Elliot Hospital | Elliot Endoscopy Center what to expect (2023)


Elliot at River's Edge
185 Queen City Avenue
Manchester, NH 03103

Phone: 603-663-5900
Fax: 603-626-4300

Hours: Monday-Friday, 6:30 am – 5 pm

Screening Saves Lives

Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in the United States. However, many colorectal cancers can be prevented through regular screening. Colonoscopies find and remove precancerous growths (polyps) in the colon or rectum before they turn into cancer and allow colorectal cancers to be found early when they are highly treatable. This is especially important because early stages of colorectal cancer are usually asymptomatic.

Who Should Be Screened?

Regular screening, from age 45 to 75, is vital to finding colorectal cancer and preventing it altogether. Adults between the ages of 76 to 85 should discuss screening with their primary care provider.

There are multiple screening options, including stool tests, colonoscopy, virtual colonoscopy, and more. The frequency of screening depends on the type of screening conducted as well as the findings of your previous screenings.

Some people may need to be screened before age 45 or more often than other people. This may be the case if you or a close relative have had colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer; if you have an inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis; or if you have a genetic syndrome like familial adenomatous polyposis or Lynch syndrome.

Speak with your primary care provider about the best screening plan for you.

What To Expect:

Colonoscopy

Elliot Hospital | Elliot Endoscopy Center what to expect (1)Overview: The Basics
A colonoscopy is a visual examination of the entire large intestine (colon) using a lighted, flexible colonoscope. To be certain you are comfortable and relaxed, you will be sedated through an I.V. Most people are asleep during the entire procedure and remember little to nothing about it. Your heart rate, breathing and blood pressure are monitored throughout the procedure.


What to Expect: During the Screening
When it's time to start the screening, you will be asked to lie on your left side. Once sedation takes effect, the colonoscope is inserted through the rectum and navigated gently around the bends of the colon. As the colonoscope makes its way through the colon, the physician evaluates the lining of the colon for any abnormalities. Typically, the physician looks all the way to the end of the large intestine, and back, for anything unusual. The entire procedure generally takes between 15 and 30 minutes. When complete, your nurse will take you into a recovery area, where the sedation quickly wears off. Before you leave you will be made aware of your exam results and any pending pathology. The findings along with written discharge instructions will be sent home with you.


What can be found?
If polyps (abnormal growths of tissue) are found, your doctor can perform a biopsy immediately. Since most colon cancer starts as a benign polyp, when a polyp is removed the possibility of it turning into cancer is removed as well. The biopsy involves passing an instrument through the scope to remove the polyp, which is then sent to a laboratory to be analyzed.

You will feel nothing when a biopsy or polyp is taken, and there will be no residual pain afterwards. While the overwhelming majority of polyps are harmless, polyps are always sent to the lab afterwards for analysis. After the procedure is complete you may experience some flatus, or gas that we will encourage you to expel. The gas or air in your intestine is air we used to gently inflate the colon to ensure thorough viewing and has no odor.


What happens afterwards?
The sedation wears off quickly, once you are awake and alert you will be offered a snack and your discharge instructions will be reviewed. Even though you will feel fine, the lingering, subtle effects of the sedation will make it dangerous for you to drive, so a responsible adult must accompany you home. You should be able to resume normal activity the next day.


How to Prepare

Thorough cleansing of the entire bowel is essential for a thorough evaluation. Instructions for doing this will be given by your physician (see Bowel Prep).

  • If you take Coumadin (Warfarin), Plavix, Aggrenox, Ticlid, Lovenox or any other prescription blood thinner you MUST contact your primary care physician or the physician that prescribed the medication to you for instructions on IF and WHEN to stop the medication.
  • If you take insulin or oral diabetes medication, you must contact your prescribing physician for advice on adjusting your medication dosing.
  • You may continue your routine medication before the procedure unless listed above.
  • You may resume your diet as usual after the procedure.

To avoid dehydration, patients should drink clear, fat-free bouillon or broth, gelatin, strained fruit juice (no grape juice or any liquid with red color), water, plain and unsweetened coffee or tea, or soda. Unless otherwise instructed, continue taking any regularly-prescribed medication. Your physician may also ask you to stop taking iron preparations a few weeks before the test if you are on them. Finally, you need to arrange for someone to drive you home afterward because lingering, subtle effects of the sedation will make it unsafe for you to drive until the next day.

Your doctor will also want to know if you have heart disease, lung disease, or any medical condition that may need special attention.


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Bowel Prep
Nulytely Colonoscopy Bowel Preparation for Constipation


Colonoscopy Information

Insurance Coverage
Please know your insurance guidelines and check your insurance benefits. If your insurance requires a PCP authorization (insurance referral), please be sure our office has received this prior to your procedure to prevent any unnecessary out-of-pocket expenses for you. Also, not all insurance policies cover screening colonoscopies. For instance, if you are under 50 years old and/or have PPO insurance, this procedure may not be covered. Every insurance is different; please contact customer service for your insurance plan to check your benefit coverage.

Nulytely Colonoscopy Bowel Preparation for Constipation
Purchasing bowel preparation:

Get your prescription for Nulytely filled at your local pharmacy. You may use the flavor packets that come with it, or you may purchase Crystal Light powder for flavoring (no red, blue or purple colors). Allowable colors include yellow, orange or green.

