I recently failed two preps for a colonoscopy

Posted by robbinr @robbinr, Mar 21, 2016

I recently failed two preps for a colonoscopy, and I can’t imagine putting myself through another attempted prep (stuff makes me hurl). Initially, prior to my 2nd failure to prepare, the PA put me on Raniditone – which is apparently just Zanactz – but now my heart burn is out of control!
I wake every morning with a sinus-load of stomach acid. I already was taking emepresole (sp?) in the morning. This double-dose of anti-acids seems to be on its way to doing me in.
BUT, if I don’t take the Randitone – I get the original issue back, which is a horrible pinching pain in my side and massive diarrhea all day. I am at a loss.

Hi @robbinr, welcome to Connect.
Also, here is some info on how Mayo Clinic suggests prepping for a colonoscopy- http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/colonoscopy/basics/how-you-prepare/prc-20013624.

I’m also tagging @JimPurcell on this discussion. Recently Mayo Clinic’s own @LeeAase, Director of Social Media Network shared his prep and colonoscopy live. Here are some highlights https://connect.mayoclinic.org/scopescope-mayo-clinic-colonoscopy-on-periscope/

I don’t like the phrase “failure to prepare”. That’s sounds so chastising. Were you simply not able to drink all the preparation? It is horrible. I’ve done it. But I’m sure glad I did because they found a pre-cancerous polyp and were able to remove it right away.

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Hi again @robbinr. I took your questions to a pharmacist here at Mayo Clinic. She offers the following information:

“There are a few colonoscopy preps available. Each provider tends to have a preference as to what he or she feels works the best. While the standard preps tend to have an icky taste, there are some available that are more palatable. Some people have the option of using Miralax (which has little to no taste) and mixing it with Gatorade. The patient must still drink a large volume, but it’s usually much less than 4 liters, which can be the volume of some of the common preparations. This option tends to taste quite a bit better for many people. Another option to bypass the taste issue is called OsmoPrep. This option includes taking tablets and drinking clear liquids (2 quarts). Again, the amount of liquid is much less than a standard prep, and the liquids can be chosen by the patient, so taste isn’t so much of an issue. Based on a person’s medical history, the tablets may not be an option as there have been reports of side effects and damage to the kidneys. When a bowel prep has not worked for a patient, it could be due to a number of reasons. It is sometimes helpful to have a longer period of “liquid-only” diet (sometimes two days or more leading up to the start of the preparation).

As far as the heartburn goes, it is difficult to know if there is an underlying issue when the medications are not working. If the proton pump inhibitor (esomeprazole) seems to work for a while and then stop working, some providers will have patients split the dose and take half in the morning and half at night. This would require a new prescription for a different strength capsule. This should only be done if the provider has agreed to the new dosing regimen.”

I hope this information helps your next conversation with your doctor. How are you feeling today?

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re: prep failure: yuck, what a bummer. 50% of our over-50 population
has NOT had a colonoscopy. Many are sensitive to the prep materials, or
are allergic to the anesthetics.
DEMAND an alternative test, as the FIRST step instead, so that your
testing CAN be successful. Even if doctors whine that you have risk
factors, blah-blah-blah, DEMAND an Rx for one or both of these new NO
PREP simple, but accurate, tests. THEN, IF, it’s positive, you and your
doctor could discuss further options, with the prep being in a hospital
setting. If it’s negative, your doctor could run lab tests for other
causes, and refer you to a nutritionist and/or allergist, and monitor
your symptoms, and re-test ColoVantage after a few months if necessary.

1) ColoVantage simple (arm) blood test, NO prep, not even fasting, go
to lab any time of day. My PCP wrote the Rx right after I called her.
Cost me $400 at Quest Lab, WORTH IT!!! Look it up online, is VERY
accurate, and the test looks for trace of colorectal cancer’s DNA cells
(pre-polyp even!) in your bloodstream. A DNA specialist processes your
test and writes the report, sends it to your doctor.
(Or there may be cheaper ColoVantage at different lab in your area. Shop
around. )

2) ColoGuard “mail-away” kit. From home. You’ve seen the TV ads.
Needs Rx too. NO prep. I don’t know cost.
I think even Medicare covers these tests, both are FDA-approved.
Unfortunately most insurance companies don’t cover them…yet.

