What is a bowel preparation?

Bowel preparation, commonly known as "bowel prep", is the process of removing all feces from the colon in order to have a medical or surgical procedure such as a colonoscopy. ¹

Many people consider the bowel preparation the worst part of these tests. In order for the doctor to see the inside of your rectum and colon clearly and get good pictures, your bowels need to be as cleaned out as possible.²

It is important to clean the colon of all stool, food particles and anything else that may be present for several reasons. If you are having surgery on or near the colon, having stool present is a risk for infection and can get in the way of some procedures. ¹

In the case of a colonoscopy, stool in the colon can prevent the surgeon from seeing the tissue that is being inspected and would make it very difficult to introduce the lighted scope into the rectum and colon. Imagine a plumber trying to clean a clogged pipe in your home and compare that to a pipe that is completely clean and clear, and you will understand why your doctor wants your colon as clean as possible. ¹

For your own safety, and to have the best possible outcome from your procedure, it is imperative that you follow your bowel prep instructions to the letter.¹






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