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bowel prep for a colonoscopy

(25 Posts)
ellymae Tue 02-Jun-09 20:19:42

I've looked through some other threads on this sort of topic and have got the picture that the 24 hours before a colonoscopy can be pretty grim! However, I just wondered if I could get some thoughts on what I've got ahead of me next week.

I'm booked in for an endoscopy and colonoscopy next Tues pm and have been told to take senna tablets at 4pm on Mon, followed by picolax at 7pm and then another dose of picolax at 7am on Tuesday. So I guess basically I'm wondering how quickly everything is going to kick in and will I end up on the loo all night?!

the other questions I have are, after a colonoscopy does everything (ie bowel habits) return to normal pretty quickly or should I be prepared for something else?

If anyone has had polyps removed, did they get any/much bleeding afterwards?

anything else you can enlighten me with would be great. I'm sure after the bowel prep the actual exam will be a complete doddle!

BCNS Tue 02-Jun-09 20:26:35

okay firstly don't panic.. the colonscopy isn't that bad.. and things IME returned to normal pretty fast by the morning after I had eaten a light meal in the evening.

after the first dose of picolax.. you will think nothing is ever going to happen.. and then you take the second dose.. and you think.. oh that wasn't so bad.. and then your stomack will growl.. and away you go!

and go... and go. kept me up 'til the early hours of the morning and made me feel pretty lousey.

I didn't have anything removed so I can't answer that one..
but after I was quite windy and a bit on the achey side.. so I'd suggest a lay on the sofa in when you get back.

during everyone is really's all soooo matter of fact, I got a sedative, which was well.. nice .. and I got to watch my bowels too


FatSuma Tue 02-Jun-09 20:30:17

Everything that BCNS said was the same for me - and my sedative knocked me out completely so I was utterly oblivious to anything happening during hte procedure.

good luck, it's not pleasant but it's not awful or painful, just a bit uncomfortable. and the picolax process, well just a process. have you got something to read handy? nothing too demanding!

plus3 Tue 02-Jun-09 20:30:39

small world..I'm also due both these procedures next Tuesday, and like you am not looking forward to the day before. A friend reassured me that the scopes themselves are alright (with the sedation), but that she felt completely wiped out from the bowel prep. Basically, devote the day before and after to feeling weak and wobbly!

Good luck with yours.

BCNS Tue 02-Jun-09 20:36:51

oh my sugestion.. well it worked for me on the week and wobbly bit afterwards.. is a drink of mars milk.

MoreSpamThanGlam Tue 02-Jun-09 20:38:26

Can I join the Picolax gang? I am due my colonoscopy and endoscopy on Monday. So I will be running in and out of the loo all day Sunday.

My tips are - drink LOTS of water..I mean lots. Stay near the loo...take a book in and leave it there.
The picolax gets hot when you add cold water to it, I found this a bit of a shock the first time.

Ive not had an endoscopy and I am not looking forward to it at all. Im on another thread where we are having a bit of a bum watch if you want to join in blush

rubyslippers Tue 02-Jun-09 20:39:44

i had an endoscopy without sedation because no-one could come with me to drive me home

if i were you, i would take it

i had the laxatives on the morning and they worked very quickly - within 15 mins

afterwards, i was very, very bloated and gassy and felt wobbly - took the afternoon off work and for a good couple of hours i just lay down

good luck ...

hobbgoblin Tue 02-Jun-09 20:41:50

Do get some VASELINE and smear it about your nether regions before you take the Picolax. Specifically, the exit hole wink.

I didn't do this and was quite sore after many, MANY trips to the loo.

The clear out is quite astonishing and although not terrible, it's pretty close to having a god awful D&V bug without the sickness and without the terrible pain.

Worry not though, not such a bad thing to have to go through in grand scheme of things, and I say that as a bit of a wuss with plenty of medical, er 'history.

ellymae Tue 02-Jun-09 20:42:01

thanks guys! I had an endoscopy back in March with sedation but either it took a while to kick in or wasn't strong enough as I was gagging away on the tube and listening to the nurses telling me to breathe easily. I'd been told I wouldn't remember much about the whole thing but have fairly vivid memories of it.

I've heard with a colonoscopy you get stronger sedation anyway so hopefully it will work a bit better this time

Anyway, I'll get myself a good book and some sudocrem to have handy and make sure MIL picks up DD as early as poss on Tues am!

plus3 can't believe you're going through the same thing too on Tues. We'll have to compare notes! Good luck with yours

rubyslippers Tue 02-Jun-09 20:43:41

i had a flexible sigmoidoscopy blush

ellymae Tue 02-Jun-09 20:44:22

x-posts hobbgoblin - you think vaseline is the way to go?!

