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The colonoscope is a long narrow flexible tube containing a tiny light and camera at the end. When you are comfortable under sedation, the doctor passes the colonoscope through the anus to look inside your colon of problems such as swellings, tumors or growths (polyps). The doctor can remove samples (biopsies) for laboratory analysis and can treat some lesions (such as Polyps) at the same time.

Possible treatments include:

  • Cauterization: Areas of blending can be controlled by applying medicines or cautery through the endoscope directly onto any area of bleeding.
  • Polyp Removal: Polyps are small growths on the colon lining which can vary in size from a small dot to several inches. Most are non-cancerous, but are best removed during a Colonoscopy to reduce the risk of cancer development.

Limitations & Risks:

  • The test is not perfect, occasionally, important lesions may not be seen, and treatment attempts may be unsuccessful.
  • The medicines may make you sick. You may have nausea, vomiting, hives, dry mouth or a reddened face and neck. A tender lump may from where the IV was placed. Call your doctor if the redness, pain or swelling appears to be spreading.

Severe complications of Colonoscopy and treatments are rare. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Bleeding may occur after treatments like removal of polyps. It is usually minor and self-limiting. In rare cases, blood transfusions or even surgery may be required. Rarely, bleeding may occur up to a week or two after colonoscopy.
  • Perforation (a tear in the lining) of the colon is a rare complication, which usually requires surgical treatment possibly including a temporary colostomy.
  • Heart and lung problems.
  • Fatal complications are extremely rare.


  • Alternative diagnosis tests include the barium enema, x-ray and CT scanning ("virtual colonoscopy"). These are currently less accurate than expert colonoscopy.
  • The only treatment alternative is surgical.

Golytely Prep for Colonoscopy

Procedure Preparation (Day Before the Exam)

On the day before the examination, the diet should consist of only the following:

  • Jello* any color except red
  • Clear broth only
  • Clear juices such as apple, grape, pineapple, lemonade, cranberry, popsicles, Gatorade* and hard candy
  • Water, ice, tea, coffee or decaffeinated coffee (no milk/cream), carbonated beverages

Aspirin, ibuprofen, non steroidal medications are usually held for 5 days prior to your examination. You may discuss this further with our nurse when you call 2 weeks prior to you procedure.
Preparation (LAXATIVE)
In addition to the above diet, the following preparation should be completed:

  • Read the instructions on the GOLYTELY bottle as to mixing the water with the powder.
  • Begin to drink the GOLYTELY at 12 noon. Drink a glass every 30 minutes. You have up to 6 hours to consume.

Date of Examination:

Use one Fleet enema 11/2 hours before leaving home. Use second fleet enema one hour before leaving home. Do not drink any liquids after using the enemas.


Please make arrangements for someone to drive you home. You will not be able to drive after the procedure because of the sedative medications we will be giving you. If you decide to use a taxi, you will need to be accompanied to your destination with another adult.

Oral Fleet Phospho-Soda Preparation for Colonoscopy

You must obtain 3 ounces of Fleet Phospho-Soda from any pharmacy. If you have a history of heart or kidney problems you should NOT take this preparation.

Preparation ONE DAY BEFORE the procedure:

  1. You must be on a clear liquid diet for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all snacks the day before the procedure.
    Clear liquids only: water, black coffee, tea, clear juices (not orange or other pulp-containing juices), clear broth, bouillon, and carbonated beverages. You may have Clear Jello* (No red Jello* or Jello* with fruit, cream, or other additives).
  2. At approximately 4:00pm - 5:00pm you should begin taking the Fleet Phospho-Soda:
    • Mix 1/2 fluid ounce (1 tablespoon) of Fleet Phospho-Soda in 8 fluid ounces of water, ginger ale, a lemon/lime (e.g. Sprite) soft drink, or apple juice and drink.
    • Repeat the same 1 tablespoon Fleet Phospho-Soda in 8 fluid ounces liquid 10 minutes later.
    • Repeat again 1 tablespoon Fleet Phospho-Soda in 8 fluid ounces liquid 10 minutes later.
  3. At approximately 7:00 pm drink at least two glasses of water.
  4. It is important that you drink at least 2 quarts of liquid throughout the day prior to the procedure.

Preparation the DAY OF the Procedure:

  1. Immediately upon arising repeat the same Fleet Phospho-Soda instructions as above:
    Mix 1 tablespoon Fleet Phospho-Soda in S fluid ounces of water, ginger ale, lemon/lime soft drink, or apple juice and drink. Repeat 10 minutes later and then again 10 minutes after the second dose.
  2. Drink 2 more glasses of water.
  3. You may not have ANY solid food until after the procedure.

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