Preparing for Your Endoscopy Procedure

This is where you can find specific instructions for your scheduled procedure.

You should have received a MyChart letter with the date, time and location for your procedure, and any required pre-procedure appointments.

Please note that we have two separate locations: 

Check in on the 9th floor of the main hospital.

Multnomah Pavilion

Building with columns surrounded by greenery
3161 SW Pavilion Loop
Portland, Oregon 97239

Check in at the front desk.

Center for Health & Healing, Building 2

Modern building on a clear day with the tram in the background.
3485 S. Bond Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97239

How to prepare

Download patient instructions for a colonoscopy with standard preparation.

This video explains why a colonoscopy is important, and how to prepare for the procedure.

Video transcript

Thank you for choosing OHSU for your colonoscopy. And congratulations on taking an important first step in preventing colon cancer.

Colonoscopy is the best way to screen for and prevent colon cancer. During the procedure, the doctor will pass a flexible scope with a light and camera through your rectum to the beginning of your colon. Polyps are abnormal tissue in your colon that may turn to colon cancer. If any polyps are found, your doctor will remove them during the procedure preventing them from being able to turn into cancer.

Your colon must be very clean on the day of your procedure so the doctor has a clear view of the walls of your colon.

Researchers have found that the best way to clean your colon is with two doses of an oral liquid laxative.

The first dose is taken the evening before your colonoscopy. The second dose is taken the morning of your scheduled colonoscopy.

It may appear that your colon is clean after drinking the first dose, but your stomach is still making fluids that can make it difficult for your doctor to see the walls of your colon. The second dose removes the fluids your body produced overnight to completely clear all material from your colon.

It's very important you don't miss the second dose. Many patients who don't drink the second dose of the liquid laxative have to be rescheduled because their colon is not clean enough.

You will receive sedation medicine through an IV to make you sleepy and comfortable during the procedure. Patients who receive sedation are not able to drive after the procedure. You must have a responsible person drive you home or accompany you home in a taxi or public transportation.

You will receive instructions and a paper prescription mailed to your address on file approximately one month before your procedure. If you have not received this within two weeks of your procedure, please contact our office. Keep an eye out for the instructions and prescription in your mailbox.

Two things to do as soon as you receive your instructions: One, take your paper prescription to the pharmacy to get your liquid laxative. Two, coordinate for someone to go with you to the endoscopy center, remain on site, and drive you home or accompany you home in a taxi or public transportation. You should plan to be at the endoscopy center for two to two and half hours.

Haven't gotten your instructions yet? Call our office 503-494-4373.

  • Avoid foods with nuts or seeds. They can plug up the scope.
  • Stop taking iron today.
  • Review the medication section in your instruction letter, and create a plan for adjusting blood thinners, diabetic medications, or anti-diarrhea medicines.
  • Check with your prescribing doctor before you make changes to blood thinners.

Still have questions? Call our office.

Begin a low residue diet. You should avoid foods high in fiber, such as fresh fruits and fresh vegetables, and whole grain breads and beans, and choose foods such as white bread, white rice, pasta, meat, fish, eggs, and tofu. You can have canned vegetables or fruits without skins or seeds. If in doubt, check the label. And avoid all foods with fiber content greater than 1 gram.

Starting at midnight the day before your procedure, no solid food. You may drink clear liquids only. Acceptable clear liquids are apple juice, white cranberry, or white grape juice, clear sports drinks, like Gatorade, soda pop, black coffee, and tea without milk, clear broth, like beef, chicken, or vegetable, Jell-O, and popsicles. No red or purple colored items. Avoid juices that you cannot see through, like tomato or orange juice, kombucha, milk, coffee, or tea with cream, ice cream, cream soups, or protein drinks.

In the morning, mix your prep with water as indicated in the instructions. Once the powder is completely dissolved, you may place the liquid in the refrigerator. Many patients prefer the laxative cold.

Between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. the night before your appointment, drink the first half of your liquid laxative. If you are diabetic, take half your dose of evening insulin tonight. You will start feeling the effect of the laxative within an hour. You'll want to be near a restroom once you begin drinking the solution.

Continue drinking clear liquids the remainder of the evening. The goal is to drink 1 gallon of clear liquids throughout the day.

If you have not had a bowel movement by 10 p.m., call the hospital and ask to speak with a GI fellow on call.

Four hours prior to leaving the house, drink the remaining half of your liquid laxative. Once your colon is properly cleaned, you should not see any solids in the toilet. Your liquid bowel movements should look like urine. If your liquid bowel movements look like images one, two, or three, two hours before leaving the house, please call our office.

Two hours before your arrival time, do not eat or anything.

We're looking forward to seeing you on your scheduled colonoscopy day. Thank you for choosing OHSU for your health care.

Funding for this video provided by Colon Cancer Coalition.

Download patient instructions for a colonoscopy with Golytely Plus preparation.

