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nudgie's picture
Posts: 1482
Joined: Sep 2006

I am scheduled to have my first colonoscopy on Friday, 12 January 07 with the surgeon who performed my surgery to remove the cancer tumor. He is not a GI Doc. I say my GI Doc yesterday and discussed many issues with him regarding my case including my first colonoscopy. One main question was the prep my surgeon recommeded, which was the Fleets Phosphasoda. My GI Doc was not happy with this prep and indicated his practice any many others has discontinued the use of this product because (this came directly from my GI Doc's office):

There are multiple ways to prepare a colon prior to colonoscopy. There have recently been significant problems reported with phosasoda preparations includes Fleets Phosphasoda liquid preps and the "pill preps" that have become so popular. The complications that have arisen include electrolyte abnormalities, severe dehydration, renal insufficiency, and occasional reports of complete irreversible renal failure. Putting this simply, there have been reports of complete kidney failure leading to the need for long-term dialysis in the occasional patient. Apparently, the reason for this is the deposition of phosphate salts int he renal tubular system. Though reports of complete renal failure are uncommon, this is a major complication. The manufacturer of these products warns tht the preparations should be used with caution and that patients should be selected very carefully. Patients over the age of 70, those with a history of kidney disease, and those taking high blood pressure medications are at particular risk.

My husband was with me at the GI Doc appt and was not happy to hear this so encouraged me to have my GI Doc perform the colonoscopy using the TriLyte preparation which is supposed to be 100% safe to your body. The only down fall to this prep is that you have to drink a gallon within 2-3 hours and follow a 3-day low residue diet.

I guess I do feel safer having my GI Doc perform the colonoscopy since it is actually their field of speciality. Just don't want to upset my surgeon. He basically saved my life and is a very good surgeon.

Monicaemilia's picture
Posts: 455
Joined: Nov 2006

Nudgie - I understand your concern about your surgeon, but I am sure he will understand. I had a couple of colonoscopies and used the prep you are mentioning. I was told that you don't need to drink the whole thing, just enough to make sure that the output is clear. Once you can see clearly through the guck, you can stop drinking. I only drank 3/4 and I was fine. I had no side effects after the procedure. Tehy just tell you to stay away from things like apples and high fibre. Monica

Posts: 484
Joined: Jan 2005


My GI doc has me use Half-Lytly (sp?) and it works well. You drink 1/2 gallon.

When I had my surgery 2 years ago the surgeon had me use Phosphasoda prior to the surgery. The information you site below became known since that time. I would be hesitant to use it now. And I too think very higly of my surgeon.


jams67's picture
Posts: 927
Joined: May 2006

My doc said that people change their doctors all the time and that they have no problem with it.

kangatoo's picture
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Hi Nudgie. I have had 5 colonoscopies in the past 3 years and have to say the first 2 were the worst. The first caused some difficulty prior to my surgery. My bowel was 2/3 blocked by the tumour. The following colonoscopy months after surgery also caused me some grief as well. Bth colonoscopies required the drinking of "colonlightly", a prep requiring one to drink a large quantity over 3 hours....yuk! I found that specialist GI's all have different preferences....I think many go for the prep that equires huge amounts of fluids rather than the preps. that are smaller but still rquire the patient to keep up fluid intakes.
The last 3 preps I took mixed up into smaller volumes(Pico-prep was one of them) The deal with those smaller volume preps. is that the patient must continue to drink clear fluids after the prep is consumed until the bowel motions run clear. Having said that I preferred the low volume prep. requirement....it is quicker and easier to drink....followed by continuous drinking of water.
The main object of all this is to ensure the bowel ends up in a clear/clean state no matter what prep. is taken. Of course we do things differently here in oz but I am sure that you will be able to seek out the best options where you are. Chemists/pharmacies should be able to tell you of the various options available and then you could discuss those options with your GI....I did and my GI was happy to change my prearation requirements.
Ross and Jen

AveriRN's picture
Posts: 61
Joined: Aug 2004

I have also done the fleet prep (which was absolutely horrible) several times but through another physician found out about Miralax, a powder that you mix with clear liquid (I use orange gatorade) 64 ozs and have had no trouble with it. I did have to have my surgeon call my GI doc since he uses the fleets,but he did give it to me and it worked well. Another thing with the Miralax is that I have found that it only changes the flavor of the gatorade just slightly and it is much more tolerable than the fleets

wishing u well

vinny3's picture
Posts: 933
Joined: Jun 2006

Thanks for the information. My wife is going to have a colonoscopy in several weeks and wasn't happy that the GI doctors just use the Golightly (who named that?) prep wheras the colon surgery doctors use other preps. Now I see why.


Joy1216's picture
Posts: 293
Joined: Mar 2006

My first colonoscopy was February '06 and I used Miralax. The result was the same as AveriRN stated. I didn't mind it at all. Three weeks later as prep for surgery I used the fleet phospho soda as recommended by the surgeon, which made me sick as a dog. Of course, taking massive doses of antibiotics preoperatively on an empty stomach (what do they expect when you're on a liquid diet?), probably caused the vomiting more so than the phospho soda. Either way, I would do anything to avoid the phospho soda. My next colonoscopy was in October '06 and I went back to the same GI doc, so I used Miralax again. I don't have to go back till October '07 for another colonoscopy and I hope for Miralax again.

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Posts: 553
Joined: Mar 2006

I just want to add to this discussion. My dad did the Fleets Phosphosoda prep for his colon surgery and had a horrible experience with it. The day before his surgery, he vomited shortly after beginning the phosphosoda prep. It didn't help that he had to take all of those antibiotics also. I believe he became extremely dehydrated as a result. He ended up with C-diff after the surgery. I know that c-diff occurs as a result of all the good bacteria being wiped out. Who knows if the combo of phosphosoda and antibiotics didn't contribute to it.

Last month, my dad had his first colonoscopy since the surgery, and made it clear to me that he was not going to take the phospho soda, as it made him extremely ill. Instead, the surgeon recommended Miralax (mixed with gatorade). My dad handled that one so much better without any problems, and the gatorade keeps you hydrated.

God bless,


Posts: 7
Joined: Jul 2006

Oh the prep is worse then the colonsocopy!!!
I know the fleets phosphasoda made me sick....
I hope you got things worked out and all went well for you.

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