Frequently Asked Questions

Aren't Fiber rich foods good for bowel movement?
Yes. However, please avoid fiber rich foods and stop taking fiber supplements two days before your procedure.
Can I have sugar in my coffee/tea during my clear liquid diet?
Yes.  You may use sugar or sugar substitutes in your drinks during your clear liquid diet.
Can I drink alcohol on the liquid diet?
No, alcohol is not allowed as part of the liquid diet.
How can I tell if the prep is working?
If you are having regular, loose stools the prep is working.  The bowel movements should continue to get looser, and will eventually be a light coffee brown or a light yellow tint.
Can I take my routine medications on the morning of my test?
AM/PM Procedure, only take blood pressure, heart, seizure, Thyroid, Inhalers, Pain and Anxiety and Allergies medication unless otherwise instructed by our physician or your primary care physician.
Can I take over-the-counter medications with my colon prep?
Yes, EXCEPT: Aspirin, Motrin, Advil, Ibuprofen, Aleve, Naprosyn, Naproxen or Iron Supplements.  Tylenol (Acetaminophen) will not interfere with your procedure.
Do I need antibiotics before the procedure?
No, in general, most patients do not require antibiotics prior to a colonoscopy.
Why does my driver need to stay for my entire test?
Your driver will need to stay on the premise for your safety.  You will be sedated and not able to make decisions for yourself.  You cannot drive yourself home after the procedure; therefore, we want your driver available as soon as you are ready, so you can go safely home.
Can I take a bus or a Taxi/Uber/Lyft home by myself after my procedure?
No, due to the sedation given during the procedure, you are considered legally impaired.  There are available options if you do not have a driver.  If you are an AHCCCS patient please contact your insurance to set up transportation.

  1. Flashpoint Medical Cab Service (520) 572-9898
  2. Discount Cap (520) 388-4068
Can I have alcohol while I am doing my prep?
Alcohol should be avoided at all costs. It dehydrates your body, and it dangerous to mix with sedatives.
Can I take my routine medications on the morning of my test?
If you are scheduled for a morning procedure, do not take any medication EXCEPT for blood pressure, heart and seizure unless you are otherwise instructed by our physician or your primary care physician. If you are scheduled for an afternoon exam you may take your routine medicaiton EXCEPT the medications that you were instructed to hold. Pain medicaiton should not be taken within six hours of any procedure.
Can I take over-the-counter medications with my colon prep?
Tylenol (acetaminophen) is acceptable to take, as well as many other over the counter medicines. Do NOT take: aspirin, Motrin, Advil, ibuprofen, Aleve, naprosyn, Naproxen, or iron supplements. If you have any concerns, call your doctor.
Do I have to drink all of my colon prep?
Yes, we want your colon as clean as possible so that your physician can see all of the colon. This allows your physician to find (and possibly treat) the smallest and flattest polyps.
How can I tell if my colon is clean enough?
To best tell if your colon is ready, check your stool. Clear means you are good to go, brown is not great, and if it is still mostly solid or is semi-solid you need to drink more laxatives. Call your doctor if things aren’t progressing as they should.
How do I prepare for a colonoscopy?
The day before the procedure you will be drinking clear liquids only, and will take laxative supplements. The laxatives will help clear up your colon before the test.
How do I request my medical records and is there a cost?
Patients are welcome to call or walk in for a medical records release form.  Release of records can take up to 24-48 hours.  The charge for medical records are as follows: $1.00 for the first 5 pages and then 50¢ for each additional page.
How do I schedule an office visit?
Please call our office at (520) 742-4139 to schedule an appointment.
How long does it take to renew my prescription?
Please contact your pharmacy first.  All prescription refills are sent to your pharmacy within 24-72 business hours.
How long will it take for the preparation to start working?
That depends on each individual. If you have never taken laxatives before, make sure to say close to a bathroom. If you have not had any results in four hours, you may need more laxatives.
How will I get my test results?
Test results are given to patients over the phone within 7-10 business days.
How will my primary care physician know the results?
The name of your primary care physician should be given to the doctor that is doing your test. As long as they have the correct information, your results will be sent to your primary care doctor that same day.
I am a diabetic and I’m worried about my blood sugar dropping too low.
Checking your blood sugar often is going to be a necessity during your prep. Make sure you drink liquids with sugar, and keep instant glucose tabs on hand in case of emergency. You can also suck (NOT CHEW) on hard candy in case of an emergency. Avoid candies that are red or purple. Check your blood sugar every 45 minutes to an hour and if your levels continue to drop or do not increase, make sure you call your doctor and go to the emergency room as needed.
I am a diabetic, what can I do if my blood sugar is too high?
Do not take insulin, unless you use sliding scale insulin. Drink sugar free drinks instead, and check your levels every hour. If your sugar is still too high, call your doctor or go to the emergency room if necessary.
I am a diabetic. What precautions should I take?
Discuss with your doctor the exact precautions you should take. Make sure you disclose ALL of your medications clearly, and the day before your test make sure you check your sugars often. In the event that your levels are dropping too quickly, you may want to drink liquids with sugar in them or have glucose tablets on hand. Have a friend or relative on call or with you the day before to help you with the preparation.
I'm having my period. Can I still have a colonoscopy if I am menstrating?
This will not interfere with your procedure at all, nor will wearing a pad or using a tampon.
I am usually very constipated. What if the prep doesn’t work?
Talk to your doctor about potentially extending your preparation period. 2 days instead of 1 day may be needed to ensure your colon is clean enough.
I am very sensitive to laxatives.
If you are worried about any soreness, try using something to help your skin be protected. Products like Desitin® is common, and make sure to use wet wipes instead of regular toilet paper.

