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Preparing for a Colonoscopy

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Prepare for your colonoscopy with these simple tips from Dr. Lynn Butterly, Director of the Colorectal Cancer Screening Program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in the United States -- yet it's one of the few we can prevent. Prevention and detection are the keys to beating colorectal cancer. The colonoscopy uses a thin, flexible tube through which your doctor can detect polyps with a tiny camera, and even remove them without discomfort in a matter of seconds. Preparing as effectively as possible for a colonoscopy gives your doctor the best chance of finding even the smallest polyps. Your doctor will prescribe you the "prep" medication that you will drink beforehand, but you will also want to have other materials on hand for the "clear liquid diet" that you'll have to be on as well. Clear liquids include apple juice, ginger ale, Jell-O, broth or bouillon. Hard candies may even be OK as well. You also may want to have extra toilet paper, special wipes, or magazines or books. Drink one glass every 15 minutes or so until you feel full, then take a break to let it work through your system. Don't get discouraged as you work your way through the jug; just remember, possibly having undiscovered colorectal cancer will be harder than this preparation! The "split prep" is another option. You would do most of your prep in the afternoon and night, then finish the prep first thing in the morning, if your endoscopy center recommends it. Remember that you have to finish the prep at least an hour and a half before your appointment. You can flavor your prep with a colorless flavor of Crystal Light (flavor each glass, not the whole jug). We encourage you to use more than one flavor for variety's sake. Again, your own endoscopist may have different recommendations than what we have suggested here. Check with your provider for specific instructions. Learn more about our colorectal screening program at http://bit.ly/dh_colo.
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Text Comments (433)
Teresa Gonzalez (12 days ago)
Ballet Babe (16 days ago)
Money making racket----No thanks!
TheAbe51 (19 days ago)
Is it normal to be so full of air after process that it hurts. (Been passing gas all morning).
laura ashley murray (24 days ago)
Mine is tomorrow 28 , 2018 . And I messed up by eating today ... day before ... but I’m hoping the prep will clear me all out 😭
Golo1949 (1 month ago)
Very clear instructions, just one thing, in the UK broth isn't clear! its a soup.
Mae Sams (1 month ago)
Very helpful info. Thank you!!!
Tsumefan2 (1 month ago)
i had several and the stuff tastes awful and it did quite the opposite with me it made me blah
Luis Villegas (1 month ago)
My procedure is Saturday, I'm nervous, I heard from other people that the solution taste nasty
C MJ (1 month ago)
My prep is easy now. After having three bad colonoscopies I will never have another.
Barry Morse (1 month ago)
I love special wipes
LukityLuke (1 month ago)
lol her last name is butterly
Paulsaulsilverman S (1 month ago)
I thank you Dr Butterly on making this video I’m scheduled for a colonoscopy in 2 days Your video made me less anxious I’m only sorry I can’t give you a big hug ... Thanks again 😊
Lisa Kay 100 (2 months ago)
Getting this tomorrow!! The drink is indescribable!! Worst taste ever. 3d time getting this. Had Ulser- colitis
It tastes like the CRUCIATIUS CURSE combined with liquified metal. *Thank goodness* I have not barfed! The sooner I choke it all down, the better! But meanwhile, the whole colonoscopy process is *depressing. EXPECTO PATRONUM!*
One more cup of CRUCIO left. I will drink it in the morning, just before the "nothing else to eat or drink" deadline, four hours before the procedure.
jim geiser (2 months ago)
jim geiser (2 months ago)
The first few 8 oz. cups is a breeze. Shitting is the usual. Then the feces turns to diarrhea and it comes faster, and sometimes when i AM DRINKING THAT STUFF.
simone francis (2 months ago)
I have my test tomorrow, I have no problem with the taste. Mines taste like Orange, just waiting for nature to start move.😁
Barry Morse (1 month ago)
simone francis how was It
Tenor Sax (2 months ago)
Had mine done today, a breeze. Nurse said I can mix the powder with any liquid that is clear. So next time I will use clear cranberry juice and not Gatorade.
