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How to Prepare for Colonoscopy in NJ

The Day Before Your Colonoscopy in NJ

Being informed about how to prepare for your colonoscopy is extremely important because it ensures that your gastroenterologist at DHC will be able to properly visualize the colon. Be sure to talk to your doctor about any medications you should stop taking in the days leading up to your procedure. Read DHC’s complete written instructions for colonoscopy preparation and contact our office with any questions you may have. Certain patients may be asked to follow alternative bowel preparation instructions. Only use the alternative prep methods if your doctor recommends it. Please note that cancellations within 48 hours incur a $100 charge not covered by insurance. The day before your colonoscopy, you should begin and remain on a strict clear liquid diet. You cannot have any food until after your colonoscopy the following day. You cannot have any red liquids during this time because they can interfere with the accuracy of the exam. Clear liquids include sports drinks, water, coffee or tea (without cream or milk), clear broth, or apple juice. Please see the full instructions for other examples of clear liquids, or contact our office if you are unsure about what you can drink. It is important to drink as many fluids as you can throughout the day to avoid dehydration and to help flush the bowel. Follow the remaining preparation instructions for the remainder of the day:

  • 3:00 PM – Take 4 Dulcolax pills by mouth with 8 ounces of water.
  • 5:00 PM – Mix 8.3 ounces of Miralax powder with 64 oz. of Gatorade (no red).
    • You should drink one 8 oz. glass of the Miralax mixture every 30 minutes until the entire mixture is finished. A straw may make this easier. If you feel nauseous or vomit, take a 30-minute break before continuing.
  • You will finish your colonoscopy preparation the next morning.

Alternative Preparation Instructions and Resources

Your doctor may suggest a different preparation process than the one detailed above. See our alternative colonoscopy preparation instructions below:

Special Colonoscopy Instructions for Diabetic Patients

Hold (do not take) your oral diabetic medication the morning of the colonoscopy. Take 1/2 of the insulin dose prior to the procedure. Use sugar free drinks for liquids during the prep to avoid increase in blood sugar. Monitor and control your blood sugar closely during your prep to prevent low and high blood sugar. Please note that your procedure may need to be cancelled if your blood sugar is over 300mg/dl on arrival.

Special Colonoscopy Instructions for Breast Feeding Mothers or Patients of Child-Bearing Age

Prior to the procedure, breast feeding mothers must pump enough milk for 24 hours worth of feedings to have for after the procedure. They must also pump and dump for 24 hours after the procedure. Patients of child-bearing age should not empty their bladder until they have given a urine sample upon arrival. Surgical Center Packet

The Day of Your Scheduled Colonoscopy at Digestive Healthcare Center

On the day of your colonoscopy in NJ, you should continue drinking clear liquids. You must remain hydrated during your preparation. 5½ hours before your colonoscopy start time, mix 4.1 ounce bottle of Miralax powder with 32 ounces of Gatorade (not red). You should finish the mixture 4 hours prior to your start time. Your doctor will provide exact times based on when your appointment is scheduled. Within 4 hours of your appointment start time, take nothing by mouth, including water. Do not take any vitamins/supplements the morning of your procedure. Critical medications can be taken up until 4 hours before your start time.

  • Note: Even if your bowel movements are clear, it is important to finish the entire prep as directed. If 2 hours prior to your start time, your bowel movements are not clear/yellow, please call 908-895-0001 for instructions.
  • You will need to take a picture of your last bowel movement at home and email the picture to so we can make sure that your prep has been successful. If we do not receive a picture, your procedure may be delayed and you’re more likely to have an incomplete procedure. This may lead to needing another procedure. Please include your name and telephone number in the email as well.

You must arrange for someone to drive you home after your procedure. Please bring your insurance card, photo ID, and current medication list to your appointment. You should wear loose, comfortable clothing and leave all jewelry and valuables at home. Contact lenses should not be worn, and you should not wear any clothing with metal, including zippers and underwire bras. 

After Your Colonoscopy Procedure in NJ

After your colonoscopy, your doctor will discuss the results with you. You will be observed in our office until the effects of the sedation have worn off, which could take 30 minutes to two hours. You should take it easy for a day or so after your procedure since the effects of the sedation can last until the following day. It is not uncommon to experience cramping or bloating after the procedure since air was introduced into the colon during the exam. If you had a biopsy or if polyps were removed, your doctor may recommend a special diet for a day or two – we will let you know after the exam if this is necessary. You may experience slight rectal bleeding if polyps were removed. If you have any questions or concerns after returning home, please do not hesitate to reach out to our office. 

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Colonoscopy at Digestive Healthcare Center in Somerset County

Proper preparation is crucial for the completion of a successful colonoscopy. Please follow all instructions given to you by your physician, and contact us with any questions you have. We are proud to provide comprehensive digestive health care and services to patients at our three gastroenterology centers in NJ, with colonoscopies performed at our Hillsborough office and surgical center. To learn more or schedule your appointment, please contact us today.