Preparing for a Colonoscopy
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Colonscopy is a procedure that can inspect the entire large bowel with a video camera inside a long, flexible hose.  Small samples of tissue and or polyps can be removed and sent to the lab to be looked at under the microscope.

When should you have a colonoscopy?

Colonoscopies are recommended every 10 years beginning at the age of 50. For those with a family or personal history of colorectal cancer or other bowel diseases or symptoms, such as rectal bleeding or change in bowel habits, screening begins earlier. Your doctor is the best source for advice on this topic. Click here to meet our physicians who perform this procedure at our two convenient locations.

Preparing for the exam

Each doctor provides slightly different instructions for patients – your doctor will give you specific directions.  You will need to take laxatives and possibly enemas. If your bowel is not clean enough, the exam may not be completed.

Other tips:

  • You should drink lots of liquids (at least six glasses of water a day starting two days before your procedure). Note: CLEAR liquids are anything you can see through (black coffee or teas, juice, broth, Jello and water are all okay).
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • You should be on a high-fiber diet for a healthy bowel, but not for this test!  Fiber makes stool more firm and harder to clean out. A low roughage diet is recommended starting three days before the test.  Discontinue fiber supplements, as well.
  • Avoid foods with seeds and foods with red dye while preparing for a colonoscopy procedure. Your doctor will discuss your current medications with you.  
  • Aspirin, herbal products, blood thinners and iron should be stopped prior to the test as directed by your doctor. Please be sure the doctor knows if you take these medications. 
  • The procedure will be done in one of our four endoscopy rooms fully equipped with state-of-the-art equipment.  
  • You will be sedated and monitored by a nurse anesthetist throughout the procedure.  
  • You will be in a twilight sleep and should not feel anything.
  • A specialized team will care for you while you are asleep. Rest assured you will be well draped and treated with dignity.  
  • The procedure generally takes 30 to 45 minutes. 

The procedure

  • The procedure will be done in one of our four endoscopy rooms fully equipped with state-of-the-art equipment.  
  • You will be sedated and monitored by a nurse anesthetist throughout the procedure.  
  • You will be in a twilight sleep and should not feel anything.
  • A specialized team will care for you while you are asleep. Rest assured you will be well draped and treated with dignity.  
  • The procedure generally takes 30 to 45 minutes. 

After your colonoscopy

You can expect to have some wind pain and are encouraged to let it out. Don’t be embarrassed by this. You can resume a regular diet as tolerated once you go home, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.


If you have any questions about DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital endoscopy services, please call 313-966-6969. For questions about DMC Lahser Ambulatory Center endoscopy services, call 248-359-5575.