Sofspoken (2 months ago)
Thanks for the video. I'm dreading drinking this solution not the actual procedure. I'm headed out to buy my crystal light or the generic brand. I pray that helps.
Linda Rella (2 months ago)
Cancel your appointment, you could die. Do research!!!
Linda Rella (2 months ago)
Do not do this unnecessary procedure. The insurance will cover it and doctors are all over it. Had one done and had 2 perforations and went septic quickly. That is the quick story. Please use other methods, they are out there. It is a scam. It will harm you more than help you. I know. By signing the forms you can wind up dead and no culpability, or have a colostomy bag and then further surgery, or like me have life saving surgery and then six months later have mesh placed in your abdomen and never feel the same. There are other tests out there, please, begging, please, do not give these MD’s and insurances money. Thank you. God Bless You.
Ed Word (2 months ago)
I just had a colonoscopy and would not do it again. The insurance company called me twice to say that since I was over 60 I should have a colonoscopy and that it was a covered benefit. I had the procedure and a very small polyp was discovered and removed. Then the insurance company refused to pay for the procedure, telling me that it wasn't covered because of the polyp, leaving me with a very large bill that I wasn't prepared to pay. I would have been a long time dead before that little polyp ever caused me any problems. Nearly everyone over 60 is going to have a polyp so I tell everyone I know, don't do it, it is a trick, kind of like asking a girl out on a date, then making her pay.
cxonchord (2 months ago)
Just watching this paint dry presentation helped clear my colon. The urge was overwhelming. Is it possible that too many colonoscopies will cause one to pass brain matter? You decide.
Jimmy Gentile (2 months ago)
Read a long long book on the pot like War and Peace ! Dont put your elbow in your ear or in your you know what. Best of health to everyone.
San Fran (3 months ago)
Man doc im on my own but i know my body is as healthy as it was in my early teens and dont need any colonoscopy, i wont go into to detail i figure someone oughta say something to you about you playing "god" when your college classmates (scientists) say life evolved and its "not debatable" and "scientific fact" and you bring it out. Im just glad i didnt get around xrays (radiation) with that nauseating remark about doomsday machines and armageddon around and colonoscopies. 53 and would have done something that not even suggested by a Doctor to colon cleanse.
Jason Williams (3 months ago)
Thanks for the commentary it made me feel a little better. It's getting close to D day, first time and I'm a little unnerved. 😐😶😐😶
Jason Williams (1 month ago)
I made it through the colonoscopy with zero polyps and they don't want to see me for 10 years thank you.
Stephanie LACROIX (3 months ago)
Im not doing this shit
Christian Johann (3 months ago)
thank you so much! this was so helpful. I have the preparation tomorro.
woss2010 (3 months ago)
Jerry Cruz (4 months ago)
Will say, months after colonoscopy seems as if stomach acid is not like it used to be. I seem to have acid reflux and heartburn now. I heard from others, same symtoms. Think about if you really want colonoscopy done.
Christopher Tambwe (5 months ago)
I just finished my first half am like two inches to the bathroom 🚽 but nothing so far 😬😬😬
Christopher Bledsoe (5 months ago)
Here's a tip and trick...Never, EVER trust the first fart.
Sherline Soto (5 months ago)
Don’t wish your enemies bad wish them a colonoscopy prep 💪🏼🙌🏻😂
conceptcs (5 months ago)
watching this because I threw up already on my 3rd glass. this thing is horrible...
Marcella Glass (5 months ago)
Im havin g my first one tomorrow i was kind of nervous but after watching t v oh deo. Im not so thank u
Rex II ForSure (5 months ago)
I had noticed change my bowel movements like shape, color, nasty smell, and blood which is never good. I didn’t want to have to go to the provider where they put a scope up my ass, but...Because of these fecal changes I got a colonoscopy. I had polyps and alarming number! The doc cut them out, he says I should be ok because of the procedure. I Got ready for the colonoscopy using standard prep! Afterwards my feces got back to normal. When on doubt the its good to go to a doc and get checked output
Lovely P.Flower (5 months ago)
My second one is tommorw after 5 years I HATE IT SO MUCH on Thursday at 6a they putting a camera down my throat ass well another I will hate...I hope I get put too sleep?
