Preparing for Your Visit

How to prepare for your colonoscopy

It is important that you carefully follow the prescribed preparation for your colonoscopy, including not eating or drinking anything eight hours before your procedure. This will ensure that your stomach and small intestine are empty and that an accurate image can be obtained.

Please download and print the instructions below for the type of preparation you will drink prior to your exam. If you have any questions about the preparation instructions, please call your doctor (your primary care doctor or the surgeon who requested that you have the exam).

Colonoscopy Preparation


  • Arrive at NSMC Salem Hospital and register at the Endoscopy suite at Wheelock.
  • You will be greeted by a staff member who will bring you to a admitting room.
  • You will then be taken to the procedure room where you will receive medication through an I.V. to make you sleepy.

About the procedure

  • While you are asleep, lying in a comfortable position, the colonscope is inserted and the physician begins the diagnostics.
  • Your vital signs are continually monitored.
  • After the procedure is completed, you will be taken to the recovery room, where you will be offered a drink and snack.
  • Most patients are ready to go home after an hour in the recovery room.
  • If you have received an anesthetic, you are not permitted to drive a vehicle for 24 hours and should make arrangements for transportation.

Locations and Directions

Arrive at NSMC Salem Hospital  and register at the Endoscopy suite at Wheelock.