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Preparing For A Colonscopy

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A colonoscopy might be a necessary procedure, especially if you are being screened for colon cancer. There are several things you can do to prepare yourself for the procedure, and you should communicate with your doctor about the best ways to prepare.

How to Prep for a Colonoscopy

You will usually not be able to eat solid food for a day before the exam. You may be instructed to only drink clear liquids or to only drink water. Never drink red beverages because these can be mistaken for blood.

Before you undergo a colonoscopy, you should also ask your doctor if you may participate in a Miralax prep. This prep will allow your intestines to be cleared out, which will make it more likely that you'll have a successful colonoscopy. Oftentimes, you have to drink a gallon of liquid known as Golytely. Prep can be challenging if you are not good at chugging liquids.

The laxatives might not be enough, and you may need to rely on an enema kit. You will need to use the kit the night before the exam or you will use it a couple of hours before the exam. This is usually only used for emptying the lower colon and is usually not enough to clear out your colon without also using laxatives. 

You will know that you're ready for a colonoscopy when your urine is clear. While you will want to continue to drink the prep fluids, you will know that you're on the right track. Do not be too far from the bathroom because you will likely be using the bathroom more frequently. 

What to Expect During the Procedure 

During the procedure, you may decide to ask for more anesthesia so that you can be knocked out throughout the process. Sometimes, the sedative is provided to you in a pill form. Also, not that you will only be wearing a gown during the procedure. 

You will be lying on your side with your knees brought to your chest. The colonoscope is injected into your rectum. The scope consists of a light and tube that allows the doctor to pump a gas, usually carbon dioxide, into the colon. During the colonoscopy, you will experience abdominal cramping and the desire to have a bowel movement. The camera on the tip of the coloscope sends images that your doctor can study to determine what is wrong with your colon.

For more information on what to expect and how to prepare, contact a company like Pilipshen Colon & Rectal Surgical Services.