking in Michigan and national rankings in many specialty areas by U.S. News & World Report.