Emmy P (5 months ago)
I will be having mine in 3 days oh boy I am so worried to drink that jug of liquid lol
Renita Braboy (5 months ago)
I'm due at the hospital at 6:30 am and so I have drink about 3 cups and I can't kill the taste to drink a cup at once. I added lemonade and clear liquid Popsicle to kill the taste but did not help. I pour some in my chicken broth. Now I'm on the toilet. How long will I have to continue to use the bathroom. I haven't took the pills yet either. I can't seem to finish this whole container.
Naturally Dope (6 months ago)
This is a great video because not only did I turn 39 last Friday I'm having my first colonoscopy done in the morning and that drink is Dreadful I am barely on the middle part of that bottle and I am depressed because I'm so hungry and my best friend is coming over to take me to the hospital in the morning and she's bringing me broth because I'm starting to be really mean and Moody and my daughters like Mom go away LOL
I lost my appetite because I am as nervous as tarnation! *I ate Jell-O and broth until five hours ago, then lost my appetite* I have been drinking ginger ale for the past five hours, but I am losing my appetite.
James Hobson (6 months ago)
Excellent Presentation! Thank You for outlining the instructions for me. 🙂
Edward Long (6 months ago)
Can the prep be put into a pill?
Alex Lowe (6 months ago)
I am sorry. You are missing the point. Pill is designed to get into your bloodstream, and then the desired destination. You may argue that there are pills to make one go to the toilet. But for the purpose of colonoscopy, you whole guts needed to be "clear" for the camera. Your body will not be able to produce such a large amount of liquid. Your body will be so dehydrated, you will go sick.
hanan zirli (6 months ago)
My app. In few days Thank for the wonderful advice dr.
LOUP GAROU (6 months ago)
can you mix apple juice with the gavilye, instead of water
kalamazoo tx (6 months ago)
the newest way that isnt as unpleasant is to take mirilax which is unflavored powder mixed in 64 oz clear gatorade and 4 dulcolax tablets ; ask your dr for this "recipe"
Kelly Ruddy (6 months ago)
Is it messy?
Tineke Williams (6 months ago)
Had me first one last week. Two days of white food, next day drinking all that bottled rubbish. Next day off to the hospital. Got unto the bed, got whizzed into the machine. NO putting me out, tube thing put In my bottom, gas blown through and OMG, the cramps. Wanted to curl up but couldn't. But few minutes which felt like hours cramps started to go! Then nurse told me it was a whole body one. Shot more stuff up my injection and no bother. Got up, got offered a cup of tea and a God awful cheap and nasty biscuit and went off to the cafe for a poached egg breakfast. P. S. No more wires, all done with the latest CT scanner. Thank god the new Zealand government on to it!
Tesla (7 months ago)
Minute 4:45
Kalpanarao Rayadurg (7 months ago)
Awesome video, It helped a lot.Thank you Dr. Butterfly
Obeijin (7 months ago)
Do NOT drink that stuff the day of...this stuff makes you poo your brains out .
Obeijin (7 months ago)
What kind of dillweed would give this a thumbs down ?
Zion Yahsharahla (7 months ago)
Very helpful! Thank you Doc!
JM 2940 (8 months ago)
Thank you
Danny Snelling (8 months ago)
Last time I had it done was about 5 years ago and don't remember anything during the procedure. Did has lots of gas afterwards but was gone by the time I went home. Got it scheduled again in a couple of weeks and dread drinking that crap the night before. This time I a planning to drink only half the night before and get up a couple of hours early to down the other half. I wish you could flavor it with some Crown Royal Apple or just some plain old homemade corn moonshine.
