Frequently Asked Questions about Hydro Prep

What is hydro prep?

Hydro prep is a term short for hydro colonic lavage bowel preparation (also abbreviated: LBP) and intended for precolonoscopy cleansing. Hydro prep is administered by a nurse, and uses best practice for patient safety and outcomes. Nursing standards create a controlled method for delivering LBP and allow for measuring outcomes. LBP is a regulated procedure to wash material from the walls of the bowel from rectum to cecum, with controlled bowel evacuation. LBP is performed at an accredited medical facility with a physician on duty. A combination of mild oral laxatives plus clear liquid diet is necessary the day before the scheduled colonoscopy. LBP is conducted the same day of the colonoscopy exam, prior to the exam, usually in the morning. Performed in a private setting, LBP method is the gentle washing out of the large intestine with warm, purified water administered by a Registered Nurse.  Patients are connected to the lavage equipment with a single-use, disposable speculum and tubing designed for comfort.  The system is “closed,” meaning there is no odor and all waste contents are eliminated from the patient via the disposable speculum and tubing into the hospital waste management system.

What is the ‘day before’ protocol?

The day before your colonoscopy patients will drink only clear liquids and take some mild laxatives in the late afternoon.  Clear liquids include water, Gatorade (not red or purple), coffee (no milk), tea, clear juice (NO PULP) clear vegetable broth and Jell-O.  Do not drink anything that is red or purple.  Patients can have as many clear liquid drinks as they wish to promote hydration and a clean colon. Patients will receive explicit instructions from the serving GI department or gastroenterologist.

Why do I have to follow a ‘day before’ protocol if I’m getting Lavage Bowel Preparation?

Lavage alone is not enough to clean the walls of the colon in the way that is required for adequate inspection during colonoscopy.  By adhering to the ‘day before’ protocol of proven efficacy,  you will participate in the success of your colonoscopy exam, allowing your doctor the visual clarity required to examine your colon for precancerous polyps.  The cleaner your colon, the easier it is for your doctor to detect polyps and help prevent colon cancer.

What’s the difference between Lavage Bowel Preparation Method and an enema?

Lavage bowel preparation is designed to wash out your entire large intestine, gently and systematically, with specific technique and under extremely low pressure. Enemas are usually confined to the rectal-sigmoid area, which is only the first section of the colon, and are under extremely high pressure with no controls for pressure, temperature, or slow infusion.

What’s the difference between Lavage Bowel Preparation Method and spa colonic hydrotherapy?

The FDA has cleared colonic instrumentation as a Class II medical device for use when medically indicated, and the only indication in medicine to wash out a bowel is for colonoscopy. Medical devices require written procedural policy under scope of practice for state and federal regulators, and also require physician supervision. In medicine we treat disease states; our patients frequently present with medical histories and risk factors that mandate medically licensed personnel. This is how we control our variables and measure outcomes. Colonic hydrotherapy is classified in a different risk category by the FDA and is client elected for health and wellness.

Does Lavage Bowel Preparation need a CPT code for use of the service in a hospital or endoscopy center?

No. A CPT code is not necessary for a new service to be integrated into a medical facility. At facilities offering lavage bowel preparation, patients are willingly paying out of pocket to cover the cost of service and supplies. Pricing is up to the institution offering the service.

How long is the procedure?

Lavage Bowel Preparation procedure takes approximately 45 minutes, administered in a private setting.

Do I need sedation?

No. LBP is a very gentle procedure that does not require sedation.  Communication between the nurse and patient is an integral component during colonic lavage.  Best of all, you have 45 minutes with a nurse who can answer any of your questions and explain the entire process.

Does it hurt?

LBP does not hurt. There may be a brief uncomfortable feeling as the colon contracts to release the waste contents.   As the speculum is inserted into the anus it elicits pressure, but should not hurt unless you have active hemorrhoids.

I have hemorrhoids. Can I get HydroPrep?

If you have active hemorrhoids, then LBP will be challenging for you due to the speculum insertion into the anus.  We recommend that you wait until your hemorrhoids are not active.

Is it embarrassing?

LBP is conducted by a highly skilled, experienced Gastrointestinal (GI) Registered Nurse. Dignity, safety and comfort are performance standards of care that are elicited during every lavage bowel preparation procedure by nurses who care about your experience.

Is it safe?

LBP is completely safe. A nurse is required to be present during the entire procedure. Your nurse has years of GI nursing experience, combined with education in the professional administration of lavage bowel preparation.

Are there any side effects?

LBP has minimal side effects. Bloating and mild cramps have been reported during lavage preparation.  According to patient testimonials, most people feel better and experience positive benefits.

I’m extremely constipated. Will hydro prep be okay for me?

If you are constipated, or prior “failed prep” your doctor may have you take a stool softener starting three days prior to your colonoscopy exam, no matter what prep you choose. Having a clean colon is vital for successful visualization during your colonoscopy.  Doctors want to see 100% of your colon, in order to visually inspect your colon for polyps, and if needed, the successful removal of any identified polyps.

I have IBS, will HydroPrep be okay for me?

Yes.  The hydro prep can be used with irritable bowel syndrome or IBS.  For best results, avoid trigger foods and trigger situations three days prior to your appointment.  Most IBS patients do just fine with colon lavage and the ‘day before’ protocol.  According to patient testimonials, most patients are relieved to find a more tolerable, gut-healthy, low volume bowel preparation.

I have kidney disease. Will the hydro prep be okay for me?

The hydro prep is a good choice for renal patients. The Danbury evidence  demonstrates this method to be osmotically balanced and shown not to damage kidneys or cause any shifts in electrolytes.

Why do I need a low fiber diet before a colonoscopy? I thought fiber was good for you.

While fiber is good for you, it is not good for your colonoscopy exam.

The roughage, residual, and bulk that fiber creates makes it difficult to clean out the colon and hampers visualization of the walls of the colon by your doctor during your colonoscopy exam no matter what prep you choose.  The goal of your bowel prep is to help your gastroenterologist to see 100% of your colon, in order to exam the walls of your colon, and the removal of any precancerous polyps.  You can resume your flax psyllium chia seed multi-green shake after your colonoscopy.

Do I have to cancel work the day before my colonoscopy in order to prep?

No. LBP is designed to be compatible with your work schedule.

Is a nurse with me during the entire lavage procedure?

Yes.  You will have an invaluable 45 minutes with a highly skilled GI Registered Nurse trained and experienced in the administration of hydro colonic lavage bowel preparation.

Do people like the hydro prep?

According to Barton Memorial Hospital patient satisfaction surveys and outcomes conducted by the Danbury Hospital, 96% of the patients would choose lavage method for their next colonoscopy. Please visit the Testimonials, and Studies pages to learn more.

According to the 2011 Barton Memorial Hospital Patient Satisfaction Survey (57% female, 43% male), 65% of survey respondents chose hydro prep as a first time colonoscopy patient.  Sixty-six percent of survey respondents said they chose Barton Memorial Hospital for colonoscopy because the hydro prep was offered.