Colon Cancer Screening: A Bad Bowel Preparation is Never Good

Colon cancer screening with colonoscopy saves lives. But, the bowel prep must be good enough that we can see the lining of the colon, searching for colon polyps, that may lead to colon cancer. A poor prep, where we cannot see the bowel wall, is useless. Directions to the prep must be followed 100%, or you get results like these…and you need to repeat the process all over again.

The brief video below shows you what it should not look like. The key to a good bowel prep is following the directions. Period.


Tags: , ,

5 Responses to “Colon Cancer Screening: A Bad Bowel Preparation is Never Good”

  1. Mark G 06/06/2012 at 9:27 pm #

    I’ve had three colonoscopies and followed the prep to a t “T” each time. The first two were fine, but the last time they told me the prep did not work. I explained that the drink I drank did not cause me to eliminate waste. I was told that this often happens and that the next time I should ask for pills to take instead of the liquid. So, sometimes it can happen without the prep still being done properly.

    • Dr. Joe Galati 06/13/2012 at 3:02 pm #

      Agree, sometimes it just doesn’t do the job-as well as we’d like. No doubt, following the directions 100% will always give better esults.

  2. Vince Urbano 01/07/2013 at 12:51 pm #

    I’ve had two bad preps in the last 3 years. I followed all instructions but still did not clean me out. What would you recommend?

    • Dr. Joe Galati 01/08/2013 at 10:08 pm #

      This can happen. I’d suggest extending the time on clear liquids to a full two days. Avoid all roughage for 5 days prior to the prep. Ask your physician if you may need a bottle of magnesium citrate the day prior to the prep.

  3. Catherine Frost 05/18/2016 at 5:12 pm #

    I just had my first colonoscopy and was rated “poor” on my preparation, but I followed all my instructions exactly. I am pretty upset about it because it was such a disruption to my life (I get migraines from lack of sleep and not eating) and I am already dealing with cancer in another area of my body.

    The doctor just wrote “poor preparation” with no discussion or recommendations. I have done a lot of research on the internet now and what you said here makes the most sense of anything I have read.

    I thought about the magnesium citrate, but didn’t have time before my procedure. I was finished with my prep at 4 15 am and had to be at the clinic by 7 am and didn’t want to be needing to be on the toilet during the drive which was about 30 minutes away.

    I also have no idea what “clean” means. Since i have never had a colonoscopy my results looked pretty good to me as my stools were like urine. But he found solid waste and still gave me a bad ratings.

    I have to go back in 3 years now and am not happy about this.

    I am a 60 year old female.

    I am on anti-depressants and some of the research showed anti-depresents can cause problems.

    I have a doctor appointment Friday for my other issue and will discuss this with her, but thought I would see what you say.

    He also noted a polyp removed, a hemorrhoid. No discussion about either of those things. I think it is very poor to release a patient like that when you are so sedated you don’t remember anything and can’t ask any questions. It is now 5 pm and I am finally feeling like I am coherent.

Leave a Reply