Purchase 6 Dulcolax tablets (NOT suppository or stool softener). You will need 6 TABLETS for the prep. These are available over the counter and do not need a prescription. Generic is OK.


7 days prior to colonoscopy:
Stop Iron supplements and/or multivitamins that contain Iron.

Stop fiber supplements such as Metamucil, Benefiber or Citrucel.

You may continue taking all of your usual laxative/bowel medications per your routine.

If you are diabetic, call your prescribing doctor to determine how your diabetes medicine (pills or insulin) should be taken the day of the procedure.

If you are on prescription blood thinning medications, you must call the prescribing doctor and have a plan for these medications (Coumadin, Warfarin, Plavix, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Effient, or equivalent).


2 days prior to colonoscopy:
Drink as much clear fluids as you can to keep yourself well hydrated.

REVIEW bowel prep instructions.

Arrange and confirm your transportation to and from your appointment. You CANNOT drive the day of your procedure because of the sedating medications.

Begin low residue/ low fiber diet

AVOID: fresh and dried fruit, all vegetables, raisins, nuts, seeds, cloves, popcorn, beans and any other meat besides what is listed below

ALLOWED: soup, fish, chicken, eggs, white rice, white bread, crackers, plain yogurt, pasta, potato with no skin, gelatin, broth, bouillon, all liquids

In addition to your own treatment for constipation…
At 5PM take 2 Dulcolax tablets with a full glass of water. This should cause you to have a bowel movement within 6 hours. Due to your chronic constipation, the additional laxatives will help you get a better result from your bowel preparation which is very important for a high quality exam.


The day before your colonoscopy:
ONLY CLEAR LIQUIDS ALL DAY – NO FOOD. Anything other than clear liquids will impair the quality of the prep and the quality and safety of the colonoscopy. You may have clear liquids up until 3 hours prior to your procedure time.

Drink at least 8 glasses of water or clear liquids. It is important to drink a lot of fluids the day before the procedure, as the preparation is very dehydrating. The more you drink, the better you will feel.

Allowed: Clear liquid is any liquid that you can see through. This includes water, clear broth or bouillon, black coffee or black tea (sugar is ok to add). Gatorade, Powerade or vitamin water that is clear, yellow, orange or green are all OK. Lemonade, carbonated soft drinks, apple juice, white grape juice, white cranberry juice are all OK. Jello, and popsicles are allowed if they are yellow, green or orange colored.

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Avoid: All solid foods, milk and milk products, any item with red dye. RED, BLUE, and PURPLE colored items are NOT allowed. Limit coffee and tea as they dehydrate you. Avoid alcohol as it dehydrates you.

In the morning, add water up to the fill line of your Nulytely bottle. Add the flavor packets or Crystal Light. Stir/shake until the entire contents are completely dissolved. Chill the mixture if desired. You will drink this later today.

At 1pm take 2 Dulcolax tablets with a large 8 oz. glass of water.

At 3pm take 2 more Dulcolax tablets with a large 8 oz. glass of water.

At 5pm Begin drinking the Nulytely solution. You should drink half of the solution tonight within a 2-3 hour time period. Drink one glass every 15 minutes. Drink each glass quickly, rather than drinking small amounts continuously. Refrigerate the remaining half of this solution. You will finish drinking this tomorrow morning.

Individual responses to laxatives vary. You may feel bloated, nauseated, or have abdominal cramping while drinking the solution; this is temporary and will improve once you start having bowel movements. If you feel ill, stop drinking for 30 minutes and then resume drinking at a slower rate. Walking around between drinking each glass can help with bloating. Bowel movements usually start within 2 hours of ingestion, but may take longer.


The day of your colonoscopy:
No Broth 8 hours prior to your arrival time or your procedure may be cancelled.

5 hours prior to your procedure time, shake up the remaining half of the Nulytely solution. Begin to drink and finish the rest of the jug within 2 hours.

3 hours prior to your procedure time, you may take only these medications with a small sip of water:

Daily narcotic

Anti-anxiety

Blood pressure/cardiac medication

Seizure medication

Asthma inhalers

After taking your medications, nothing by mouth, EVEN WATER, 3 hours before your procedure time or else your procedure WILL be cancelled!!

If you continue to pass thick, brown liquid or solid bowel movements, please call our office early in the day to discuss if you are adequately prepared. The best results should include passing only clear yellow liquid.


Important Information
You will receive intravenous sedation during this procedure. You will be monitored throughout the entire case. The medications used during the procedure although relatively short acting, have subtle, prolonged effects on your reaction/judgment time, thought processes, and wakefulness. You must, therefore, adhere to the following guidelines:

You must not drive at all the entire day of your procedure. It is required that a responsible adult must be present at the time of discharge to drive you home.

Please wear glasses; do not wear contacts.

Leave all jewelry at home, including body piercings.

It is okay to brush your teeth and wear dentures.

Please bring a complete list of medications you are currently taking to the facility with you.

Please allow for 2 hours at the facility.

No taxi’s or public transportation unless accompanied by a responsible adult.

You may NOT walk home.

If you have small children, arrangements should be made for their care for the entire day

Do NOT make any important decisions for the entire day of your procedure.

Please have a responsible adult stay with you after your procedure. You should not be left unattended.

We fully expect you will be able to return to your normal activities the day after your procedure, i.e., return to work and drive.

You will receive a call from one of our nurses a few days before your procedure to review your health history and answer any questions you may have. This will also help stream line the admission process the day of your procedure.

