Bowel preparation therapy


Bowel Preparation Therapy: What You Need to Know

Bowel preparation therapy is a medical procedure that is used to clean the gastrointestinal tract prior to certain tests or surgeries. It involves drinking large amounts of a special solution to help flush out material that may be inside the colon. This flushing out of material makes it easier for doctors to accurately diagnose and treat medical conditions that involve the intestines or colon.

Bowel preparation therapy is an important part of many medical procedures, and it’s important to understand what it is, why it’s performed, and what the risks are prior to undergoing the procedure. Below, we’ll discuss all the necessary information related to bowel preparation.

Why Is Bowel Preparation Necessary?

Bowel preparation therapy is used when a doctor needs to get a clear view of the intestine or colon. Material inside the colon can prevent the doctor from getting an accurate diagnosis or from performing surgery. Some of the tests or procedures that may require bowel preparation include:

  • Colonoscopy
  • CT colonography
  • Barium enema
  • Radionuclide scanning
  • Anorectal procedures

What Is Involved in Bowel Preparation?

Bowel preparation is typically an outpatient procedure, and it usually begins the day before the test or surgery. You’ll need to start by taking laxatives or doing an enema to clear out your bowels. This is often done at home and under the guidance of your doctor. The day of the procedure, you’ll need to take an oral solution that is designed to flush out any remaining material from your intestines. This solution may be made of magnesium citrate, polyethylene glycol, or sodium phosphate, and it typically needs to be consumed within a certain time frame.

It’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully for the best results. You may also need to make dietary changes during the preparation process. For example, you may be asked to avoid solid foods and only consume liquids or soft foods. Additionally, you may need to avoid certain medications to reduce the risk of side effects.

What Are the Risks?

Bowel preparation is generally considered to be safe, but there are still some potential risks. These may include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, bloating, and dehydration. Additionally, the oral solution that is used in the procedure can have a laxative effect, so you may need to use the restroom more frequently during the preparation process. Some people may also experience electrolyte imbalances due to the laxatives or enemas.

Since bowel preparation can be very uncomfortable for some people, you may want to speak to your doctor about any concerns you have prior to the procedure. You should also be sure to inform your doctor of any medications you are taking and any allergies you may have.


Bowel preparation therapy is an important part of many medical exams and procedures. It helps to clear the intestines so that doctors can get an accurate view of the area. While it is generally safe, there are some risks associated with the procedure, so it’s important to understand what they are and to talk to your doctor about any concerns you have.