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Preparing for an Endoscopy

Routine Medications

You should always check with your doctor about taking any medication the day of your exam.  This includes over the counter medications an herbal supplements.  You may be advised by your doctor to stop taking any blood thinners such as: aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin), naprosyn (Alleve), coumadin, plavix, or vitamin E several days before your exam.      Please bring a list of all medications that you take, the dosage, and the reason why you take them to your exam.  


Bowel Prep (for colonoscopy's)

Your physician will order a bowel prep regimen that is appropriate for your medical history.  You will usually be directed to start this the day before your procedure.  Follow your doctors instructions carefully regarding food and liquid intake the day prior to and day of your exam.   The more cleaned out that your bowels are the more accurate and complete your exam will be.  If you are passing clear or yellow green fluid prior to the exam, it is a good indication that your colon has been adequately cleaned out.  If you have any questions regarding your prep or results, please don’t hesitate to give your doctor’s office a call.


Driving Restrictions

You must be discharged with a person who will drive you home and assure your well being after arriving home.  This is especially important for elderly patients and those with significant medical histories, such as diabetes and cardiac conditions.


Before the Procedure

After registering,  you will be brought to a private admitting room where a specially trained nurse will review your medical history, have you sign any necessary paperwork, have you change into a johnny, obtain your vital signs and start your IV.  The admission process takes approximately 20-30 minutes.  Your family will be able to be with you during this part of the process.


During the Procedure

Your procedure nurse will meet you in the admitting room, where they will re identify you and briefly review your record for completion.  She will then transport you to the procedure room.  Your family will be directed to the waiting room while you are in your procedure.  The nurse and GI tech will connect you to equipment that will enable them to monitor your vital signs during your procedure.  They will help position you for your exam.  You will be able to speak to your doctor and ask any last minute questions.  Your doctor/nurse will then administer the medicines through your IV that will make you sleepy.  Most patients do sleep during their procedures but a few will remain somewhat awake.  The goal with moderate sedation is that the patient is comfortable during the procedure.  A colonoscopy takes between 15-20 minutes.


After the Procedure

Your procedure nurse will transport you to the recovery area.  Your family will be called right in to be with you while you wake up.  If you experience any “gas” discomfort after the exam, this is normal.  Air is used to dilate the bowel during the exam.  You may try a heating pad to your stomach and/or walk around.  When you are awake enough, the results of your exam and any other instructions will be given and reviewed with you and your family.  You will be given something to drink and your IV will be removed and you will be able to dress and be discharged home.  Your recovery process will take between 30-45 minutes. 


  • In most cases, patients may resume their usual diet immediately. 
  • You may resume your usual medications unless indicated on the discharge instructions.  If  a polyp was removed, your doctor may advise holding blood thinners such as: aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin), naprosyn (Alleve), coumadin, plavix, or vitamin E several days to prevent bleeding.
  • In the 24 hours following your procedure, you should not drive or drink alcohol.  You are also advised not to engage in any activities that require mental acuity or good coordination, such as: sports, legal decisions, or using power tools.


We want you to have an excellent experience, so please let us know if there anything that we can do to your stay with us as comfortable as possible.