GOOD LUCK!

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I am 73 years old and had my first colonoscopy at age 40. I had a maternal aunt and uncle diagnosed with colon cancer a few years before I had some rectal bleeding. My doctor suggested colonoscopy. I had polyps removed that would have become malignant over time so had to have another in a year and several since then. I was hoping this would be my last but a polyp was found.
Yes, the prep is awful but symptoms are over in 24 hours or less. I think the prep is well worth the possiblity of preventing colon cancer. People have to buck up and just do it. I have had IBS since i was a teenager. The prep for lower GI xrays back then upset my colon for days. Colonoscopy prep has not. Unflavored Go lightly which I did until my last prep in February was less of a problem than the Miralax and Gatorade split that I in February.
Propofol has greatly improved my post anesthetic problems I had with other anesthetics.

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hello @robbinr
sorry to hear about your experience, but for me it is of interest that others have experienced the same thing as me. My first prep was PEG, 2 day prep period-nothing happened the first day…nothing. The second day was not much better, but had the procedure anyway. My "failed prep" sort of seemed as though it was my fault- that chastising thing reported by Colleen. Not a nice feeling to leave the center with that hanging over my head! No excuses; yes it does not taste like that latte supremo, but I am not in this for joy and grins- I want answers, and will do what it takes. The second prep was Supreprep (excuse the spelling please) and this was supposed to be the answer. Again, not so much worked, and failed prep, except this time the GI doc said OK to wait for a year and do it again. As I learned only too recently, if you do not advocate for yourself, nobody will! I said that result of the second procedure was totally unacceptable, and as cancer patient, I wanted answers. A few phone calls and I did get the reschedule. This prep was 7 days on low residue foods….not much eating there!, and then 2 full days on PEG again. Seems to be working now, and I will know in the morning (Tuesday) if it did in fact work. More details as I finish this round–but not too much of TMI– take care,

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@azcyclist2018

hello @robbinr
sorry to hear about your experience, but for me it is of interest that others have experienced the same thing as me. My first prep was PEG, 2 day prep period-nothing happened the first day…nothing. The second day was not much better, but had the procedure anyway. My "failed prep" sort of seemed as though it was my fault- that chastising thing reported by Colleen. Not a nice feeling to leave the center with that hanging over my head! No excuses; yes it does not taste like that latte supremo, but I am not in this for joy and grins- I want answers, and will do what it takes. The second prep was Supreprep (excuse the spelling please) and this was supposed to be the answer. Again, not so much worked, and failed prep, except this time the GI doc said OK to wait for a year and do it again. As I learned only too recently, if you do not advocate for yourself, nobody will! I said that result of the second procedure was totally unacceptable, and as cancer patient, I wanted answers. A few phone calls and I did get the reschedule. This prep was 7 days on low residue foods….not much eating there!, and then 2 full days on PEG again. Seems to be working now, and I will know in the morning (Tuesday) if it did in fact work. More details as I finish this round–but not too much of TMI– take care,

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@azcyclist2018

I congratulate you on your amazing persistence! I have had 3 surgeries of the upper digestive tract so that makes the area that holds food and water smaller than what it used to be and I have found that the longer the time for the prep the better. Starting a couple of days on a primarily liquid/soft diet before the real prep begins is very helpful.

I look forward to hearing from you again with the results of this last prep. I hope you are able to complete the procedure to everyone's satisfaction.

Teresa

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@azcyclist2018

hello @robbinr
sorry to hear about your experience, but for me it is of interest that others have experienced the same thing as me. My first prep was PEG, 2 day prep period-nothing happened the first day…nothing. The second day was not much better, but had the procedure anyway. My "failed prep" sort of seemed as though it was my fault- that chastising thing reported by Colleen. Not a nice feeling to leave the center with that hanging over my head! No excuses; yes it does not taste like that latte supremo, but I am not in this for joy and grins- I want answers, and will do what it takes. The second prep was Supreprep (excuse the spelling please) and this was supposed to be the answer. Again, not so much worked, and failed prep, except this time the GI doc said OK to wait for a year and do it again. As I learned only too recently, if you do not advocate for yourself, nobody will! I said that result of the second procedure was totally unacceptable, and as cancer patient, I wanted answers. A few phone calls and I did get the reschedule. This prep was 7 days on low residue foods….not much eating there!, and then 2 full days on PEG again. Seems to be working now, and I will know in the morning (Tuesday) if it did in fact work. More details as I finish this round–but not too much of TMI– take care,