Terry Shilo (8 months ago)
I usually eat a meal once a day, I snack here and there. Some days I actually don't realize until I get a pang and realize, hey... eat something. HOWEVER, it's been some years since I last had this done but I do remember that.. once you start, (I have a two day cleanse and liquid diet.. more like 1 1/2 days) AND I'm fricking starving! It has to be all in my mind, this happened last time. While I wait for bathroom trips from the first prep I'm enjoying reading some of the funny comments. Thanks for them. I've been through many illnesses and I have stage 4 cancer.. I used to be so embarrassed.. don't be embarrassed these people see this all day on each work day. So do your best prep and I hope you all receive good results.
Its Aruckus68 (3 months ago)
I hope all is well with you now.
Tanya Hendler (8 months ago)
Did the prep for my scheduled colonoscopy. Followed the directions completely but nothing came out so i had to reschedule and will take the prep again in about 2 weeks. 2 hours after my original appointment to have the procedure i dropped the mother load but i never passed anything clear only brown.
MJ (9 months ago)
While the concept maybe a good idea to mix your moviprep , with another drink. From personal experience, can tell you...moviprep is too strong, no drink will help mask the flavor 🤢
pat scanlan (9 months ago)
Very apt name doc!
Banglaroad (9 months ago)
I at minute 12 she still didn't get to the point .......run for president
Wayne Mathews (9 months ago)
I was in yesterday to do my colonoscopy but because i had coughing flem they wouldn't do it suks!!! Come back in 2 weeks prep again
zinat afrin (10 months ago)
tomorow is my one
joyce hewitt (10 months ago)
I watch last month's 1 prep was not good 2nd one ok prep 5 years ago
Morgan T (10 months ago)
Tuesday is my prep day :/ not looking forward to it, but I know it’s something I need to do to figure out what’s wrong.
Mike Colburn (11 months ago)
Maybe start over and get to the tips quicker..We get it! I stopped watching because you kept saying the same thing over and over..Sorry I just don't have the patience
Stephanie LACROIX (11 months ago)
I aint cleaning my colon out
Larrietta USA (1 year ago)
Can you mix prep with apple juice?
The Limb Reaper (1 year ago)
Had my first colonoscopy this morning. Prep is no fun - unless you enjoy doing a garden hose out the butt impression for 12 hours. The actual procedure was a cake walk. Was under in a flash and had the best restful nap ever. Bottom line. This is nothing to be afraid of. The Dr. told me he removed 5 polyps. Hopefully they biopsy benign and all will be well. To me, those are now 5 less chances for a cancer.
Heidi Jacobs (9 months ago)
The Limb Reaper .May i ask your age?
Lolita De Guzman (1 year ago)
Very thorough and helpful...thank you very much ...
Fred Farmer (1 year ago)
Dr..... You talk A LOT. You talk a whole LOT ... and it takes a long time to actually get the instructions. How about another video where it's.... "Just the facts Ma'am"?
Michael Williams (3 months ago)
Fred Farmer -YOU don’t listen enough!
Annabell A (1 year ago)
I’m so scared I’m getting it done tomorrow
Neon Ducky (1 year ago)
I keep throwing up the prep stuff. What should I do?
Barry Morse (1 month ago)
Neon Ducky call your dr.
Anne Evans (1 year ago)
Go Lightly. ...Right! !! Not! !!!
NOLOVE NOLOVE (1 year ago)
i believe i have pooped out all my polyps
Betsy C. (1 year ago)
GREAT video! Thank you!
Stephanie LACROIX (1 year ago)
Im never having it done screw them
Michael Williams (3 months ago)
Stephanie LACROIX -prepare for early demise!
Jeff david (1 year ago)
I drink easy a gallon of water every day
Nick Doe (1 year ago)
Great job and service of preparing people
Gina Welds Hulse (1 year ago)
I'm having mine in 3 days.
Buzz Moor (1 year ago)
I live in china and I am having this test tomorrow, it's slightly different,they told me make the mixture two liters ,hopefully the end will be good
anjinsan (1 year ago)
cant you just douch with alot off water and fast 24 hours seems easier? and douch not enema=i put hose in my butt and flush with warm water to empty untill water is clean coming out as going in
Joanne Cohen (1 year ago)
I am not taking any chances. I will take your advice. Thank you Doctor.
