Frequently Asked Questions


  • What will happen if I eat or drink something right before (or a few hours before) my procedure?

Your procedure may be cancelled.  Our primary concern is for your health and safety.  You will be given sedatives to help you relax and sleep during your procedure.  These medications affect your body’s ability to hold food and liquid in your stomach.  If you eat or drink before your procedure there is a risk that food or liquid will travel up into your esophagus where you could breathe it into your lungs.  Any foreign object in the lungs (even plain water) can lead to infection.  Your procedure may be rescheduled if you do not follow the instructions provided by our office.  You must be NPO (NOTHING BY MOUTH – food or liquids) for FOUR (4) hours prior to your procedure. 

  • What if I start vomiting while drinking the colonoscopy preparation solution?

If you develop symptoms of nausea or vomiting, stop drinking the preparation for 30 minutes and then resume drinking the preparation much more slowly.  Some suggestions for preventing/treating nausea: refrigerate the solution and use cold water for mixing, drink through a straw, consume mint or ginger (fresh in water, mints/gums, tea, soda).  If you are not able to consume the entire preparation, please call our office at (208) 343-6458.

  • How do I know when my bowel preparation is complete?

For best results, you must consume liquids only for the entire calendar day the day before your procedure – NO SOLID FOOD AT ALL THE ENTIRE DAY BEFORE YOUR PROCEDURE.  After drinking all of the prep solution, your stool output should look similar to the liquids that you are drinking; clear or yellow liquid without any stool particles.  It is normal to continue passing this liquid right up until your procedure time.  Any residual liquid in the colon can and will be suctioned out during procedure. 

  • I finished my colonoscopy preparation but am not sure it worked.  What should I do?

If you have completed the entire preparation and are still passing formed stool or dark brown fluid, your procedure may need to be rescheduled.  Please contact a member of our medical staff at (208) 343-6458 as soon as possible.

  • Can I drink alcohol (beer, wine, liquor) during the day of the bowel preparation?

No.  Consuming alcohol causes dehydration which will compound dehydration caused by the bowel preparation.  It is important to drink plenty of water or clear liquids to remain hydrated.

  • How does constipation affect the bowel preparation?

One consistent factor that causes a poor preparation for a colonoscopy is constipation.  Starting the colon preparation when you are constipated can make you sick and will probably result in a poor preparation for the exam.  If this occurs, you may have to reschedule.  If you do not normally have at least one bowel movement daily you may need special preparation instructions.  Please contact our office as soon as possible at (208) 343-6458 to discuss preparation options.

  • Can I have a colonoscopy if I am having my menstrual cycle?

Yes.  Menstruation does not interfere with colonoscopies.

  • Can my spouse, family member, or friend come in with me during the procedure and watch?

No.  The physician will speak with your family or responsible adult following the procedure.

  • Why can’t I drive after my appointment?  Does my driver have to stay the entire time I am there?

Colonoscopies and upper endoscopies require sedation to provide comfort to the patient.  Sedation will also cause grogginess and slow reflexes for up to 12 hours.  This is why you cannot drive your car or perform activities that require quick reflexes or good judgement until the following morning.  It is necessary for you to arrange for a responsible adult to safely drive you home after your procedure.  If you wish for your driver to hear your exam results we ask that they stay close to our center as the physician will meet with them in the recovery area following your procedure.  If you are taking a taxi, Uber, or Lyft your driver will not meet with the physician and will be summoned when you are ready to leave the facility.  IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A RESPONSIBLE PARTY TO DRIVE YOU HOME YOUR PROCEDURE WILL BE RESCHEDULED.

  • What if I have a sore throat after my upper endoscopy (EGD)?

Having a sore throat after an EGD is normal.  The degree of discomfort varies between individuals and your throat may be sore for several days.  It is expected to gradually improve with time.  Keeping your throat moist with cold or warm liquids is recommended.  Try to avoid foods that may scratch your throat such as chips, crackers, pretzels, or nuts.  You may also use an over the counter throat spray with a numbin