This information will help you prepare for your colonoscopy at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) using a SUPREP® Bowel Prep Kit. Your doctor will give you a prescription for the kit.
A colonoscopy is an exam of your colon (large intestine). Your doctor will use a colonoscope (flexible tube with a camera on the end) to see the inside of your colon on a video monitor. During your procedure, your doctor can:
- Remove a small sample of tissue (biopsy) for testing
- Remove a polyp (growth of tissue)
- Take photos of the inside of your colon
Follow these instructions carefully. It’s very important that your colon is empty for your colonoscopy. If there’s stool inside your colon, your doctor may not be able to see polyps or other problems inside your colon and you may have to repeat the procedure. If you have any questions, contact your doctor’s office.
1 Week Before Your Procedure
You may need to stop taking some of your medications before your procedure. Talk with your doctor about which medications are safe for you to stop taking. We have included some common examples below.
Anticoagulants (blood thinners)
If you take a blood thinner, such as to treat blood clots or to prevent a heart attack or stroke, ask the doctor who prescribes it for you when to stop taking it. Examples are listed in the “Common anticoagulants (blood thinners)” table. There are others, so check with your doctor if you’re not sure.
|Common anticoagulants (blood thinners)|
Medications for diabetes
If you take insulin or other medications for diabetes, you may need to change the dose. Ask the doctor who prescribes your diabetes medication what you should do the day before and the morning of your procedure. Tell your doctor you will be drinking a sugar-free clear liquid diet the day before your procedure.
If you take metformin (such as Glumetza®) or a medication that contains metformin, don’t take it the day before or the day of your procedure.
- If you have an automatic implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (AICD), you need to get a clearance letter from your cardiologist (heart doctor) before your procedure.
- If you’ve had chest pain, dizziness, trouble breathing that’s new or worse, or have fainted in the last 6 weeks, you need to get a clearance letter from your doctor before your procedure.
Your MSK doctor’s office must receive your clearance letter at least 1 day before your procedure.
Fiber is a plant material that can’t be completely digested by your body. It’s healthy to include fiber in your usual diet, but eating too much fiber before your colonoscopy makes it hard for your doctor to see clearly during your procedure.
The week before your procedure, follow a low-fiber diet to help clean out your colon. While following this diet, don’t take any fiber supplements (such as FiberCon®, Metamucil®, Citrucel®, and Benefiber®). Eat low-fiber foods, and avoid foods that are high in fiber. For a list of foods you should and should not eat, read the “Low-Fiber Diet” section at the end of this resource.
You must have someone 18 years or older take you home after your procedure. If you don’t have someone to do this, call one of the agencies below. They will send someone to go home with you. There is a charge for this service and you will need to provide transportation.
In New York:
- Partners in Care: 888-735-8913
- Prime Care: 212-944-0244
In New York or New Jersey:
- Caring People: 877-227-4649
3 Days Before Your Procedure
An endoscopy nurse will call you between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm 3 days before your procedure. They will review the instructions in this guide with you and ask you questions about your medical history. The nurse will also review your medications and tell you which medications to take the morning of your procedure. Use the space below to write them down.
1 Day Before Your Procedure
Starting the day before your procedure, do not eat anything. Follow a clear liquid diet.
A clear liquid diet includes only liquids you can see through. Examples are listed in the “Clear Liquid Diet” table. While you’re following this diet:
- Don’t eat any solid foods.
- Try to drink at least 1 (8-ounce) glass of clear liquid every hour you’re awake.
- Drink plenty of liquids other than water, coffee, and tea.
- Don’t drink anything red, purple, or orange.
- If you have diabetes, only drink sugar-free clear liquids and check your blood sugar level often. If you have any questions, talk with your healthcare provider.
|Clear Liquid Diet|
|Drink||Do Not Drink|
A clerk from the Admitting Office will call you after 11:00 am the day before your procedure. If you’re scheduled for your procedure on a Monday, you will be called on the Friday before. The clerk will tell you what time to arrive at the hospital for your procedure.
If you don’t receive a call by 5:00 pm, call 212-639-7882. If you need to cancel your procedure for any reason, call the doctor who scheduled it for you.
Write your appointment information in the space below.
Scheduled arrival time: ____________________
You will drink a large amount of cool liquid for your SUPREP bowel preparation. This may cause bloating or discomfort in your abdomen (belly), nausea, or a headache. These things aren’t cause for alarm. If you have pain in your abdomen or vomit, call your doctor.
Do your SUPREP bowel preparation in 2 parts.
At 5:00 pm the evening before your procedure, start drinking the first part of your SUPREP bowel preparation. Start at 5:00 pm no matter what time you’re scheduled to arrive for your procedure.
- Empty 1 (6-ounce) bottle of SUPREP liquid into the mixing container.
- Add cool drinking water up to the 16 ounce line on the container. Mix.
- Drink all of the liquid in the container.