If you develop a fever, rash, cough or flu-like symptoms in the days leading up to your procedure, please notify our office immediately.

Please call Elliot Gastroenterology at (603) 314-6900 with any questions!

Did you know??

There are two types of polyps: Hyperplastic – these polyps are benign and the most commonly found. Usually pose no cancer risk. Adenomatous – these polyps are also benign but have the potential to turn cancerous over time (i.e., are PRE CANCEROUS).

One patient every 4 minutes is diagnosed with colon cancer in the U.S.

For most people, colon cancer is preventable by having any and all polyps removed before they have a chance to become cancerous.

Most often there are no symptoms that someone has developed colon cancer.

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All polyps are removed or biopsied via a snare then cauterized and retrieved through suction or using a grasping device.

Colon cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death from cancer in the U.S. today and it affects men and women equally of all races. Colon cancer is found in all segments of the colon.

A colonoscopy test is 96% accurate for the detection of polyps and colorectal cancer. The polyps that are missed are typically small and are expected to be caught on the subsequent screening exam. The recommended interval for your next exam will be sent to you in a letter in 1-2 weeks with the final results of your exam.


Frequently asked questions:

Why avoid red liquids? The red color can persist in the colon and potentially look like blood, obscuring visualization of polyps.

One of the medications I was instructed to take the morning of my procedure is red. Can I take it? The medications that are listed in your instructions should be taken the morning of your exam, regardless of the color.

I feel like vomiting and do not think I can drink any more. What should I do? It is important that you continue to drink the solution if possible. Without a clean bowel, the doctor will not be able to thoroughly see inside of your colon to complete the examination. You can stop drinking for 30 minutes, then resume. If you do vomit, wait 30-60 minutes then begin drinking the solution again. If not improved, call us and have a phone number of an open pharmacy in case we need to call in a prescription.

I drank a lot of the solution and have not gone to the bathroom yet. What should I do? Keep drinking and be patient. Move around a bit. Most people have a bowel movement after an hour; however, some patients may take several hours.

I am taking the prep and now having loose, watery stool. Do I still need the rest of the prep? Yes, you may have solid stool higher in the colon that needs to be eliminated.

I already have diarrhea before taking the prep, do I still need to take the laxative? Yes, you must take the entire prep. Your colon is approximately six feet long. The entire colon must be emptied for your physician to see the colon clearly.

I see yellow color in the toilet bowl and a few flecks. What do I do? If you drank the entire solution or if your last bowel movements were clear enough that you were able to see the bottom of the toilet, you should be fine. It is okay if you have some flecks of material. The yellow color is a result of bile that normally colors the feces. This should not interfere with the examination.

Can I drink alcoholic beverages? Alcoholic beverages can cause dehydration and some wines thin your blood, therefore, we strongly suggest that you do not drink any alcoholic beverages prior to your procedure.

Can I chew gum or suck on candy? Yes, only up until 4 hours prior to your procedure time and nothing with soft centers or red color.

What if I am still passing stool the morning of the test? You may use a Fleets enema. Follow the instructions on the packaging. If this does not work, please call the office.

Can I brush my teeth? Please do. You may brush your teeth and rinse your mouth without swallowing.

Can I wear my dentures? Yes, you may wear dentures to the endoscopy suite. However, if you are having an EGD as well as a colonoscopy, you may be asked to remove them prior to the procedure.

What can I take for headaches and pain relief the night before and morning of the procedure? You may take Tylenol (acetaminophen) as directed.

Can I have chicken soup? You can have broth up until 8 hours before your procedure; no noodles, chicken or vegetables are allowed.

Can I have the colonoscopy if I am on my period? Yes, the procedure can still be performed. We ask that you use a tampon if possible but it’s not absolutely necessary.


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Miralax Colonoscopy Bowel Preparation


Colonoscopy Information

Insurance Coverage
Please know your insurance guidelines and check your insurance benefits. If your insurance requires a PCP authorization (insurance referral), please be sure our office has received this prior to your procedure to prevent any unnecessary out-of-pocket expenses for you. Also, not all insurance policies cover screening colonoscopies. For instance, if you are under 50 years old and/or have PPO insurance, this procedure may not be covered. Every insurance is different; please contact customer service for your insurance plan to check your benefit coverage.


Colonoscopy Bowel Preparation
You need to buy the following (no prescription necessary):

Miralax powder 238 grams (8.3 ounces) or generic- polyethylene glycol 3350

Miralax powder 119 grams (4.1 ounces) or generic- polyethylene glycol 3350

Dulcolax tablets (NOT suppository or stool softener, you will need 4 TABLETS for the prep).

One 64 oz. bottle and one 32 oz. bottle of Gatorade, Propel, Vitamin Water, Crystal Light or other noncarbonated clear liquid drink (no red, blue or purple colors). Allowable colors include: clear, yellow, orange or green. Gatorade is recommended as it has added electrolytes. Refrigerate your clear liquid if you prefer to drink it cold.


7 days prior to colonoscopy:
Stop Iron supplements and/or multivitamins that contain Iron.

Stop fiber supplements such as Metamucil, Benefiber or Citrucel.

If you are diabetic, call your prescribing doctor to determine how your diabetes medicine (pills or insulin) should be taken the day of the procedure.