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Good morning,Teresa,

the prep was listed as "fair"- did not completely evacuate; enough was done though as he found a 6mm polyp and removed it. Doc said OK for 3 more years. My simple math suggests that a growth of 6mm in one year (previous colo was clear) would mean a potential for an 18mm growth in 3 years–assumes another polyp and equal growth rate for 3 years. That would be about 3/4" and that is too big for me!! I will be following with my primary next week- since the prep this time was only listed as "fair", and previous 2 colos (within the past month!) did not apparently show the 6mm growth, I have questions. The prep is annoying; the alternative seems unacceptable-this most recent 7 day prep and marginal result will put me in the research mode to find out what else can be done to be more certain. Hard to imagine that I am so unique with a significant colon resection and am the only one with prep challenges. I will stay in touch with this wonderful site, and share everything I learn!
to all, my best
Bill

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I’m sorry you are going through this. I too had two failed preps. The doctor shamed me and on the third try, a nurse threatened me with canceling my colonoscopy if I didn’t do the prep correctly. This all happened at Mayo in Scottsdale. Fortunately my doctor st Mayo also had the same experience and he said that the term “failed prep” did not necessarily mean the patient was at fault. When I talked with the gastroenterologist he said the same thing. For my third try, he had me do an intensive prep. For the entire week I was to be on a low fiber diet. Two days before my procedure, I drank a small bottle that made me get up all night to use the bathroom. The next night I drank the large prep. I read on another site that it’s good to have it cold, by refrigeration, not ice. Also on another site it said to suck on a lemon or lime before drinking the prep. I have told many of my friends this and they say it really helped. The nurse practitioner who works for my doctor said I could drink one bottle of Ensure each of the two days before the colonoscopy. They must be the green apple flavor. I finally had a successful prep and because of my thirteen polyps (total) I need another colonoscopy in three years. I no longer live in dread of it because I have a plan. I hope this helps you, and if not, perhaps someone else can benefit.

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@azcyclist2018

hello @robbinr
sorry to hear about your experience, but for me it is of interest that others have experienced the same thing as me. My first prep was PEG, 2 day prep period-nothing happened the first day…nothing. The second day was not much better, but had the procedure anyway. My "failed prep" sort of seemed as though it was my fault- that chastising thing reported by Colleen. Not a nice feeling to leave the center with that hanging over my head! No excuses; yes it does not taste like that latte supremo, but I am not in this for joy and grins- I want answers, and will do what it takes. The second prep was Supreprep (excuse the spelling please) and this was supposed to be the answer. Again, not so much worked, and failed prep, except this time the GI doc said OK to wait for a year and do it again. As I learned only too recently, if you do not advocate for yourself, nobody will! I said that result of the second procedure was totally unacceptable, and as cancer patient, I wanted answers. A few phone calls and I did get the reschedule. This prep was 7 days on low residue foods….not much eating there!, and then 2 full days on PEG again. Seems to be working now, and I will know in the morning (Tuesday) if it did in fact work. More details as I finish this round–but not too much of TMI– take care,

Jump to this post

@azcyclist2018 Hello Bill,

Thanks for the follow up. I'm glad that it is over and that a polyp was removed. As you continue your research on good preps, keep us updated. We all dread the prep and would be glad to have more information.

Teresa

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good evening, I am a 58 yr old female and I have had colonoscopies every five years since I was 22yrs old, had IBS at that time and Polyps. I have had polyps every time so I repeat my colonoscopy at five year intervals.. I have tried so many preps and they make me so sick to my stomach that I have had to get something for nausea just to do a bowel prep….. Just 3 weeks ago I did HAPPY COLON FOODS prep kit and it had breakfast,lunch,dinner and 3 small snacks so I actually to go eat all day, wasn't a large amount , but more than enough to keep me from getting hungry or nauseated. I took a dose of this tasteless powder in a bottled water and a tablet, Every time I ate and had a snack. ALL of that was included in my kit for 45.00 plus tax and shipping. Very detailed instructions. I had no cramping, no nausea and no bloating. BEST ever, I would recommend this prep to anyone, especially people who have problems going without food, even a diabetic could to this prep. I see the GI doctor that invented this prep, Dr Jeff Scott in Oklahoma City, and I think his prep was a great invention and well past due for the GI community!!! They have a helpful website also. happycolonfoods.com I ordered kit online and got it in 2days.

