Maintaining Good Health Even When You're Busy

Preparing For Your Colonoscopy: What You Should Know

by Caitlin Obara

When you reach a certain age or if you have a family history of colon cancer, you find yourself in need of a routine colonoscopy. While you know that this procedure is necessary, you likely do not know what you need to do to prepare for that procedure. So, when your doctor lets you know that you should probably think about a colonoscopy, you want to know ahead of time what to do before you head to the office for your first colonoscopy appointment. 

Ask A Friend Or Loved One To Come With You

Most physicians recommend that a person does not drive following their colonoscopy. This is due to a few factors. First, because a colonoscopy involves a scope entering the body through the rectum, it can be uncomfortable. As such, many physicians and patients opt to go under full anesthesia during the procedure.

When a person has been under full anesthesia, it can take several hours to become fully conscious and aware. Rather than stay in the hospital overnight, your doctor will send you home to sleep off the anesthesia, but cannot allow you to drive yourself home. So, you will need to be sure you have a ride coordinated to drive you home and help you get into your home and bed.

Even if you do not go under full anesthesia, you will be sedated during your colonoscopy, and will be unable to safely operate a motor vehicle. Additionally, you may want your friend or family member with you at the doctor's appointment for moral support as the prospect of a colonoscopy may be daunting or unnerving.

Be Prepared To Spend Significant Time In The Bathroom

In order to get the clearest possible picture when they perform your colonoscopy, your doctor will need to give you a liquid that you drink in the day or two before your colonoscopy. This will prepare your bowels for the procedure. In other words, it will purposely give you diarrhea for the days leading u to your colonoscopy.

On the day before your colonoscopy, you will also want to avoid eating solid foods. However, be sure that you do not allow yourself to become dehydrated. So, drink plenty of water. You can also have clear broth, clear juices, tea, and possibly even jello or popsicles. Talk to your doctor like one from Northwest Gastroenterology Associates for the exact items that they recommend for you to consume the day before your procedure. 

However, it would be a good idea to plan to stay home the day before your colonoscopy procedure as you will be spending a great deal of time in the bathroom that day. So, do yourself a favor and relax at home for the day. 

Preparing for your colonoscopy does not have to be a difficult process. Keep these tips in mind and you will get through the process with no trouble whatsoever.