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Commonly Asked Questions About Endoscopic Procedures

Here are general answers to some of the most common questions about GI procedures.

Q: How is my diabetes affected by a clear liquid diet? Do you have any special colonoscopy preparation suggestions for a diabetic patient?
A: If you take your diabetic medications and are taking only a clear liquid diet, you must consume liquids with calories. For clear liquid prep day, please drink regular soda, not diet soda. Please use regular Jell-O, not sugar free. Use clear fruit juices (pulp free), to get more calories. Please do not drink anything red or purple in color. Test your blood glucose often during your pre-procedure preparation. On the day of your colonoscopy procedure, please notify our facility if your blood glucose is below 90 or above 200.

Q: If I start feeling ill or extremely restless during my colonoscopy prep, which symptoms require a call to my doctor’s office? Which symptoms are typical?
A: It is normal to feel very “full” or “bloated” during your colonoscopy prep. Chills are common when drinking your colon prep. Nausea and vomiting are also experienced by some people. If you experience vomiting in the early stages of your preparation, or simply cannot drink any more solution, stop drinking for 30 minutes, then resume drinking. If the vomiting resumes, call your gastroenterologist. If you have extreme restlessness, or your stool is not clear or pale yellow after drinking the entire solution, please call your gastroenterologist’s office.

Q: My instructions for colonoscopy prep say not to take any NSAIDs. What are NSAIDs and can I still take Tylenol?
NSAIDs are Nonsterioidal anti-inflammatory drugs sold over-the-counter and widely used for treating pain and conditions such as arthritis. Common NSAIDs include Ibuprofen, Aleve, Aspirin, Motrin, Naproxen, Excedrin and Celebrex. Yes, you are still able to take Tylenol.

Q: Can I eat or drink after I finish drinking my bowel cleansing prep?
A: If you prep in the morning you may have nothing by mouth after the completion of your bowel cleansing prep. However, if you prep the evening prior, you may have clear liquids the morning of your colonoscopy procedure, but nothing 6 hours before your scheduled appointment.

Q: Can I use chewing gum, hard candy or chewing tobacco on my endoscopic procedure day?
A: NO. These items are not permitted in the 6 hours prior to a procedure. They have the ability to increase saliva and gastric secretions. Serious medical complications are associated with patients who do not have an empty stomach. The use of these items will cause a delay or cancellation of your procedure.

Q: What is the best way to dress on endoscopic procedure day?
A: It is recommended that you dress in comfortable, loose fitting clothing. . You may want to bring a sweater or light jacket along with you. Wear comfortable and supportive footwear. Avoid heels or flip-flops. Wearing bulky jewelry is not suggested.

Q: After my endoscopic procedure, will I be able to return to work or school?
A: Returning to work or school on the same day of a colonoscopy or upper endoscopy is not recommended. Activities should be limited. Operating a motor vehicle or power equipment is not permitted for 12 hours following the procedure. Discharge instructions will be provided to you. Please read them carefully. Most individuals are able to resume normal activities the following day.

Q: What if I have my menstrual cycle?
A: Having your menstrual cycle will not affect your endoscopic procedure. Use your preferred feminine products as normal.

Q: What type of anesthesia do you use, and will it make me sick?
A: We use a drug called propofol, which is a short acting, IV anesthetic. There are very few side effects. It has anti-nausea properties so there is a very low incidence of nausea compared to other agents. Propofol is commonly used for short procedures because of its ability to produce loss of awareness and shorter recovery period.