Home » Patient Instructions/Education » Colonoscopy Preparation
Colonoscopy Preparation

Dr.Whelan has decided to give you a ONE and a half DAY BOWEL PREPARATION. A clean colon allows the doctor to see the lining of your colon well. The colon must be completely clean for the procedure to be accurate and complete. Therefore, you must carefully read and perform the bowel preparation as outlined below. If you have any questions after reading the following material please call 212-523-8172.


It is important that you continue to take your usual medications throughout this bowel preparation. If possible aspirin, Motrin and other non-narcotic analgesics should be avoided for five days prior to the colonoscopy. If a doctor has prescribed the aspirin for you, please call and ask that physician if you can safely stop taking the medication before the colonoscopy. If you are taking any kind of blood thinners (Coumadin/Lovenox), IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU CONTACT THE ABOVE NUMBER AND THE PRACTITIONER WHO PRESCRIBED the blood thinner for specific instructions. If you are a diabetic who takes insulin, you may want to adjust your insulin doses when you stop taking solid foods. If you have any questions regarding diabetic management, you should consult your internist or family practice physician.

Two Days Before The Colonoscopy

You should STOP eating all solid food after lunch (1pm to 2pm).
1) At 2:00pm take two dulcolax pills. No prescription required.
2) Anytime from 4pm to 6pm drink a bottle of magnesium citrate. Although you should NOT eat solid food, it is important to consume an adequate number of calories in the form of CLEAR LIQUIDS. Clear liquids include fruit juices, tea, coffee (without milk), water, soda, vitamin waters, Gatorade, Jell-O, (not red or orange), broth, popsicles…….NO MILK or MILK PRODUCTS like ice cream. Please do NOT have anything that is RED or ORANGE.

One Day Before The Colonoscopy

Continue with clear liquids ONLY.
1) At 2:00pm you should start the Nulytely preparation; you should have been given a prescription for this, which can be filled at any pharmacy. Mix according to directions. You will need to finish the gallon within 4-6 hours. This will result in multiple bowel movements. Commit to the fact ahead of time that you will need to be in or near the bathroom for 4-6 hours.

Some helpful hints to get you through include:

  • Refrigerating may help, but if you prefer it at room temperature that is okay too.
  • If you get bloated during the process, stop for some time and then resume.
  • If you find the last unpleasant, sucking on limes, lemons, or sour ball candies before and after every drink may help.
  • Apply Vaseline to the rectal area as needed to prevent soreness.

The Day of The Colonoscopy

You can continue to drink clear liquids up to 5 hours before the examination, DO NOT eat SOLID FOODS. The procedure will be done in Roosevelt Hospital, 1000 Tenth Avenue 59th Street, Floor 5, Ambulatory Surgery

You MUST BE escorted home on the day of the examination by a friend or relative over the age of 18 years. Conscious sedation is often given to make the exam more comfortable; consequently, it may take several hours to wear off. THE EXAM MAY BE CANCELLED IF YOU COME ALONE. YOU MUST ARRIVE AN HOUR BEFORE YOUR APPOINTMENT TIME.