DeeDee Stiepan, moderator: Before a colonoscopy, your doctor may ask you to do certain things in order to clean out or empty your colon.
James East, M.D., Gastroenterology, Mayo Clinic Healthcare in London: Colonoscopy prep is a difficult thing and it probably nowadays is the thing that patients like least about having a colonoscopy.
DeeDee Stiepan: Dr. James East, a gastroenterologist at Mayo Clinic Healthcare in London, says patients will be asked to take a liquid laxative prior to their appointment.
James East, M.D.: Many of the preps now come as a bit quite high volume. There may be 2 liters or sometimes even 4 liters to drink.
DeeDee Stiepan: A few tricks to help it go down a little easier are to premix it and let it get nice and cold in the fridge.
James East, M.D.: If you put some clear citrus stuff in it, it makes it a bit more palatable.
DeeDee Stiepan: Your doctor may ask you to use the laxative prep both the night before and the morning of your colonoscopy, which can be tough for some patients. However, it's important to remember ...
James East, M.D.: ... this is your once in 10 years examination to try and find the polyps that are going to turn into bowel cancer. If your doctor asks you to split the dose and get up early, this is one of those times an early start is needed.
DeeDee Stiepan: For the Mayo Clinic News Network, I'm DeeDee Stiepan.