Suziebeee (1 year ago)
Forget the toilet paper and stick to the baby wipes!
MrReallionaire100 (1 year ago)
I'm a Digestive Doctor, if you need this done my office number is 1 800 bust ass that's 1800 bust ass....thank you
A Peabody (1 year ago)
Great video! Thank you.
cemd105 (1 year ago)
Had my first one done 2 days ago. The prep DOES SUCK. It was horrible. The few hours after the procedure are no picnic either. The GI doc blows tons of gas up your colon... LOL
tommy pollock (1 year ago)
the tast is afull called klean liquid  is like shit taste
Bri The Dino (1 year ago)
I'm 14 and bad digestive crap runs in the family. This is the second time I've had really bad stomach pains, and my younger brother had it too! I'm okay with the fasting shit because I haven't ate all week. I just throw up everything, so I can't really eat. And in like 2012 I had really bad problems and lost like 50 pounds from not eating. And in august I had this, and was in the ER and doctors a couple times. This time is worse though. I've been to the ER two times and they did nothing about it telling me it's heartburn even though I know it's not. I'm a baby and I can't take pills, and they put me on like 8 medications after the second time in the hospital. I went to my normal doctor Monday, and today I went to a GI, and they did another blood test, my third one in 5 days. They said I shouldn't be taking any of the medications I was given, and wants me to stop my pain medicine. Which I can not do because when I'm in the worst pain I've ever been in on the floor pale crying my eyes out not eating or drinking. I threw up 8 times 2 days ago and all I had was a donut. I missed a whole week of school so far.. anyways.. in the GI today they did the tests and shit, and said in like 3 weeks to come back and do a colonoscopy most likely depending on the results. And one of the nurses there said "oh my I'm so mad the hospital bruised up your arms like that!!" Because both of my arms had blood drawn and IVs and they messed up a lot and it's all bruised... but yeah... and I haven't slept all week and I'm so tired... I feel like I'm young to be having all these problems....
I am so sorry you are having so many digestive problems at a young age.😦 Sorry about your brother too.
OblivionMike (4 months ago)
How are you feeling now little buddy?
Lavonda Overton (1 year ago)
how to cut your bangs in a feature on a wig
Barry Morse (1 month ago)
Lavonda Overton I was thinking “bang trim and some soft highlights”
S. Thomas (1 year ago)
Thank you ! lots of great info .
Becky Bell (1 year ago)
I have had this done 4 times. My doctor allowed banana pop-cycles before the prep and that really helped. I found that if the prep is cold and drinking it with a straw made it much easier. Once you pass clear fluid you are done. I used to drink the whole thing and it was awful. Now, I drink until I only pass clear fluid and I'm done. This probably saved my life because a huge pre-cancerous polyp was found and removed.
+tvdavis thank you! I'm in Ravenclaw by the way. I am going to try to Apparate in North Carolina, because I would love to visit Asheville. One of my BFF's was born and raised there. He's a wizard too. He plays the organ. (ANYONE who plays the organ is a wizard.) We're both in Ravenclaw.
+Tommy Silva Bleh, indeed! I hate drinking liquified metal! 😖 CRINGE But I am glad you are okay.
tvdavis (2 months ago)
Get ORGANized not pianoized : “EXPECTO PATRONUM”! 🤣👍🏽 You’re a wizard! 🧙‍♂️
tvdavis (2 months ago)
Mine went ok today too! I took only 1.5 doses instead of the full two doses. Using a straw didn’t work for me, but putting the second bottle in the refrigerator overnight so it was cold did, and I chased each chug with ginger beer (clear, and like root beer - not alcoholic). Ginger is great for settling your stomach, and I needed something stronger than ginger ale.
Tommy Silva (2 months ago)
yes...thanks...it went well. just a mild case of diverticulitis . but since im 60 i have to do it again next year.....bleh !
