How to prepare for a colonoscopy

Having medical issues with your colon? If your doctor suspects that there may be a problem there, you will be referred to a specialist that will perform a colonoscopy.

This procedure uses a long, thin tube equipped with a light and a camera to examine the colon’s interior for abnormal growths, making it essential in the early detection of colorectal cancers.

If you are due for an appointment with Dr. Lisa Marie Cannon or another medical professional soon, taking these steps will get you physically and psychologically ready.

Adjust your diet

In the days leading up to your colonoscopy, you will need to make a change in the foods that you normally eat.

Make certain that you eat a healthy low fiber diet, as whole grains such as breads, raw vegetables and fruits, nuts, and seeds are harder for the body to digest, which will make it harder to see inside your colon.

The day before and on the day of your colonoscopy, switch over to a liquids-only diet, as eating anything of substance will lead to obstructions in the bowel that will make it hard for the camera to do its job.

Take a diarrhea-triggering substance

The afternoon before your colonoscopy, you will need to take a prescribed medicine that will trigger diarrhea in your bowels.

As horrible as that sounds, this is necessary to clear this passage so that the doctor administering your rectal exam can see any and all abnormalities clearly.

Although the exact procedure will differ with respect to the doctor administering the colonoscopy, you will most likely take the diarrhea-triggering substance in two separate doses – one on the day before the test, and the other approximately six hours before the date with your doctor.

Pick up products that will help you cope

The diarrhea that you will experience as a result of the drug that you will be taking to induce it will not be gentle.

As such, it is important to make adequate preparations beforehand in order to weather its effects as gracefully as possible.

We recommend that you stock up on adult wet wipes that are infused with Vitamin E and aloe, as well as Vaseline to reduce that the chafing that will inevitably occur from all the wiping you will have to do down there.

Clear your schedule

The effects of the diarrhea-inducing agent will leave you unable to attend to the standard obligations that most adults normally deal with.

As a result of this, you will need to clear your professional and personal schedule during the 48 hours prior to your colonoscopy appointment.

This will make it easier for you to handle the side effects of the pre-exam treatment with as little stress as possible.

Don’t freak out

When the day of your colonoscopy arrives, know that the procedure will be less painful than you are imagining in your head.

Usually, the attending physician will administer a mild sedative and pain medication (the latter via an intravenous route) to make you less fixated on what will be going on, from insertion to extraction.

If all goes well, the whole exam should take no longer than an hour to conduct. After an additional hour spent to recover from the effects of the sedative, you’ll be released to go home.

Because the residual effects of this drug will impair your reflexes for many hours afterward, you will need someone to drive you home.

Additionally, we advise not returning to your job for that day, as your period of impairment may present a hazard to your safety and that of your co-workers.