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@colleenyoung

Hi @robbinr, welcome to Connect.
Also, here is some info on how Mayo Clinic suggests prepping for a colonoscopy- http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/colonoscopy/basics/how-you-prepare/prc-20013624.

I’m also tagging @JimPurcell on this discussion. Recently Mayo Clinic’s own @LeeAase, Director of Social Media Network shared his prep and colonoscopy live. Here are some highlights https://connect.mayoclinic.org/scopescope-mayo-clinic-colonoscopy-on-periscope/

I don’t like the phrase “failure to prepare”. That’s sounds so chastising. Were you simply not able to drink all the preparation? It is horrible. I’ve done it. But I’m sure glad I did because they found a pre-cancerous polyp and were able to remove it right away.

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I don't know if this will be seen since the post is from 2016? I just tried to get my colonoscopy done today and yesterday. I did the prep the hospital asked for and I drank all of the GaviLte-C (x2). Yesterday my stool was not clear and I went home to take another GaviLyte. I went in today and the doctor said my colon was not clean enough after I went have my IV(1st time ever) and anesthesia(1st time ever). They could not do the test and are having me come back in 3 months.

I guess I have a slow digestive system. The new prep orders are for GaviLte-C, Maralax and enema.
I never thought a procedure would be so hard and yes I know I didn't fail but I feel like I did. Any other advice would be welcomed. Thanks

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@doolz

I don't know if this will be seen since the post is from 2016? I just tried to get my colonoscopy done today and yesterday. I did the prep the hospital asked for and I drank all of the GaviLte-C (x2). Yesterday my stool was not clear and I went home to take another GaviLyte. I went in today and the doctor said my colon was not clean enough after I went have my IV(1st time ever) and anesthesia(1st time ever). They could not do the test and are having me come back in 3 months.

I guess I have a slow digestive system. The new prep orders are for GaviLte-C, Maralax and enema.
I never thought a procedure would be so hard and yes I know I didn't fail but I feel like I did. Any other advice would be welcomed. Thanks

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@doolz I had a colonoscopy that was not clear so when I had the next one my gastro put me on a diet of no raw fruits and vegetables starting three days before the colonoscopy, then I had to have a liquid diet for a while before I started the prep. It worked, clear colonoscopy. Plus, the miserable prep was not as nauseating as it had been, but boy, was I “hangry” by the time I had it. Of course they gave me crackers and juice afterward. I thought I deserved a surf and turf dinner! 😁
JK

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@doolz

I don't know if this will be seen since the post is from 2016? I just tried to get my colonoscopy done today and yesterday. I did the prep the hospital asked for and I drank all of the GaviLte-C (x2). Yesterday my stool was not clear and I went home to take another GaviLyte. I went in today and the doctor said my colon was not clean enough after I went have my IV(1st time ever) and anesthesia(1st time ever). They could not do the test and are having me come back in 3 months.

I guess I have a slow digestive system. The new prep orders are for GaviLte-C, Maralax and enema.
I never thought a procedure would be so hard and yes I know I didn't fail but I feel like I did. Any other advice would be welcomed. Thanks

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@doolz – you are not alone. Has happened to me a couple of times. I had followed all instructions. Once they had me on clear liquids for 2 days before. It was embarrassing, but my system must be slow- probably why I had the colonoscopy!

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@doolz I have had the problem. My gastro doctor said it even happened to him. Last time I did a liquid diet for a week and clear liquids the last few days. Every couple of day I took Milk of Magnesia. Miralax just gives me bad stomach cramps. It worked. I also had to start earlier in the day or I could not get all the prep down and waited two hours between starting second half of prep. I have had a gastric by pass and cannot hold much at one time. .. by second half I could only drink every 20-30 minutes instead of 10 minutes.

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Thanks, everyone for your comments. i am hopeful the next try will work. I wish by digestive system wasn't so slow. I know I need to make changes to make it move faster but old habits die hard, I guess.

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