- Drink 2 more 16-ounce containers of water (32 ounces total) over the next hour. You don’t need to drink the water all at once, but it’s important to finish all 32 ounces over the next hour.
- After you finish all 32 ounces of water, you can keep drinking other clear liquids until 4 hours before your scheduled arrival time.
You will repeat steps 1 to 5 for the second part of your SUPREP bowel preparation. The time you start drinking the second part of your SUPREP bowel preparation depends on your scheduled arrival time.
- If your scheduled arrival time is before 11:00 am, start at 8:00 pm the night before your procedure.
- If your scheduled arrival time is 11:00 am or later, start at __________ (5 hours before your scheduled arrival time) the day of your procedure.
The Day of Your Procedure
If your scheduled arrival time is 11:00 am or later, remember to start drinking the second part of your SUPREP bowel preparation 5 hours before your scheduled arrival time.
Starting 4 hours before your scheduled arrival time, do not eat or drink anything. This includes water, hard candy, and gum.
- Take only the medications you were instructed to take the morning of your procedure. Take them with a few sips of water.
- Don’t put on any lotion, cream, powder, makeup, perfume, or cologne.
- Remove any jewelry, including body piercings.
- Leave valuable items (such as credit cards and jewelry) at home.
- If you wear contacts, wear your glasses instead.
- A list of the medications you take at home, including patches and creams.
- If you have an implanted pacemaker or cardioverter-defibrillator (AICD), bring your wallet card with you if it isn’t already on file with the hospital.
- Your rescue inhaler (such as albuterol for asthma), if you have one
- A case for your glasses
- Your Health Care Proxy form, if you have completed one
To reach the garage, turn onto East 66th Street from York Avenue. The garage is located about a quarter of a block in from York Avenue, on the right-hand (north) side of the street. There is a pedestrian tunnel that you can walk through that connects the garage to the hospital.
There are also other garages located on East 69th Street between First and Second Avenues, East 67th Street between York and First Avenues, and East 65th Street between First and Second Avenues.
Your procedure will be at the following location:
Endoscopy Suite at Memorial Hospital (MSK’s main hospital)
1275 York Avenue (between East 67th and East 68th Streets)
New York, NY 10065
When you arrive at Memorial Hospital, take the M elevator to the 2nd floor. Enter the Endoscopy Suite through the glass doors.
If you parked in the garage on 66th Street and York Avenue, follow the signs to the A elevator. Take the A elevator to the 2nd floor, then follow the signs to the M building. Enter the Endoscopy Suite through the glass doors.
Once you arrive at the hospital, doctors, nurses, and other staff members will ask you to state and spell your name and date of birth many times. This is for your safety. People with the same or similar names may be having procedures on the same day.
After changing into a hospital gown, you will meet your nurse. They will place an intravenous (IV) catheter into one of your veins, usually in your hand or arm. The IV will be used to give you anesthesia (medication to make you sleep) during your procedure. You may also get fluids through the IV before your procedure.
You will talk with your doctor before your procedure. They will explain the procedure and answer your questions.
You will also meet with your anesthesiologist. They will review your medical history with you and talk with you about the kind of anesthesia (medication to make you sleep) you will receive.
When it’s time for your procedure, you will be brought into the procedure room and helped onto an exam table. You will be attached to equipment to monitor your heart, breathing, and blood pressure. You will also receive oxygen through a thin tube that rests below your nose. You will lay on your left side with your knees bent. You will get anesthesia through your IV, which will make you fall asleep.
Once you’re asleep, your doctor will examine your rectum. Next, they will place a colonoscope into your rectum. Your doctor will use air and fluid to move the colonoscope along the length of your colon while looking for anything unusual on the video monitor.Back to top
After Your Procedure
You will wake up in the PACU. Your nurse will continue to monitor your heart, breathing, and blood pressure. You may feel bloated and have stomach cramps. This is normal and goes away by passing gas.
Once you’re fully awake, your nurse will remove your IV. If you have someone waiting with you, your nurse will explain your discharge instructions to both of you before you go home.
- You can eat all of your usual foods after your procedure, unless your doctor gives you other instructions.
- Don’t drink alcoholic beverages for 24 hours after your procedure.
- You can go back to doing your usual activities 24 hours after your procedure.
If you had a biopsy, it’s normal to have a small amount of bleeding from your rectum. There should be no more than a few drops of blood, and the bleeding should stop within 24 hours after your procedure.
After a colonoscopy, it’s normal for your bowel movements to be irregular or different from your usual habits. This may last for up to a week after your procedure.Back to top
Call Your Doctor or Nurse if You Have:
- A temperature of 101° F (38.3° C) or higher
- Severe stomach pain or hardness
- Bleeding from your rectum that lasts more than 24 hours
- Bleeding between bowel movements
- Weakness, faintness, or nausea
- Heavy bleeding from your rectum
|Low-fiber foods to eat||High-fiber foods to avoid|
|Fruits and Vegetables||
|Meats and Proteins||