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Rady Children's Specialists

Pediatric Bowel Preparation

Disclaimer for patients with diabetes: If your child has DIABETES, we recommend discussing the pre-operative management of diabetes with Endocrinology. Your diabetes nurse should be notified of your procedure. If you do not hear from them 4 days before your procedure, reach out via MyChart message or call 858-966-4032 (option 2).
Disclaimer for patients taking a GLP-1 agonist: If your child is taking a GLP-1 agonist, including dulaglutide (Trulicity), exenatide extended-release (Bydureon BCise), exenatide (Byetta), semaglutide (Ozempic), liraglutide (Victoza, Saxenda), lixisenatide (Adlyxin), and semaglutide (Rybelsus), we kindly advise that your child stop taking these medications one week before their scheduled endoscopy. These medications may be associated with delayed stomach emptying and adversely impact your child’s ability to complete the required bowel preparation. Your child can safely resume their GLP-1 agonist after the endoscopic procedure unless otherwise directed by a medical professional.

Getting Started

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Importance of a Clean Bowel:

A clean bowel is essential for the success of your child’s medical procedure. Bowel preparation ensures that the doctor can clearly see the inside of your child’s digestive tract, which leads to more accurate diagnoses and safer procedures. A clean bowel reduces the risk of complications and helps healthcare providers deliver the best care possible to your child.

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Bowel Preparation Instructions Guide

Select the range of your child’s weight, and you will be able to download a guide for your child’s bowel preparation. It’s important to use this as a guideline and follow your doctor’s specific instructions.

If your child falls between weight categories (for example – if they weigh 28.5 lbs and the categories are 22-28 lbs or 29-38 lbs) then pick the LOWER category (22-28 lbs). If your child is below 22 lbs, please contact the GI provider to discuss recommended bowel preparation as soon as possible at 858-966-4003  (option 3).

Common Questions and Concerns

Why do patients need to perform a bowel prep? Bowel preparation is necessary based on the specific procedure your child will undergo. If the bowel prep is not completed, we cannot see the intestines and the patient may have to repeat the procedure.

Will bowel preparation be uncomfortable for my child? While bowel preparation can be uncomfortable, it’s a temporary process. Encourage your child to sip clear liquids, take walks, and engage in calming activities. This can help ease any discomfort and make the process more manageable.

What if my child refuses to take the laxatives? If your child is hesitant to take the laxatives, try offering flavored options or mixing them with a favorite drink (as recommended by your doctor). Remember that following the doctor’s instructions is crucial for the procedure’s success.

What if my child’s stools are not a clear liquid (light green or yellow, see bowel prep pictures) by 3 pm the day before the procedure? If your child’s stools do not appear similar to the ‘Great bowel prep’ picture (above) by 3 pm on the day before the procedure, please call 858-966-4003 (option 3) to discuss with our GI Nurse. If it is after 4:30 pm, call 858-576-1700 (option 0) and request to page the on-call GI Fellow.

What if my diabetic child needs to start their bowel prep tomorrow, BUT I have not discussed the pre-operative management of diabetes with Endocrinology? If you have not discussed the pre-operative management of diabetes with Endocrinology, please call 858-966-4032 (option 2). If you’re calling after 4:30 pm, call 858-576-1700 (option 0). Ask to page the on-call Endocrinology Fellow.

What if my child continued taking their GLP-1 agonist and will not be off it for one week prior to their procedure? If your child did not stop taking their GLP-1 agonist for one week before their procedure, please call GI scheduler 858-966-4003 (option 4) to reschedule your procedure as these medications may be associated with delayed stomach emptying.

When can my child resume taking their GLP-1 agonist? Your child can safely resume their GLP-1 agonist after the completion of the endoscopic procedure – unless otherwise directed by a medical professional.