[MUSIC PLAYING] So you are scheduled to have a colonoscopy at the University of Chicago Medicine. We're here to help you prepare for your exam. A colonoscopy is key in helping to detect colorectal cancer, the second leading cancer killer in the United States. If you are 50 or older, or have a family history of cancer, getting a colorectal screening could save your life. Here is how. 

Colorectal cancer starts from a non-cancerous growth called a polyp that is in the rectum or colon. A colonoscopy can find polyps so that they can be removed before they turn into cancer. A colonoscopy can also find colorectal cancer early, when the chances of being cured are good. 

Preparing for your colonoscopy is important because the colon must be cleared of all solid matter so the doctor can see clearly. If your colon is not clean, your exam may be canceled. 

Your physician will prescribe a bowel preparation prior to your scheduled procedure. If not, contact your doctor immediately or simply call the medical center for instructions. 

Let's walk you through what to do to prepare for your exam. The key points are clear liquids the day before the exam. Starting your bowel prep the night before at 6 PM, drink half of your solution, and four to six hours before the exam, drink the other half of your bowel prep. Please ensure that you have an adult accompany you for the exam, since you will not be able to drive home. 

Also, arrive one hour before your scheduled appointment time. If you must cancel your appointment, please provide 24 to 48 hours notice. If not, you may incur a fee. 

If you are taking any anticoagulants, commonly known as blood thinners, or non-aspirin antiplatelet medications, including Plavix, please contact your physician at least seven days before the procedure to determine when to stop these medications. Patients who take aspirin may continue to do so without interruption, unless specifically instructed otherwise. 

Now let's have a quick review of what you just learned about preparing for your colonoscopy. Clear liquids the day before the exam. Drink half of your bowel prep the night before the exam at 6 PM. Drink the other half of your bowel prep four to six hours before the scheduled exam time. Secure an adult to accompany you and take you home. Call 773-702-8402 to cancel at least two days before the exam. 

Follow the instructions given to you by the University of Chicago hospitals. Two hours before exam, do not eat or drink anything. Your exam may be canceled if you eat or drink anything. 

Colonoscopy has been shown to be associated with a reduced risk of developing colon cancer by identification and removal of colon polyps that can grow over time. The efficacy and safety of a colonoscopy depends on a thorough bowel cleansing prior to the procedure. 


On the day of your exam, please arrive one hour before your scheduled exam time to the seventh floor of the Center for Care and Discovery at 5700 South Maryland Avenue. And if you have any questions along the way, please call us at 773-702-8402. 


Colonoscopy is associated with a reduced risk of developing colon cancer by identifying and removing colon polyps that can grow over time.

The effectiveness of a colonoscopy depends on how thoroughly the bowel is cleansed before the procedure. The better the bowel preparation, the higher chance the endoscopist can identify and remove polyps, which reduces the risk of future colon cancer.

Patients at River East and Tinley Park

Gastroenterologists from UChicago Medicine perform colonoscopies at outpatient surgery facilities in Tinley Park and River East to provide convenient care close to where you live.

What to expect:

At these facilities, we have partnered with independent anesthesia groups for patient care and comfort. In some cases, a patient may receive a separate bill from the anesthesia group based on their insurance. For questions about billing, reach out to your insurance provider for specifics.

Bowel Prep Instructions

Please follow the bowel preparation instructions — provided below in English, Spanish and Arabic — as indicated by your doctor.




Chinese (simple)


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