Sheree Hardin (1 year ago)
I wanna have this lol. Got constipation/diarrhea problems. I wanna do this asap lmao. Already on Miralax lmao wonder if my doc will approve of me doin this:D:D:D
Lisa W (1 year ago)
Don't drink a gallon of that crap! I always tell people to use Suprep bowel prep (split prep) instead. Get a doctor's prescription for it. You have less solution to drink and it's split into 2 doses. First taken at night, second in the morning before procedure. Also make sure you schedule the colonoscopy late in the afternoon the next day (2pm or 3pm), so you don't have to wake up at 6am to drink the second dose. The second dose must be drank 5 hours before procedure. Also, it really helps to mix solution with gingerale or sprite and suck through a straw, so your gag reflex won't go haywire. Suck on lemons between gulps if necessary, to temporarily kill the taste. Hope this helps someone! REPLY
Golo1949 (1 month ago)
Just one thing, the clinic schedules the time, you don't get a choice.
Kathleen Albright (1 month ago)
Only get Suprep if you have really great Prescription Insurance Coverage. CVS said my co-pay for Suprep would be $106. Asked my dr. to call in the generic, Gavalyte, instead. My co-pay for Gavalyte was only $6.00
Its Aruckus68 (3 months ago)
I'm having one on the 30th of this month. The doctor is prescribing me the suprep as well. Pray for me and with me.
bigmoethedon (11 months ago)
Well shit I wish I would have seen this comment I have mine literally in a glass now
Tommy Silva (1 year ago)
now you tell me......im almost done with the whole gallon....i got the shakes something fierce.....
Moses Golekwang (1 year ago)
hahah yeah i did vomit, it was horrible
Steve Blaugh (1 year ago)
I'm age 55 and had my first colonoscopy today. The prep, procedure and afterwards the "recovery" was astonishingly easy and since they found three polyps it was well worth it! The anesthesia was very mild and was like a light drowsiness-no fainting or dizziness and I was able to walk quite effortlessly afterward. I feel like they over-prepare but it is in your best interest to be on the safe side than risk a severe injury due to a slip-trip-fall accident. They knocked me out so I never saw or felt anything and the prep was "Sup-prep" (sp). It's NOT two days; it's about a 24-hour period. You start with 16oz of water and a 6oz bottle of the solution and then you drink two more 16-oz cups of water over the next one hour so I simply drank a third of a cup every ten minutes for that full hour after I drank the solution. You do the same the next morning, about three hours before your appointment and yes it's wise to stay near your restroom, it will give you major trots that you will feel coming on and in between you will be able to push a lot out that you will not even feel. The solution tastes like prune juice and Alka Seltzer. The entire process was painless, easy and well worth the "preventive medicine." A few farts, a day of drinking solution and water and a cab ride and one doctor appointment is well worth preventing cancer. Get it done and feel proud and relieved you either had a clean test or had early prevention and your polyps removed-they take them out as they go. Good luck!
factNo fiction (1 year ago)
Am I the only one didn't mind the taste of the solution, it wasn't bad at all.
TheAbe51 (19 days ago)
There are several different types of solutions. I didn't taste anything but the Gatorade.(ez2go Lax) is what I drank.
Drew Franklin (1 year ago)
Chase each Dose down with wonton soup broth. You're welcome in advance
Chris Mortenson (1 year ago)
Thank you so much...very helpful!
t moore (1 year ago)
My aunt has been fighting colon cancer for 4 yrs now. She never knew to have a colonoscopy as a screening. I get my first one tomorrow. The Prep sucks.
Terry Barnes (2 years ago)
i Refuse to have a colonoscopy its just a money racket
dave4248 (1 year ago)
I don't know that they're entirely a money racket but doctors DO lie to us about colon cancer and diets. I've been choking down LOTS OF green veggies for the better part of my 52 year old life. I just got back from my colonoscopy and had to have two large polyps removed. Fiber doesn't prevent SHIT. You're either going to get this disease......or not. Eat what you want and enjoy life.
david maclean (2 years ago)
Thank you, going for my first net week. very informative. Dave UK.

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