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Health A-Z

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Harvard Medical School

Preparation

The amount of preparation needed for endoscopy depends on what part of the body is being examined. For upper endoscopy, you will be instructed not to eat or drink for six to eight hours before the test. For bronchoscopy, you will need to follow restrictions on eating and drinking and take special precautions regarding your mouth and teeth. Your doctor will give you specific details. For colonoscopy, you will need to clear your bowels completely of stool before the procedure. To do this, you will modify your diet and take laxatives the day before the procedure. For sigmoidoscopy, you will need to have an enema before the test.

Before any endoscopy, remind your doctor of your medical and surgical history. Tell your doctor if you have any allergies. If you are a woman and there is any chance that you may be pregnant, tell your doctor.

You will need a sedative for upper endoscopy, bronchoscopy and colonoscopy. You will not be allowed to drive after the procedure because the sedative may make you less alert for the few hours immediately afterward. Arrange in advance for someone to drive you home.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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