If you are on prescription blood thinning medications, you must call the prescribing doctor and have a plan for these medications. (Coumadin, Warfarin, Plavix, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Effient, or equivalent)


2 days prior to colonoscopy:
REVIEW bowel prep instructions.

Arrange and confirm your transportation to and from your appointment. You CANNOT drive the day of your procedure because of the sedating medications.

Begin low residue/ low fiber diet

AVOID: fresh and dried fruit, all vegetables, raisins, nuts, seeds, cloves, popcorn, beans and any other meat besides what is listed below

ALLOWED: soup, fish, chicken, eggs, white rice, white bread, crackers, plain yogurt, pasta, potato with no skin, gelatin, broth, bouillon, all liquids


The day before your colonoscopy:
ONLY CLEAR LIQUIDS AFTER 8AM. Anything other than clear liquids will impair the quality of the prep and the quality and safety of the colonoscopy. You may have clear liquids up until 3 hours prior to your procedure time.

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Breakfast is to be eaten before 8am – you may have up to 2 eggs any style and 2 pieces of white toast (butter okay) OR 1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt (no seeds, berries/fruit, nuts) and 1 banana. Coffee or tea with cream or milk is ok prior to 8am.

Starting at 8am drink ONLY clear liquids throughout the entire day-NO MORE FOOD! Drink at least 8 glasses of water or clear liquids. It is important to drink a lot of fluids the day before the procedure, as the preparation is very dehydrating. The more you drink, the better you will feel.

Allowed: Clear liquid is any liquid that you can see through. This includes water, clear broth or bouillon, black coffee or black tea (sugar is ok to add). Gatorade, Powerade or vitamin water that is clear, yellow, orange or green are all OK. Lemonade, carbonated soft drinks, apple juice, white grape juice, white cranberry juice are all OK. Jello, and popsicles are allowed if they are yellow, green or orange colored.

Avoid: All solid foods after 8am, milk and milk products, any item with red dye. RED, BLUE, and PURPLE colored items are NOT allowed. Limit coffee and tea as they dehydrate you. Avoid alcohol as it dehydrates you.

In the morning, in a pitcher mix the entire 8.3 oz. of Miralax with the 64 oz. of Gatorade. Stir/shake until the entire contents of Miralax are completely dissolved. Chill the mixture if desired. You will drink this later today.

At 1pm take 2 Dulcolax tablets with a large 8 oz. glass of water.

At 3pm take 2 more Dulcolax tablets with a large 8 oz. glass of water.

At 5pm Begin drinking the Miralax/Gatorade solution. You should drink the entire 64 ounces within a 2-3 hour time period. Drink one glass every 10-15 minutes.

Drink each glass quickly, rather than drinking small amounts continuously.

Individual responses to laxatives vary. You may feel bloated, nauseated, or have abdominal cramping while drinking the solution; this is temporary and will improve once you start having bowel movements. If you feel ill, stop drinking for 30 minutes and then resume drinking at a slower rate. Walking around between drinking each glass can help with bloating. Bowel movements usually start within 2 hours of ingestion, but may take longer.


The day of your colonoscopy:
No Broth 8 hours prior to your arrival time or your procedure may be cancelled.

4 hours prior to your procedure time, mix the entire 4.1 oz. bottle of Miralax into a pitcher and add 32 ounce container of Gatorade. Shake or stir well. Drink and finish the 32 ounces within 1 hour.

3 hours prior to your procedure time, you may take only these medications with a small sip of water:

Daily narcotic

Anti-anxiety

Blood pressure/cardiac medication

Seizure medication

Asthma inhalers

After taking your medications, nothing by mouth, EVEN WATER, 3 hours before your procedure time or else your procedure WILL be cancelled!!

If you continue to pass thick, brown liquid or solid bowel movements, please call our office early in the day to discuss if you are adequately prepared. The best results should include passing only clear yellow liquid.

Important Information
You will receive intravenous sedation during this procedure. You will be monitored throughout the entire case. The medications used during the procedure although relatively short acting, have subtle, prolonged effects on your reaction/judgment time, thought processes, and wakefulness. You must, therefore, adhere to the following guidelines:

You must not drive at all the entire day of your procedure. It is required that a responsible adult must be present at the time of discharge to drive you home.

Please wear glasses; do not wear contacts.

Leave all jewelry at home, including body piercings.

It is okay to brush your teeth and wear dentures.

Please bring a complete list of medications you are currently taking to the facility with you.

Please allow for 2 hours at the facility.

No taxi’s or public transportation unless accompanied by a responsible adult.

You may NOT walk home.

If you have small children, arrangements should be made for their care for the entire day

Do NOT make any important decisions for the entire day of your procedure.

Please have a responsible adult stay with you after your procedure. You should not be left unattended.

We fully expect you will be able to return to your normal activities the day after your procedure, i.e., return to work and drive.

You will receive a call from one of our nurses a few days before your procedure to review your health history and answer any questions you may have. This will also help stream line the admission process the day of your procedure.

If you develop a fever, rash, cough or flu-like symptoms in the days leading up to your procedure, please notify our office immediately.

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Please call Elliot Gastroenterology at (603) 314-6900 with any questions!

Did you know??

There are two types of polyps: Hyperplastic – these polyps are benign and the most commonly found. Usually pose no cancer risk. Adenomatous – these polyps are also benign but have the potential to turn cancerous over time (i.e., are PRE CANCEROUS).