BCNS Tue 02-Jun-09 20:45:22

ahh yes.. it won't just make you go more.. it will literally whoosh out! and you will be astonished that your body can in fact do that.

hobbgoblin Tue 02-Jun-09 20:45:46

Me too! Forgot to add that.


Sedation didn't work for me either, but it did make me talk beau locks on the way home.

ellymae Tue 02-Jun-09 20:53:13

morespam, might have to look up your thread! I didn't think I had bum problems - well years of what I call dodgy digestion which I have never taken to a GP - so was a bit surprised when told I had to have a colonoscopy.

I had the endoscopy to check out stomach pains I get and it showed up a small adenoma polyp (ie the type that if it got bigger and was left for several years could turn nasty) in my duodenum. Apparently its rare to get them in your duodenum (oh lucky me!) so I'm more likely than most to have them in my colon which is why they want to check me out. They also need to go in down the top again to make sure the biopsy they did removed all the polyp.

At least it means if there's anything in my colon they'll remove it but it does mean I'll have to go through the whole process again in another 3 years to check me out...

wonder if I can get them to do anything with my piles whilst they are at it??

MoreSpamThanGlam Tue 02-Jun-09 20:56:00

As I am having both, will they do one then the other whilst I am sedated?

I will I have to come round from colonoscopy and then gag whilst it goes down?

The stuff that affects your memory is rubbish...

BCNS Tue 02-Jun-09 20:59:09

the sedation for me just made me talk bollocks tbh.. I was awake and talking lots

ellymae Tue 02-Jun-09 21:09:45

I've been told they do the top first and then the bottom...

plus3 Wed 03-Jun-09 16:37:17

Vaseline..what a good idea! Somehow if all the indignity wasn't enough, the idea of going in with a sore bottom to boot could just tip me over the edge..

EvenBetaDad Wed 03-Jun-09 17:05:16

ellymae - had ensocopy and colonoscopy recently.

Do have the sedation for the procedure. It is not that bad - just rememember to breath during the endoscopy. The temptation is to hold your breath. It is not painful. You wil be sort of half awake and half asleep. They will insist someone takes you home - do not expect to drive or go home alone in a taxi.

Picolax was the worst part really. I did not take senna before though.

Do not be more than 10 metres from the toilet while taking Picolax. Do not be fooled - it does not work straight away but when it does it really really does. The thing that was worst was the bowel cramps once you are empty. Lots of water to drink is helpful. I had humungous wind. I wish I had known about that vaseline recommendation. I used moist baby wipes which helped a lot.

I felt fine and ate fine afterwards with no after effect. I did quite a lot of MN posting on the Picolax day that helped a lot too. grin

Kayteee Wed 03-Jun-09 18:24:46

Aloe Vera toilet roll and/or baby-wipes will help too. wink

TheMadHouse Wed 03-Jun-09 18:31:16

I used nappy rash cream. It stings, also moist loo wipes which had come out of the fridge.

I found this the worst part. I had both done byt he same chap one after the other and found the gasgoscopy worst, but then I have an exceptionally large para-oesopogial hermia hmm

mrsmcdreamy Wed 03-Jun-09 19:42:30

Can someone explain what this picolax is? i take it you have to dissolve it in water - but how much?

I've had 2x colonoscopies/endoscopies in Germany, and both times I've had to consume 3 litres of a laxative solution which makes me gag after the first couple of sips. I have such trouble getting the entire lot down that I'm always concerned that i'm not 'clear enough' for a good enough view.

If there's an alternative way to clear me out, then I need to know about it for my future screenings!!!!

EvenBetaDad Wed 03-Jun-09 19:55:11

mrsmdremy - it comes in sachets as I recall. I just put it in a glass of water.

The consultant gave me the packet when I went to see him a few weeks before the procedure. It tastes a bit salty but not vomitoreous.

TimeForMe Wed 03-Jun-09 20:43:50

EvenBetaDad is right ellymae. Mine was lemon flavoured, supposedly, and I drank it through a straw as it seemed to go down not only faster but more easy smile

ellymae Wed 03-Jun-09 22:52:05

ooo! a straw sounds a great idea we've got plenty of those knocking around the house.

evenbetadad I will definitely stay home on Tuesday am then. my dd has an appointment with the eye clinic at the hospital then (has already been rearranged twice so need to keep it) so have told DH in no uncertain terms that he will have to go with her instead of me!

all those who suggested (cold) wipes as well thank you, with a dd still in nappies we also have plenty of those at home

interestingly I spoke to a friend today who has had a colonoscopy and she said the bowel prep wasn't that bad, 'it just makes what you would usually do much easier...'!! I dread to think what her normal poos are like!

well I guess there's nothing I can do til Monday pm so will just get on with it when the time comes. Thanks again for all your tips, they're really useful

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