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Preparation for Colonoscopy

These instructions are for reference only. If your gastroenterologist ordered a colonoscopy for your child, you should have received specific instructions, with the preparation that you should follow.

Proper preparation is VERY IMPORTANT. If your child’s bowels are not cleaned out well enough, the procedure may have to be rescheduled. If you are unable to follow the instructions or have any questions, please call our office at (585) 275-2647.

The Department of Anesthesiology requires that if your child menstruates, a urine pregnancy test will be done. This is typically done on the morning of the procedure.

Procedure is performed at Strong Hospital in the GI Endoscopy Room in the new Children’s Hospital Pediatric Surgical Center. Please call (585) 276-3110, Monday through Friday, between 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on the business day prior to your procedure for your scheduled ARRIVAL TIME. It is very important to arrive ON TIME. As you come from the parking garage, stop at the main information desk in the lobby to get directions to the green elevators. Take the green elevators to the 4th floor.

Your child will be drowsy after the procedure and will need time to recover. The nurses will determine when he/she is ready to leave. Teenagers who can drive must have someone to drive them home.

If you must cancel your appointment, please do so as soon as possible. 48 hours is appreciated. If you are delayed, it is very important that you let us know. Please call our office at (585) 275-2647.

Purchase the following medications used for the preparation ahead of time:

  • Dulcolax (bisacodyl) is a laxative tablet that is available over the counter OR Ex-Lax chocolate square, another laxative available over the counter.
  • Miralax (PEG 3350) is a tasteless white powder that can be mixed with any clear liquid. Purchase a 238 gram bottle.
  • Magnesium Citrate 10 oz bottle (Cherry or Grape flavor)

All of these medications are available over the counter at your pharmacy, Walmart or any other grocery store.

COLONOSCOPY PREP INSTRUCTIONS

8:00 a.m. (the day before the procedure):

  • Have light breakfast followed by clear liquid diet.
  • Clear liquids are any fluids that you can see through. Please do not offer any drink that is red, orange or purple. Examples of clear liquids – water, ginger ale, chicken broth (no chicken or noodles) apple juice, white grape juice, pedialyte and Jell-O.
  • Medications may be taken unless otherwise instructed.

12 NOON (the day before the procedure):

  • Take 1 Dulcolax tablet (you may crush the tablets if you have any difficulty in swallowing) or 1 chocolate Ex-lax square.

1:00 p.m. (the day before the procedure):

  • Mix 7 capfuls of Miralax in 32 ounces of clear liquid
  • Begin drinking the Miralax solution. Your child should finish the solution within 2-3 hours.

Miralax comes with a measuring cap. One capful (17 gms) is measured up to the line inside the cap. Mix the Miralax in a room temperature liquid until fully dissolved then chill.

5:00 p.m. OR 6:00 p.m. (the day before the procedure):

  • Take 1 Dulcolax tablet or 1 Ex-lax square

8:00 p.m. OR 9:00 p.m. (the day before the procedure):

If the stools continue to be pasty brown or hard brown/ green, please take 5 oz of Magnesium Citrate followed by clear liquids.
If the stools are watery, clear, greenish/yellowish, you may continue to drink clear liquids until midnight.

Your child may have clear liquids up to 8 hours before the test.

8:00 a.m. (the day before the procedure):

  • Have light breakfast followed by clear liquid diet.
  • Clear liquids are any fluids that you can see through. Please do not offer any drink that is red, orange or purple. Examples of clear liquids – water, ginger ale, chicken broth (no chicken or noodles) apple juice, white grape juice, Pedialyte and Jell-O.
  • Medications may be taken unless otherwise instructed.

12 NOON (the day before the procedure):

  • Take 2 Dulcolax tablets (you may crush the tablets if you have any difficulty in swallowing) or 2 chocolate Ex-lax squares.

1:00 p.m. (the day before the procedure):

  • Mix the entire bottle (about 15 capfuls in 64 ounces of clear liquid)
  • Begin drinking the Miralax solution. Your child should finish the solution within 2-3 hours.

Miralax comes with a measuring cap. One capful (17 gms) is measured up to the line inside the cap. Mix the Miralax in a room temperature liquid until fully dissolved then chill.

5:00 p.m. OR 6:00 p.m. (the day before the procedure):

  • Take 2 Dulcolax tablets or 2 Ex-lax squares

8:00 p.m. OR 9:00 p.m. (the day before the procedure):

If the stools continue to be pasty brown or hard brown/ green, please take 10 oz of Magnesium Citrate followed by clear liquids.
If the stools are watery, clear, greenish/yellowish, you may continue to drink clear liquids until midnight.

Your child may have clear liquids up to 8 hours before the test.

Additional Instructions

If your child is taking prescribed medications, they can usually be continued with just a sip of water or clear liquid (i.e., apple juice, tea, etc).

The goal of the preparation is to have stools that are mostly watery and clear. If your child’s stool is still somewhat formed or brown liquid after completing the assigned cleanout instructions, you may give an additional ¼ bottle of Magnesium Citrate (if undergoing Magnesium Citrate cleanout) or an additional capful of MiraLAX (if undergoing MiraLAX cleanout).

If you have any problems with the preparation, please call the office at (585) 275-2647. After office hours, call the office at the number above to contact the Pediatric GI provider on call.

Please call the office if your child develops fever (101F or greater) or respiratory symptoms (coughing, difficulty breathing, nasal secretions, etc) within 48 hours prior to the procedure. The number is (585) 275-2647.

Please visit the surgery tour link on the Golisano Children's Hospital website to learn about what happens when pediatric patients are admitted to the Pediatric Surgical Center.

The Pediatric Surgical Suite has a dedicated Child Life Specialist who is there to help children feel more comfortable, understand what is going to happen and provide distractions as appropriate. She is available Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. She can give tours of the area before your child comes in for their procedure or tell you more about what they can do to help your child be as comfortable as possible. Call (585) 276-3110 to arrange a tour or discuss your child's visit to the Pediatric Surgical Center.