This video explains why a colonoscopy is important, and how to prepare for the procedure.

Video Transcript

Thank you for choosing OHSU for your colonoscopy. And congratulations on taking an important first step in preventing colon cancer.

Colonoscopy is the best way to screen for and prevent colon cancer. During the procedure, the doctor will pass a flexible scope with a light and camera through your rectum to the beginning of your colon. Polyps are abnormal tissue in your colon that may turn to colon cancer. If any polyps are found, your doctor will remove them during the procedure preventing them from being able to turn into cancer.

Your colon must be very clean on the day of your procedure so the doctor has a clear view of the walls of your colon.

Researchers have found that the best way to clean your colon is with two doses of an oral liquid laxative.

The first dose is taken the evening before your colonoscopy. The second dose is taken the morning of your scheduled colonoscopy.

It may appear that your colon is clean after drinking the first dose, but your stomach is still making fluids that can make it difficult for your doctor to see the walls of your colon. The second dose removes the fluids your body produced overnight to completely clear all material from your colon.

It's very important you don't miss the second dose. Many patients who don't drink the second dose of the liquid laxative have to be rescheduled because their colon is not clean enough.

You will receive sedation medicine through an IV to make you sleepy and comfortable during the procedure. Patients who receive sedation are not able to drive after the procedure. You must have a responsible person drive you home or accompany you home in a taxi or public transportation.

You will receive instructions and a paper prescription mailed to your address on file approximately one month before your procedure. If you have not received this within two weeks of your procedure, please contact our office. Keep an eye out for the instructions and prescription in your mailbox.

Two things to do as soon as you receive your instructions: One, take your paper prescription to the pharmacy to get your liquid laxative. Two, coordinate for someone to go with you to the endoscopy center, remain on site, and drive you home or accompany you home in a taxi or public transportation. You should plan to be at the endoscopy center for two to two and half hours.

Haven't gotten your instructions yet? Call our office 503-494-4373.

  • Avoid foods with nuts or seeds. They can plug up the scope.
  • Stop taking iron today.
  • Review the medication section in your instruction letter, and create a plan for adjusting blood thinners, diabetic medications, or anti-diarrhea medicines.
  • Check with your prescribing doctor before you make changes to blood thinners.

Still have questions? Call our office.

Begin a low residue diet. You should avoid foods high in fiber, such as fresh fruits and fresh vegetables, and whole grain breads and beans, and choose foods such as white bread, white rice, pasta, meat, fish, eggs, and tofu. You can have canned vegetables or fruits without skins or seeds. If in doubt, check the label. And avoid all foods with fiber content greater than 1 gram.

Starting at midnight the day before your procedure, no solid food. You may drink clear liquids only. Acceptable clear liquids are apple juice, white cranberry, or white grape juice, clear sports drinks, like Gatorade, soda pop, black coffee, and tea without milk, clear broth, like beef, chicken, or vegetable, Jell-O, and popsicles. No red or purple colored items. Avoid juices that you cannot see through, like tomato or orange juice, kombucha, milk, coffee, or tea with cream, ice cream, cream soups, or protein drinks.

In the morning, mix your prep with water as indicated in the instructions. Once the powder is completely dissolved, you may place the liquid in the refrigerator. Many patients prefer the laxative cold.

Between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. the night before your appointment, drink the first half of your liquid laxative. If you are diabetic, take half your dose of evening insulin tonight. You will start feeling the effect of the laxative within an hour. You'll want to be near a restroom once you begin drinking the solution.

Continue drinking clear liquids the remainder of the evening. The goal is to drink 1 gallon of clear liquids throughout the day.

If you have not had a bowel movement by 10 p.m., call the hospital and ask to speak with a GI fellow on call.

Four hours prior to leaving the house, drink the remaining half of your liquid laxative. Once your colon is properly cleaned, you should not see any solids in the toilet. Your liquid bowel movements should look like urine. If your liquid bowel movements look like images one, two, or three, two hours before leaving the house, please call our office.

Two hours before your arrival time, do not eat or anything.

We're looking forward to seeing you on your scheduled colonoscopy day. Thank you for choosing OHSU for your health care.

Funding for this video provided by Colon Cancer Coalition.

Download patient instructions for an upper GI endoscopy (EGD).

Download patient instructions for an upper GI endoscopy with Bravo pH testing (EGD with Bravo).

Download patient instructions for an ERCP.

Download patient instructions for a motility procedure.

Download patient instructions for a motility procedure with 24 hour pH monitoring.

Download patient instructions for a flexible sigmoidoscopy.

Download patient instructions for a SmartPill procedure.

Download patient instructions for a Capsule Endoscopy Procedure.

For patients

Locations

Parking is free for patients and their visitors.

Multnomah Pavilion
3161 SW Pavilion Loop
Portland, Oregon 97239
Map and directions

Center for Health & Healing, Building 2
3485 S. Bond Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97239
Map and directions

Refer a patient