Instructions for Colonoscopy Preparation
The large intestine or colon is an integral part of the digestive system and is responsible for two crucial functions: the absorption of water into the stool and passing the waste from the body. Without a proper functioning colon, your body will no longer be able to successfully cleanse the body on a daily basis.
A change in bowel habits can signal problems with the colon. Among other alarming symptoms include fatigue, constipation, and rectal bleeding. When these symptoms persist, colonoscopy can detect growths in your colon that may be causing complications and help prevent colon cancer.
1 out of 16 Americans are predicted to get colon cancer. Only 5% survive when colon cancer is diagnosed late. Schedule a colonoscopy today.
Understanding The Science:
What Is Colonoscopy
The cause for colon cancer remains to be unclear. On the other hand, research suggests that almost all colon cancers begin as benign growths. These growths are called polyps and are distinguished as small growths that appear on the colon’s surface. Polyp removal is considered one of the best ways of preventing colon cancer. Even after a benign polyp has become cancerous, early detection through a colonoscopy drastically improves the patient’s chance for survival.
How It Works
A colonoscopy does more than just screen your colon for polyps. It is also used to detect ulcers, developed cancers, and other conditions that could be impairing your colon. Patients undergoing a colonoscopy are usually given a sedative to aid in the procedure.
The colonoscopy begins with a rectal probe. Your doctor will insert an endoscope, a small flexible camera specifically designed to aid in examinations and surgeries, into your rectum and inflate the bowel with some air to allow for better visualization. The camera will project photos onto the connected computer, allowing the examiner to study the inside of the colon thoroughly. Colonoscopies take 20-30 minutes to complete. Any polyps found on the surface of your colon will be removed.
Preparing For A Colonoscopy
Before the colonoscopy, you will be instructed to take some medicine that will clean out your colon. Doctors will recommend a clear liquid diet one day before your colonoscopy to ensure that your colon is clean. Emptying the colon is essential to a successful colonoscopy. Without proper preparation, the physician will not be able to perform an accurate assessment of the colon.
The medicine provided to you is formulated to flush out all excess waste. Follow the instructions from your physician to ensure that you start taking the medicine at the right time and at the correct dose so that your colon will be completely flushed out and prepared for the colonoscopy. The day prior to your procedure you will need to have a clear liquid diet (only liquids that you can see through, nothing red or purple; coffee is allowed) and please make sure not to have any diary, like milk or cheese. Increase clear fluid intake (water, clear juice like apple juice, and tea) to supplement your prep medicine. After midnight, the evening before your procedure, you should not have any food or drink until your procedure is performed unless your physician advises you otherwise. If you have any medical conditions or needs that may be impacted by this preparation please make sure to speak to your physician before you start any preparation for the colonoscopy. You may be expected to adjust some of the medication you are taking, if any, based on your physician’s instructions.
Sedatives from the procedure can take a couple of hours before wearing off. Arrange for someone to pick you up or drive you home after the examination. When taking public transportation, it’s important to have someone accompany you and take you home.
The examination lasts anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes. However, with preparation and recovery, expect to spend 2-3 hours in the hospital or clinic.
Your “bowel prep” will force waste out of your body. Some patients may experience diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal discomfort - all of which are normal side effects of the medication. It may take a few minutes up to an hour for your colon to respond to the medication. If you end up waiting for more than three hours without results, inform your doctor and ask for recommendations.
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