What is a Colonoscopy?

  • A colonoscopy is a procedure that allows the physician to examine the lining of your colon using a flexible tube with a camera on the end.
  • A colonoscopy is a safe and effective way to evaluate problems such as blood loss, abdominal or rectal pain and changes in your bowel habits.
  • Medication will be given through an IV to help you relax and minimize discomfort. While lying on your left side, the colonoscope is advanced through the colon. The physician may take biopsies (tissue samples) if any abnormal tissue is found, such as a polyp. If a polyp(s) is found, the physician will attempt to remove them.

Reasons to have a Colonoscopy

  • SCREENING: A screening colonoscopy is an initial exam meant to check for polyps, cancer and/or inflammatory disease; such as ulcerative colitis.
  • SURVEILLANCE: A surveillance colonoscopy is a follow-up for patients with a history of colon polyps, cancer and/or inflammatory bowel disease.
  • DIAGNOSTIC: A diagnostic colonoscopy is done to check for certain medical conditions such as anemia, change in bowel habits or abdominal pain.
  • It is your responsibility to check with your insurance carrier regarding coverage for this benefit.

Verify Your Colon Preparation Prescription

  • Call your pharmacy to determine if a colon prep prescription has been sent.
  • If you do not have a prescription, please call: Mason City Surgery Center at 641-494-2000.
  • Ask to speak to a nurse regarding your colon prep prescription.

Time of Appointment and Transportation Needs

  • Arrange for a driver for the date of the procedure.
  • You will not be allowed to drive, take a taxi or a bus home as you will receive sedation during the procedure.
  • Plan to be at the appointment for several hours and possibly longer.
  • Time of arrival will be determined closer to the date of the procedure and will be given to you during the Pre-procedure phone call.
  • The time of your procedure may change.
  • Please do not make other plans for the day of your procedure.


  • Blood thinners are to be held for a recommended number of days prior to your colonoscopy.
  • Determine with your prescribing physician when to stop any prescribed blood thinners. Do NOT stop any medications without talking with your prescribing physician first. Examples are, but not limited to:
    • Coumadin/Jantoven (Warfarin)
    • Pradaxa (Dabigatran)
    • Xarelto (Rivaroxaban)
    • Plavix ( Clopidrogel)
    • Ticlid (Ticlidopine)
    • Effient (Prasugrel)
    • Eliquis (Apixaban)
    • Zontivity (Varapaxar)
    • Brilinta (Ticagrelor)
  • You may continue Aspirin.
  • Iron is to be stopped for one week before your colonoscopy.
  • Diabetics on Insulin: Please contact your physician who prescribes your insulin to get instructions regarding your insulin. Check your blood sugar level every 6 hours the day prior and up to your procedure.

2-3 Days Prior to your Colonoscopy

  • Avoid food that is difficult to digest such as :
    • Raw fruits or vegetables
    • Seeded/pulpy fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, corn and beans
    • Nuts and popcorn
  • Purchase clear liquid beverages/foods to consume the day prior to procedure
  • If you have a history of constipation, you may want to take Miralax 1 capful as directed twice daily until the day prior to the procedure

One Day Prior to your Colonoscopy

  • No RED, ORANGE or PURPLE liquids.
  • A clear liquid diet must be followed ALL DAY
  • Clear liquids include:
    • Tea, Coffee, Pop/Soda
    • Chicken/Beef Broth
    • Apple or White Grape Juice, Lemonade
    • Lemon or Lime Popsicles or Jello
    • Sports Drinks (Gatorade/PowerAde)

Fill your Colon Preparation Prescription

Prep Tips

  • You MUST drink all of the prep
  • Walking and drinking additional clear liquids will improve prep results
  • If you are unable to drink the entire prep (due to nausea/vomiting)
  • OR
  • If you have completed the prep and your bowel movements are not clear or light yellow
    - Call the Mason City Surgery Center at 494-2000:
    • we may have you arrive earlier than your scheduled time to give medicine to help with the nausea or to drink additional prep to further clear the colon so the procedure does not have to be cancelled.

Read what our patients say

Read more

Contact Us:

Mason City Surgery Center, 990 4th Street S.W., Mason City, Iowa 50401

Nondiscrimination Notice

"MCSC complies with applicable federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, or religion." Click here for a full copy of this notice.

Mason City Surgery Center is a multi-specialty ambulatory surgery center providing Otolaryngology (ENT), General surgery, Gastrointestinal (colonoscopy), Gynecology, Ophthalmology (including cataracts), Orthopaedics, Pain Management, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Podiatry, and Urology, procedures. The center is located at 990 Fourth Street SW, Mason City, IA 50401. Call 641-494-2000 or 877-704-0038.