One patient every 4 minutes is diagnosed with colon cancer in the U.S.

For most people, colon cancer is preventable by having any and all polyps removed before they have a chance to become cancerous.

Most often there are no symptoms that someone has developed colon cancer.

All polyps are removed or biopsied via a snare then cauterized and retrieved through suction or using a grasping device.

Colon cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death from cancer in the U.S. today and it affects men and women equally of all races. Colon cancer is found in all segments of the colon.

A colonoscopy test is 96% accurate for the detection of polyps and colorectal cancer. The polyps that are missed are typically small and are expected to be caught on the subsequent screening exam. The recommended interval for your next exam will be sent to you in a letter in 1-2 weeks with the final results of your exam.


Frequently asked questions:

Why avoid red liquids? The red color can persist in the colon and potentially look like blood, obscuring visualization of polyps.

One of the medications I was instructed to take the morning of my procedure is red. Can I take it? The medications that are listed in your instructions should be taken the morning of your exam, regardless of the color.

I feel like vomiting and do not think I can drink any more. What should I do? It is important that you continue to drink the solution if possible. Without a clean bowel, the doctor will not be able to thoroughly see inside of your colon to complete the examination. You can stop drinking for 30 minutes, then resume. If you do vomit, wait 30-60 minutes then begin drinking the solution again. If not improved, call us and have a phone number of an open pharmacy in case we need to call in a prescription.

I drank a lot of the solution and have not gone to the bathroom yet. What should I do? Keep drinking and be patient. Move around a bit. Most people have a bowel movement after an hour; however, some patients may take several hours.

I am taking the prep and now having loose, watery stool. Do I still need the rest of the prep? Yes, you may have solid stool higher in the colon that needs to be eliminated.

I already have diarrhea before taking the prep, do I still need to take the laxative? Yes, you must take the entire prep. Your colon is approximately six feet long. The entire colon must be emptied for your physician to see the colon clearly.

I see yellow color in the toilet bowl and a few flecks. What do I do? If you drank the entire solution or if your last bowel movements were clear enough that you were able to see the bottom of the toilet, you should be fine. It is okay if you have some flecks of material. The yellow color is a result of bile that normally colors the feces. This should not interfere with the examination.

Can I drink alcoholic beverages? Alcoholic beverages can cause dehydration and some wines thin your blood, therefore, we strongly suggest that you do not drink any alcoholic beverages prior to your procedure.

Can I chew gum or suck on candy? Yes, only up until 4 hours prior to your procedure time and nothing with soft centers or red color.

What if I am still passing stool the morning of the test? You may use a Fleets enema. Follow the instructions on the packaging. If this does not work, please call the office.

Can I brush my teeth? Please do. You may brush your teeth and rinse your mouth without swallowing.

Can I wear my dentures? Yes, you may wear dentures to the endoscopy suite. However, if you are having an EGD as well as a colonoscopy, you may be asked to remove them prior to the procedure.

What can I take for headaches and pain relief the night before and morning of the procedure? You may take Tylenol (acetaminophen) as directed.

Can I have chicken soup? You can have broth up until 8 hours before your procedure; no noodles, chicken or vegetables are allowed.

Can I have the colonoscopy if I am on my period? Yes, the procedure can still be performed. We ask that you use a tampon if possible but it’s not absolutely necessary.


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Gastric Bypass Addendum

The day before your procedure you will need to follow the clear liquid diet as explained on the preparation instructions, additionally you will need to follow the instructions below:

1 - Begin your preparation liquid at 2pm.

2 - Drink a 4 oz glass followed by a second 4 oz glass approximately 20 minutes later. You should be drinking 2 glasses per hour

3 - Repeat the same steps every hour until the prep is gone OR you are passing a clear to yellow liquid when having a bowel movement.

You will be able to maintain your clear liquid diet throughout the night but you will need to stop all beverage intake 4 hours prior to your procedure.


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Upper Endoscopy

Elliot Hospital | Elliot Endoscopy Center what to expect (2)Overview: The Basics
Also called an esophagogastroduodenoscopy, EGD or gastroscopy, an upper endoscopy uses a thin scope with a light and camera at its tip, called an endoscope, to look inside the upper digestive system of the esophagus, stomach and begining of the small intestine. The endoscope is passed through the mouth and down the throat to the esophagus. The duration of the procedure is about 5 -10 minutes. Biopsies may also be taken and sent for analysis to rule out any tissue abnormality.


What to Expect: During the Screening
A bite block will be inserted to protect your teeth as well as the endoscope. You will lie on your left side, and, after the sedative has taken effect, the endoscope will be gently guided through the esophagus to the stomach and finally to the beginning of the small intestine. Air will be introduced through the endoscope to enhance viewing. The lining of the esophagus, stomach and upper small intestine is examined, and biopsies can be performed at the same time.


What can be found?
During this visual exam the physician is looking for ulcers, irritation, polyps, tumors and any general abnormality of these areas, a hiatal hernia or narrowing of the esophagus can also be seen. If abnormality of any kind is noted, biopsies are often taken and sent to pathology for analysis. You will be notified of all biopsy results within two weeks of your procedure by mail or phone. If biopsies were taken and you have not been notified after two weeks please call the gastroenterologists office for the results.


