Frequently Asked Questions

What if I vomit after taking any of the doses of preparation?
It’s OK! You may stop taking the mixture for 1 hour and then resume according to dosing instructions. Take your time with the remaining prep. Remember to drink other clear liquids you like during the prepping process.
When can I expect the preparation to “kick in” and what if it doesn’t within the time frame?
Most patients will have results within two hours after taking the first dose, but it may take as long as six hours. The preparations are very effective if they are taken according to the instructions. 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 were to have very limited results or no results, please call endoscopy center in the morning prior to your procedure for additional instructions. It’s unlikely that your procedure would need to be cancelled.
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.
Why do I have to drink clear liquids 24 hours before my colonoscopy?
If solid food is eaten the day before the procedure, it will show up in the colon during the colonoscopy and prevent the physician from having a clear view. Therefore, polyps or even cancer can be missed.
Why not Red or Purple?
If you drink red or purple-colored drinks before your colonoscopy, the fluid will resemble blood in the colon!
Why do I have to start my prep so late?
Starting the prep later will help keep the colon cleaned out for your procedure. Washing out the colon too early may result in bile covering the early half of the colon, making it hard to your doctor to see.
What medications should I take the morning of my procedure?
Medications for blood pressure, heart conditions, and seizures should be taken the morning of your exam as prescribed with small sips of water.
I am taking the prep for having loose, watery stools. Do I still need the rest of the prep?
Yes, you may have solid stool higher in the colon that needs to be eliminated.
What is the difference between a DIAGNOSTIC and a SCREENING colonoscopy?
A DIAGNOSTIC COLONOSCOPY investigates an active problem, such as pain or bleeding. A SCREENING COLONOSCOPY is performed for a routine health check without active problems. If a screening colonoscopy is done and something is biopsied or removed, your insurance company may re-classify your procedure as a DIAGNOSTIC test.
What if I am still passing stool the morning of my test?
Take a tap water enema until you run clear, or a Fleets Enema. If this doesn’t work, call the endoscopy center in the morning at 7 AM.
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, 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 or Medicare patient please contact your insurance provider for approved medical transport options.

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.
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.
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.
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. Prescription refills are only called in during office hours. Monday-Friday 8 AM-5PM, and are not available after hours.
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'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.
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 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 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 doctors’ medical assistant.
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.