If you are concerned about how much of an effect the laxatives will have on you, it would be a good idea to stay close to the bathroom and buy underwear protection. Accidents are more likely to occur during preparation for those that have experienced bowel issues before.

I have a heart problem, and I need antibiotics before tests.
As of 2007, the American Heart Association has updated their guidelines to show that prophylactic antibiotics for preventing endocarditis is not recommended for any GU or GI tract procedures, including colonoscopies. If you have any concerns, please discuss them with your doctor.
I have an artificial joint. My orthopedic surgeon said I need antibiotics?
No. The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, has concluded that antibiotic use for patients with artificial joints is not recommended.
If your surgeon advises you to take antibiotics anyway before and/or after the procedure, he or she may choose to provide you with a prescription for the medication of their choice.
I have questions regarding my bill.
For questions regarding your bill from Arizona Gastroenterology LTD, Arizona Digestive Institute LLC, or Professional Anesthesia Services PLLC please contact our billing service at 1-877-413-2854.

If you choose to leave a message, we will return your call within 24-48 hours.

My insurance company said my colonoscopy would be covered at 100% if it's for 'screening.'
Colonoscopy  benefits vary drastically from one insurance carrier to the other and have different levels of benefits and coverage based on the indication and the actual procedure performed. Claims are submitted to your insurance carrier based on the indication and findings at the time of the procedure.  Your insurance carrier makes the determination of these benefits, not Arizona Gastroenterology.
What is the patient portal?
With patient portal you are able to communicate with your provider and staff via the portal website.  Your procedure preparation can also be accessed via patient portal.  Please contact our office to receive a token and instructions.
Ooops, I just read my instructions. I accidentally ate breakfast.
Usually, you can really push a lot of fluids and your bowel preparation will work. This may not be the case if you are a person who usually has constipation. You may require a little extra laxative to completely clean out.
What clear liquids are allowed?
Clear liquids include tea, popsicles, bouillon or broth, apple juice, white grape juice, soft drink, and coffee. Please, DO NOT drink anything red or purple because it may look like blood during the test.
What do I do about my diabetic medications?
Morning doses of oral medication (pills) can be taken, but you should not take your nightly doses. If you take insulin, you should consult with your nurse for your individual needs. If you haven’t contacted your nurse 5 days before your prep, please do so immediately. Their number should be provided on the back on your instruction sheet.
What happens after my procedure? Will I still have diarrhea?
After the procedure, you will be asked to clear out any gas in your colon. There may be some liquid as well, so you may want to have protection for your clothes. To help prevent further diarrhea, eat a solid meal that is low in fat. Avoiding fast food or anything extra greasy would also be a good idea.
What happens if bowel movements do not start after drinking the laxative?
If things haven’t started in 4 hours, take another dose of laxatives. If you begin having bowel movements that run clear, you should be prepared for your test. If your stool is still dark or semi-solid, you may need more laxatives. Call your doctor if you have concerns.
What happens if I start vomiting after drinking the laxative?
Wait 1 to 2 hours to allow your stomach to settle. Start drinking the solution at a slower pace. Instead of drinking a glass every 10 to 15 minutes, drink a glass every 20 to 30 minutes. This will take longer, but hopefully should keep you from vomiting the rest of the solution. If you continue to vomit, call our office to receive further instructions from your physician.
What if I forgot to stop my blood thinners?
If you take blood thinners, you will have to reschedule your appointment. There are no exceptions.
What if my hemorrhoids bleed during the prep?
If you use hemorrhoid cream, it would be a good idea to use that before starting the laxative prep. If you have a very small amount of bleeding, try to finish the prep so your procedure can still be performed. If you are having a large amount of bleeding, stop your prep and call our office or call the emergency room.
What is a laxative and which one will I take to prepare for my test?
A laxative is a medication which pulls water into your colon and causes your colon to squeeze and clean itself out. You will take Ducolax(r) (bisacody) laxative tablets and MiraLAX(r) laxative powder mixed with Crystal Light(r). This combination will allow your colon to make a large amount of liquidy diarrhea.
When will I get the results from my colonoscopy?
Some early results may be available from your doctor right after the test. Otherwise, you should receive a call or letter with your full results. This may take a week or more, depending on lab testing. If you have not received results in 2 weeks, call your doctor.
When will my call be returned?
High priority calls are returned by the end of the business day, while all other calls are returned within 24-48 hours.
Why do I have to stop drinking 4 hours before my colonoscopy?
We ask that you stop clear liquids four hours prior to your colonoscopy to allow your stomach to empty before you receive sedation. Liquids in your stomach can be inhaled into your lungs when you are sedated, causing serious complications.
Why do I have to wake up so early to do another dose of laxative?
64 ounces of liquid is a lot for people to handle. By breaking it up into separate doses, there is a better chance of preventing nausea.
Why do I need to bring in a past medical history and medication list?
Bringing this information with you at the time of visit will help with the process of filling out your paperwork, and expedite the wait time for the appointment.
Why do I need to bring in my insurance cards and photo ID?
For two reasons: In order to ensure that we bill your insurance company correctly and without any delays, we verify insurance cards at the time of visit.  Second, in compliance with the Federal Red Flag rule, photo identification is required to protect against identity theft.
Why is a referral needed for my appointment?
Most insurance companies require you to have a referral when visiting specialty offices.  Without it, your insurance company may not pay for your visit.
Why is it so important to have a clean colon?
The only way to completely check for potentially dangerous polyps is to do have as clean a colon as possible. If your colon is not clean enough, then it makes it very easy to miss important details. Another issue is that if your colon is not clean enough, there could be methane gas in your colon, which could react to the electricity often used to treat polyps.
Will I miss work the day before my procedure?
This depends on the time of day. You will begin taking your laxatives at 3 p.m., so you will not be able to work after that. Any time before 3 would be fine.