How to Prepare
The stomach must be empty for the procedure to be thorough and safe. You should not eat any solid foods after midnight the night prior. Clear liquids may be continued up to 4 hours prior to procedure time. If you are on Plavix or any blood thinning agents you should speak with your primary physician regarding if/when these medications need to be held.


After the Procedure
On occasion there is some residual air left in the abdomen after the procedure, this is not painful and is similar to having a carbonated beverage. Typically people state they feel as if they haven’t had anything done as there is no lingering soreness or pain. Even though you will feel fine, the lingering, subtle effects of the sedation will make it dangerous for you to drive, so a responsible adult must accompany you home.


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FAQs

Should you poop before an endoscopy? ›

Before you have your endoscopy you will need to make sure your digestive system is clear of food and poo. This is so the cameras can get the best pictures possible of your digestive tract and bowel lining.

Can I brush my teeth before an endoscopy? ›

Yes, you may brush your teeth. Yes, you may wear your dentures to the endoscopy lab. However, you may be asked to remove them before the procedure. Which medicines should I stop taking before my procedure?

What happens if my stool is not clear before colonoscopy? ›

If you do not have clear stools after the preparation, your doctor will find it difficult to complete the exam. If you feel the amount of prep has been a problem for you in the past or think it may be a problem, please discuss this with your primary care provider or doctor who ordered your colonoscopy.

How clear must stool be for colonoscopy? ›

The stool should be watery in consistency. It does not have to be clear in color (water) since digestive secretions will continue to 'tint' the stool.

Do you keep your clothes on for an endoscopy? ›

Please wear loose comfortable clothing. You may keep most clothing on for upper endoscopy as well as comfortable shirt and socks for colonoscopy. Women may keep their bra on for the procedure. Please do not wear lotions, oils or perfumes/cologne to the center due to the monitoring devices.

Do you need to be on bed rest after an endoscopy? ›

After you have an endoscopy, you will stay at the hospital or clinic for 1 to 2 hours. This will allow the medicine to wear off. You will be able to go home after your doctor or nurse checks to make sure that you're not having any problems. You may have to stay overnight if you had treatment during the test.

What can you not do the night before an endoscopy? ›

not eat or drink after midnight the night before. If your Endoscopy Appointment is scheduled to take place at 12pm or later, you may have clear liquids up to 8 hours before your scheduled appointment time. You may only have clear liquids the day before your procedure; do not eat or drink after midnight.

How can I not be scared of endoscopy? ›

General relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation and mindfulness are also fantastic ways to keep yourself relaxed.

How long are you asleep for an endoscopy? ›

At this point, if you are receiving sedation, you will start to be sleepy and will most likely remain asleep throughout the procedure, which generally takes about 10 to 20 minutes. Because of the sedation medication, patients are generally unaware of what is going on and do not remember anything when they wake up.

Will I be up all night with colonoscopy prep? ›

Will I be up all night with colonoscopy prep? Probably not, if you start on time. While everyone's body is different, most people are able to complete their round of purging before going to sleep for the night.

Is it better to have a colonoscopy in the morning or afternoon? ›

Colonoscopies performed in the afternoon (PM) have been shown to have lower adenoma detection rates (ADR) compared to those in the morning (AM). Endoscopist fatigue has been suggested as a possible reason. Colonoscopies tend to be technically more challenging in female patients.

When should I start prep for a 7am colonoscopy? ›

Typically, bowel prep medication is a solution that you will need to drink starting one day before your procedure. You will be asked to take the colon prep in two doses: the first dose, 3-6 pm the night before your procedure; the second dose, 6-8 hours before your procedure.

How long does a bowel clean out take? ›

After taking the medicine, your child should pass a large amount of stool within 24 hours. There are no food restrictions during the clean-out. Your child should have almost clear, watery stools by the end of the next day. If the medicine does not work or you do not know if it worked, call your child's doctor's office.

How long does diarrhea last after colonoscopy? ›

You may experience loose stool or no stool for up to three days following the procedure.

How long does it take to get back to normal bowel movement after colonoscopy? ›

It could take 2 to 3 days before you have a bowel movement after your colonoscopy because you completely emptied your colon and rectum ahead of the procedure. You may notice a little bit of blood in your first stool after your colonoscopy, especially if your doctor removed a polyp or took a biopsy of abnormal tissue.

Can you be left alone after a endoscopy? ›

You need someone to stay with you the remainder of the day following your procedure. Because you had sedation, you should not be left alone. Rest the remainder of the day – your discharge instructions will inform you about returning to eating, work, etc.

Can I go home alone after endoscopy? ›

Patients should be accompanied home by a responsible adult who should stay with them overnight if they live alone. The medication used may stay in your system for 24 hours, therefore it is important to adhere to the following instructions: 1. Do not drive a car or any other vehicle for 24 hours.

Will you be asleep during endoscopy? ›

If you are having a general anaesthetic, then you will be asleep during the whole procedure and wake up once it is finished. If you are not having a general anaesthetic, you will be given a local anaesthetic where the endoscope will be inserted to numb the area and make the procedure easier.

Do you get results immediately after endoscopy? ›

In most cases the endoscopist will be able to tell you the results straight after the test or, if you have been sedated, as soon as you are awake, and you will receive a copy of the endoscopy report to take home. However, if a sample (biopsy) has been taken for examination the results may take a few weeks.

