Colonoscopy is a commonly performed diagnostic and therapeutic procedure in most general hospitals, which requires effective bowel preparation to be worthwhile. We report the effect of replacing a diet, laxative and bowel washout preparation with oral bowel lavage using a balanced electrolyte formulation, in our unit. The preparation was acceptable to patients, medical and nursing staff, generally preferred to previous preparations by those who had experienced them, allowed a more complete colonoscopy with an excellent quality of view, and was less expensive in nursing time. We regard oral bowel lavage as currently the method of choice for bowel preparation prior to colonoscopy in the majority of patients.
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