UWMF Getting Ready for Your Virtual Colonoscopy (PEG Prep)
Proper bowel cleaning is needed for the best exam!
To get a clean and empty colon you will start to prepare the day before your exam. To clean out your colon you will be on a clear liquid diet and do a bowel prep. The bowel prep kit contains a laxative and contrast medicines. The laxative will help clean out your bowel for the exam. The contrast agents will help to highlight any stool left in your colon on the VC pictures.
The Day before Your Exam (Prep Day)
Starting at midnight the day of your prep, you may drink as many clear liquids as you want unless you have a fluid limit from your doctor. If you have a fluid limit, please keep this in mind as you plan for the day. The GoLYTELY® described below does not count toward this limit. Drink only clear liquids for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Do not eat any solid foods. Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. Avoid red liquids (i.e., red Jell-O®, cranberry juice). Clear liquids may include:
- Gatorade®, Powerade® (we suggest sports drinks with electrolytes to help with hydration)
- Water, tea, or coffee (no cream or milk; sugar is okay)
- Jell-O®, Popsicles® (no fruit or cream added)
- Apple, white cranberry, or white grape juice (no orange, tomato, grapefruit, or prune juice)
- Soda such as Sprite®, 7-Up®, ginger ale, or any cola
- Clear hard candy, gum
- Lemonade (with no pulp), iced tea
How to Prepare GoLYTELY® Solution
- Please read the directions on the GoLYTELY® bottle. Add water to the "fill" mark on the bottle. Shake it until all the powder is dissolved. Do not add ice. Do not add any other liquids or flavors except, if you wish, two packets of Crystal Light® Lemonade powder with Nutrasweet®. We suggest that you flavor by the glass to improve the taste.
- You may find it tastes better if it is chilled. Refrigerate, but do not add ice. Because you are drinking a large amount of liquid quickly, you may become chilled. This is normal. It can be helped by wearing warm clothing or drinking it at room temperature.
Bowel Prep Instructions: If you take other medicines, don't take them while drinking GoLYTELY®. Take them 1 hour before starting GoLYTELY® or at least 1 hour after you finish the GoLYTELY® bottle. If you are under a fluid limit from your doctor, please note that the GoLYTELY® does not count towards this limit. GoLYTELY® does not get absorbed from your colon, it just flushes through.
- (Step 1) At 12 Noon: Start to drink the bottle of GoLYTELY® you prepared. Please note that it may take some people longer to drink the whole bottle of GoLYTELY®. We suggest that you start by noon. But you may start before that if you feel more time is needed. Keep in mind that you need to be done with the bottle by about 5 pm. Try to drink at least one 8-ounce glass every 10 minutes. If you start to feel sick to your stomach, stop drinking until the feeling passes. Begin to drink again, but at a slower rate (one 8-ounce glass every 15-20 minutes). You must keep trying to drink the GoLYTELY® until it is all gone.
About one hour after you start to drink the GoLYTELY® you will likely begin to have diarrhea. You will want to stay close to a bathroom. You may have some cramping in your lower belly. This is normal. Keep drinking until the whole bottle is gone. If you start to have severe, steady stomach pain, get lightheaded or dizzy, or you don't have any bowel movements, call your primary care doctor.
If you are done drinking the GoLYTELY® by 5 pm, then
- (Step 2) At 6 PM: Drink 250 mL of Barium Sulfate. You may keep drinking clear liquids.
- (Step 3) At 9 PM: (Choose one option)
o Option A: Drink 1 bottle (60 mL) of diatrizoate undiluted. You may find it tastes better if you quickly drink it and then follow it with 1 glass (8 ounces) of clear juice, soda, or water. This will dilute the medicine in your stomach.
o Option B: Mix 1 bottle (60 mL) of diatrizoate in 1 glass (8 ounces) of clear juice, soda, or water. If you dilute it this way, you must be able to drink the whole amount.
If you are not able to complete the above time schedule
If at 5 pm you still have more GoLYTELY® to drink, keep drinking it. One hour after you're done, drink the Barium (Step 2). Two to three hours after that, drink the diatrizoate (Step 3).
If you can't finish the GoLYTELY®, but your stool is clear, drink the Barium (Step 2), and then two to three hours later drink the diatrizoate (Step 3). Call the VC nurse in the morning. We may still be able to complete your exam.
Bowel Prep Complete!!!
You may keep drinking clear liquids until midnight.
The Day of Your Exam
Do not eat or drink anything after midnight on your exam day until a member of the VC team tells you it is ok to eat after your exam. You may take your daily medicines as prescribed with small sips of water.
If you have diabetes, test your blood glucose level more often when you can't eat as well as before your exam. You should adjust your insulin or oral diabetes pills as discussed with your doctor. Resume your normal schedule after you receive the exam result phone call and are eating again. If your blood glucose level is low (less than 70 mg/dl) or you have symptoms, please drink a clear liquid that contains sugar or take glucose tablets. Always recheck your blood sugar level to make sure it stays above 70. We can still do the exam unless you need to eat solid food to maintain your blood glucose. It is better to maintain your blood glucose than to have the exam. We can always schedule your VC in the future.
After the Exam
You will be told when to start your normal diet and any medicines you may have stopped when a member of the VC team calls you with the exam results, within about two hours. If you are taking Coumadin® (warfarin) or Plavix® (clopidogrel), you may resume your normal diet right after the exam.
UW Medical Foundation VC Coordinator: 608-287-2370.
If you need to reschedule for any reason please call: 608-287-2370.
If you have an urgent concern after normal business hours, please contact your primary care provider's office.
If you are in need of immediate medical help, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 10/28/2010
Copyright © 10/18/2010 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7101
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