Can you work the next day after an endoscopy? ›

It is recommended that you do not go back to work, do any strenuous exercise, drive, or sign any legal documents for 24 hours after the procedure. If you are taking any anti-coagulant medication (i.e., Coumadin, Heparin), please be sure to notify your doctor.

Do they give you pain meds after endoscopy? ›

The doctor may prescribe medication to heal any irritation or ulcerations or to prevent future damage. The most common side effects after endoscopy are a mild bloating sensation and a sore throat.

What happens if you drink water before an endoscopy? ›

Background: The traditional fluid fast prior to endoscopy is unnecessary. We have previously shown that drinking water prior to endoscopy does not affect either the quality of mucosal views or residual gastric fluid volumes when compared to patients undergoing endoscopy after a standard fast.

What is the best sedation for endoscopy? ›

Benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines enhance the effect of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which results in sedative, hypnotic, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant and amnesic action. The benzodiazepines diazepam and midazolam are the most commonly used sedatives in gastrointestinal endoscopy.

What diseases can be detected by an endoscopy? ›

Upper GI endoscopy can be used to identify many different diseases:
  • gastroesophageal reflux disease.
  • ulcers.
  • cancer link.
  • inflammation, or swelling.
  • precancerous abnormalities such as Barrett's esophagus.
  • celiac disease.
  • strictures or narrowing of the esophagus.
  • blockages.

Can you talk during endoscopy? ›

You can't talk after the endoscope passes down your throat, though you can make noises. The endoscope doesn't interfere with your breathing.

Will I gag during endoscopy? ›

It is normal to gag, but the reflex usually settles once the tube is passed. It is also common for the first attempt at swallowing not to succeed. With the encouragement of the endoscopy nurse and perhaps some maneuvers by the endoscopist, the tube will pass.

How do you mentally prepare for an endoscopy? ›

Here are 11 ways to help you plan and prepare for an upcoming endoscopy or a colonoscopy...
  1. Don't spend time reading about possible diagnoses online. ...
  2. Use relaxation techniques. ...
  3. Follow the preparation given prior to your procedure. ...
  4. Eat a bland diet. ...
  5. Think about what you need to take.
  6. Bring a friend or family member with you.
26 Feb 2018

Should I be nervous about an endoscopy? ›

Endoscopies are common and very low risk, and therefore there's no need to feel anxious. You will usually only experience slight discomfort, and experiencing endoscopic pain is very rare. Endoscopies are very safe and do not usually require anaesthetic.

How long is recovery time from endoscopy? ›

There is minimal recovery involved with the upper endoscopy procedure, and little discomfort. Post-procedure symptoms may include grogginess from the sedation, a feeling of bloating, sore throat, nausea, difficulty swallowing, and mild pain where the IV was inserted. These usually resolve within 48 hours.

How will I feel after endoscopy? ›

Other common side-effects from upper endoscopy include: Nausea and bloating. A sore throat for around 48 hours. Not being able to eat your regular diet until you can swallow normally.

What should you avoid 3 days before colonoscopy? ›

Three days before your colonoscopy, eat only low-fiber foods listed below.
...
NO whole grains or high-fiber:
  • Brown or wild rice.
  • Whole grain bread, rolls, pasta, or crackers.
  • Whole grain or high-fiber cereal (including granola, raisin bran, oatmeal)
  • Bread or cereal with nuts or seeds.

Should I stay home day before colonoscopy? ›

The day before your colonoscopy, you can go to work as usual if you work regular business hours. One interruption in your daily life is that you are instructed not to eat solid foods. You will need to stay on a clear liquid diet all day. This diet includes water, black coffee, Gatorade, Jell-O, clear broth, and juice.

Do you get a urine catheter during a colonoscopy? ›

You may need a catheter (fine plastic drain tube) put in your front passage to drain the urine from your bladder until you are able to pass urine comfortably on your own.

Can I have breakfast the day of colonoscopy? ›

Before 10:00 am, you may have a small, light breakfast. Examples of a light breakfast are: eggs, soup or broth with noodles (no meat or vegetables), white crackers, white rice, white potatoes, white bread, Boost® or Ensure®. At 10:00 am, begin a clear liquid diet. Do not eat anything solid.

What can you not do on day of colonoscopy? ›

Remember, you can't drink anything for at least 2 hours before your procedure. You must have someone to take you home after your colonoscopy and stay with you for at least two hours. Do not use alcohol, marijuana, or other substances that could impair your thought process prior to your appointment.

What does it mean if you have diarrhea in the morning of a colonoscopy? ›

14. What if I am still passing stool the morning of my test? Take a tap water enema until you run clear. If this does not work, call the office.

Why do you have to be 2 hours early for colonoscopy? ›

You will need to arrive early for your appointment so you can check in and fill out paperwork. Once the nurse calls you back, the procedure will move along quickly. Most colonoscopies are performed with anesthesia or sedatives that put you to sleep, so you won't even remember the procedure.

Do you have to drink all 4 liters of colonoscopy prep? ›

Yes. You must drink all the prep to fully clean out your colon for a safe and complete colonoscopy. I feel like throwing up (nausea) or did throw up (vomit) after taking the bowel prep.

What is the easiest prep to take for colonoscopy? ›

An option that can be purchased without a prescription is Miralax liquid and Dulcolax tablets, often taken together. The Miralax can be mixed into Gatorade or another clear liquid to make the solution tastier. “The preparation for a colonoscopy is a critical step and cannot be skipped,” Dr. Williams said.

