how do you know when your bowel prep is complete

Cleaning out the entire colon prior to a colonoscopy is, quite honestly, what has some people running for the hills and avoiding this vital screening exam. Although it is not a pleasant olfactory experience, completing a bowel preparation is not painful. You want to be sure to stay close to home, however, as you will be using the toilet many, many times before the process is through.

Be sure to tell your doctor if you have any heart, kidney or liver problems before scheduling the colonoscopy and bowel preparation. He or she may need to alter the type of bowel prep you use.

Following your doctor’s bowel prep instructions to the letter is very important. Although it may seem like one or more steps are redundant, such as using an enema after moving your bowels numerous times, there’s a purpose for the entire process. Your doctor needs to get every bit of stool cleansed out, which will probably require more than two or three bowel movements. There is a reason why your bowels have to be squeaky clean: It makes it possible for your doctor see abnormal tissues that might be hidden by bowel contents.

Each gastroenterologist follows the current cleansing guidelines based on evidence however, each doctor may order the prep a little differently. What your friend’s doctor told her to do for a bowel prep might not be the same instructions you receive. This is okay – the doctor considers your health, what you may or may not be able to tolerate, and what has worked best in the past prior to instructing you on how to complete your prep.