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Best Frequently Asked Questions GASTROENTEROLOGY SERVICES


Q:  Do I need to stop my prescription blood thinner prior to my procedure?

A:   Yes, prescription blood thinners must be stopped at least 5 days prior to the procedure. Please contact your cardiologist or prescribing physician and inform them that you are scheduled for an endoscopic procedure and have been advised to stop this medication prior to your procedure. Your cardiologist may prescribe a bridging therapy to reduce the risk of clot formation, if you need continued blood-thinning protection while stopping your anti-coagulation therapy. Aspirin (81 mg & 325 mg) is okay to continue up to the day before the procedure.

Q:  Can I take my routine medications the day prior to my procedure while I am prepping?

A:  Yes, you may continue all routine medications, as directed, up to the day prior to your procedure. If you are an insulin dependent diabetic patient, please reduce your insulin to 1/3 your normal dose the day before your procedure, while you are on the liquid diet.  You may check your blood sugar levels at home as needed. 

Q:  Can I take my medication the morning of my procedure?

A:  The only medication you may take the morning of your procedure is your heart and/or blood pressure medication and with only a sip of water to assist you in swallowing the medication.

Q:  What is a clear liquid diet?

A:  A clear liquid diet is a diet that consists of liquids that are clear, meaning you can see through them. In this type of diet, you are not limited to colorless liquids, such as Sprite or Ginger Ale; you are only limited to liquids that are clear of any substance such a pulp or tidbits of fruit, bits of meat, or dairy products. Example: apple juice has color, yet is still clear and okay to consume, on the other hand milk is a liquid, however, you can not see through it, therefore, it is not allowed on this diet. The word “clear” in the liquid diet you will follow during your prep does not refer to the color of the liquid. Therefore, soda products are not limited to Sprite, 7Up and Ginger Ale. You may consume any flavor of soda, juice, Jell-O, or Popsicle, with the exception of those that contain red, purple or blue color additives. The only exception to the “clear” rule on your diet is Sherbet. Sherbet is a frozen mixture of fruit juice and sugar, which both ingredients are allowed on this diet, unless the Sherbet contains bits of fruit or fruit pulp, particularly found in the pineapple or berry flavors.

Q:  Do I follow the “Instructions for Use Start Here” instructions printed on the prep medication box I picked up from the pharmacy?

A:  No, do not follow any of the instructions printed on the medication box or enclosed pamphlet. The specific instructions on how to use this medication for your colonoscopy are provided to you by our office or on this site. CLICK HERE to be redirected to the Colon Prep portion of this site. ONLY follow the instructions provided by our office, failure to follow the instructions provided by our office could result in a poor prep and failed procedure requiring you to repeat the process. Please adhere to a clear liquid diet the day prior to your procedure. You should have absolutely no solid foods from the time you wake up on the day before the procedure until after your procedure has been completed the next day. 

 Q:  Can I smoke or dip/chew tobacco prior to my procedure?

 A:  You can smoke and dip/chew tobacco with no restrictions the day prior to your procedure. You must stop use of any dip or chewing tobacco at least 4 hours prior to your arrival to the facility.Smoking and Chewing Tobacco Meaningful Use Information: The sooner you refrain from smoking, the greater your chances are of avoiding surgery-related complications. It is especially important not to smoke on the day of your surgery. Fortunately, the body begins to heal within hours of your last cigarette. Twelve hours after a person refrains, his or her heart and lungs already begin to function better as nicotine and carbon monoxide levels drop. It takes less than a day for blood flow to improve, which reduces the likelihood of postoperative complications. We recommend patients abstain from smoking for as long as possible before and after their procedure, but even quitting for a brief period is still beneficial.

Q:  Can I have Uber, Lyft, or a Taxi service drive me home after my procedure?

 A:  No, you must have someone you know personally drive you home. The surgery center will have your driver sign release forms assuming responsibility of your care upon discharge from their facility. You may call the surgery center directly to discuss further at 281-440-5797.

 Q:  What is a Quote Sheet?

A:  After your procedure is scheduled, your insurance benefits are verified. The "quote sheet" is a summary of what your insurance is estimated to cover for the "physician's professional fees" for your procedure, as well as any co-pays that may apply to the nurse level visit consultation that is billed during the time of the medical audit and physician review of your medical history during the scheduling process. Please reference the gray text box to the right of the form for an explanation of coverage. The “Allowed Amount” is the contracted amount that our practice bills your insurance for the professional physician fee.

Q:  How much do I owe the facility (Surgical Center), anesthesiologist, and/or pathologist?

A:  Facility fees are separate from the quote you are provided for physician fees. The facility is Memorial Hermann North Houston Endoscopy and Surgery Center and you will need to contact the facility directly to discuss any associated fees at 281-440-5797, extension 4100.  Anesthesia and Pathology are billed to your insurance after the procedure, therefore you will not be asked to pay anything for these services prior to your procedure. Anesthesia is billed to your insurance based on how many units of anesthesia were used to sedate by the Anesthesiologist during your procedure and Pathology is billed to your insurance carrier based on how many biopsies are taken and sent to the lab for analysis. Due to both services being patient and quantity specific a quote or estimate prior to the procedure cannot be accurately provided. 

Q:  What if I need to cancel my procedure?

A:  Advanced cancellation notification is required. Please email us directly at, this method will provide written documentation of your intent to cancel. Failure to notify our office/facility of your intent to cancel within 48 hours of your scheduled procedure will result in the charge of a $50.00 "No Show fee" and will be billed to your account.

Helpful Tips for Colon Preps

Mix colon prep and place in the freezer. (Keep an eye on it because you do not want it to freeze)  Patient feedback indicates that the prep is easier to drink when it is extremely cold and/or slushy.

Consider adding Crystal Light Flavor packs to each cup of colon prep you drink (do not add flavor to the jug). You may add as many packs as you need to achieve desired taste.  You may choose any flavor you like except those that contain red and/or purple coloring. It is suggested that you have several flavors available while prepping, in the event that you become dissatisfied with one flavor, you may substitute if you like! Patient feedback indicates Lemonade and Pink Lemonade are the best flavors to help mask the taste of the prep.

Drink the colon prep with a straw. The tip of the tongue contains your salty/sweet taste buds and if you drink the prep without a straw, the "salty" flavor of the colon prep will be the initial taste with each sip. The middle part of the tongue contains less taste buds and is the optimal area to place the straw to reduce the undesirable taste.

Use wet wipes/baby wipes to cleanse yourself while prepping. You will have frequent bowel movements and using toilet paper can cause some irritation.

Use of Vaseline, Witch Hazel, Tucks, Preparation H, or any hemorrhoid soothing cream is okay to use while prepping.