How do I know my bowel is clean? ›

Signs Your Colon is Clear

The morning of your exam if you are still passing brown liquid with solid material mixed in, your colon may not be ready and you should contact your doctor's office. Passing mostly clear or only a light color, including yellow, is a sign your colon is clean enough for an accurate examination.

How do doctors clean out your bowels? ›

During a colon cleanse, large amounts of water — sometimes up to 16 gallons (about 60 liters) — and possibly other substances, such as herbs or coffee, are flushed through the colon. This is done using a tube that's inserted into the rectum.

How do you completely clear your intestines? ›

Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated is a great way to regulate digestion. Drinking lukewarm water has been shown to be good for digestion as well. Also, try eating plenty of foods high in water content. This includes fruits and vegetables like watermelons, tomatoes, lettuce, and celery.

What is the fastest way to recover from a colonoscopy? ›

The following tips may be especially helpful during the first 24 hours of colonoscopy recovery:
  1. Ask for a family member or friend to stay with you the first day of recovery.
  2. Avoid heavy lifting or other strenuous activities.
  3. Take all medication as directed, including pain pills and stool softeners.
  4. Drink plenty of water.
29 Jul 2019

What is the most common complication after colonoscopy? ›

Bleeding is one of the most common complications of colonoscopy, accounting for 0.3-6.1% of cases[35,36].

Can I go to work the day after a colonoscopy? ›

Colonoscopy recovery is usually quick with most people resuming normal activity the next day. Even so, it is important not to rush back to work. It is best to take the remainder of the day to rest, recover from sedation, and replenish fluids and nutrition. The results of your exam should be available within a few days.

Can a doctor tell if a colon polyp is cancerous by looking at it? ›

A gastroenterologist, the specialist who usually performs a colonoscopy, can't tell for certain if a colon polyp is precancerous or cancerous until it's removed and examined under a microscope.

How do you get air out of your colon after a colonoscopy? ›

The air we placed in your colon may cause you to feel mild pain in your abdomen (stomach area) for a few hours after the procedure. This is normal. It is very important for you to pass gas to help relieve the bloating and to remove the air. Walking, drinking warm liquids and having a warm bath can help.

What percentage of colon polyps are cancerous? ›

Polyps are common in American adults, and while many colon polyps are harmless, over time, some polyps could develop into colon cancer. While the majority of colon cancers start as polyps, only 5-10% of all polyps will become cancerous.

What should you not do before an endoscopy? ›

You may be asked to:
  1. Fast before the endoscopy. You'll typically need to stop eating solid food for eight hours and stop drinking liquids for four hours before your endoscopy. ...
  2. Stop taking certain medications. You'll need to stop taking certain blood-thinning medications in the days before your endoscopy, if possible.
26 Aug 2022

What should you avoid before an endoscopy? ›

Nothing to eat or drink at least 8 hours before the procedure. Medication can be taken 4 hours before examination with little sips of water. DO NOT TAKE ANY ANTACIDS OR CARAFATE BEFORE THE PROCEDURE or any of the medications mentioned.

How do you clean your stomach before an endoscopy? ›

One to 5 days on a clear liquid or low residue diet reduces the amount of stool. However, this method by itself is insufficient to adequately cleanse the colon. Dietary restrictions are typically used the day prior to the planned procedure and clear liquids are used to maintain hydration following mechanical cleansing.

How long does an endoscopy take from start to finish? ›

How long will the procedure take? An upper endoscopy takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes. A colonoscopy takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes.

How painful is an endoscopy? ›

You should not experience any pain during the endoscopy, but it may be quite uncomfortable. You will also be offered some sedation, which may help you to relax and may make everything more comfortable throughout. These procedures can take between 15 minutes and 1 hour, and you will be monitored throughout.

What position do you lie in for endoscopy? ›

You will lie on your left side or your back on an exam table. As the doctor slowly inserts the endoscope, you will feel pressure through your esophagus. The endoscope inflates your stomach by blowing air into it. This gives the doctor a better view of the stomach lining.

When can you eat after endoscopy? ›

You shouldn't eat or drink after an endoscopy until you can comfortably swallow. When you resume eating, you should keep your meals small and light for 24-48 hours after the procedure. Alcohol should also be avoided for at least 24 hours. Once you feel like you're back to normal, you can resume your typical diet.

What conditions can be found with an endoscopy? ›

Upper GI endoscopy can be used to identify many different diseases:
  • gastroesophageal reflux disease.
  • ulcers.
  • cancer link.
  • inflammation, or swelling.
  • precancerous abnormalities such as Barrett's esophagus.
  • celiac disease.
  • strictures or narrowing of the esophagus.
  • blockages.

Can I shower the morning of an endoscopy? ›

If your doctor told you to take your medicines on the day of the procedure, take them with only a sip of water. Take a bath or shower before you come in for your procedure. Do not apply lotions, perfumes, deodorants, or nail polish.

Can you be asleep during an endoscopy? ›

All endoscopic procedures involve some degree of sedation, which relaxes you and subdues your gag reflex,” Dr. Perino said. “Being sedated during the procedure will put you into a moderate to deep sleep, so you will not feel any discomfort when the endoscope is inserted through the mouth and into the stomach.”

How many hours before endoscopy can you drink water? ›

Do not drink anything starting 2 hours before your scheduled arrival time. This includes water.

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