How To Prepare For Colonoscopy
What is colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy enables your doctor to examine the lining of your colon (large intestine) and rectum. It is the most effective way to evaluate your entire colon for the presence of colorectal cancer or polyps. Early detection can prevent surgery and save lives.
How do I prepare for the colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy requires a cleansing preparation of the colon the day before the procedure so that the colon can be fully visualized. This is usually accomplished by drinking a liquid that causes complete emptying of the colon. Our schedulers will tell you what dietary restrictions to follow and what cleansing routine to use as prescribed by your doctor. It is important to follow your directions carefully.
- Read about Colonoscopy Bowel Prep with Miralax
What can I expect during the colon exam?
Sedation will be given before and during your procedure to help you relax and make you sleepy. You will lie on your left side as a flexible tube is inserted into your anus and slowly advanced into the rectum and colon. The procedure will cause you little to no discomfort.
What if a polyp is found?
A polyp is an abnormal growth found in the colon lining. They vary in size and shape, and while most are benign (non-cancerous), some may turn into cancer. It is important to remove pre-cancerous polyps as a preventative measure for colorectal cancer. Very small polyps may be totally destroyed by fulguration (burning). Larger polyps are removed by a technique called snare polypectomy. A wire loop (snare) is passed through the scope and removes the polyp from the intestinal wall. This technique causes no pain to the patient.
What can you expect after your colonoscopy?
You may experience some bloating or mild cramping because of the air introduced into your colon. These symptoms should disappear when you pass gas.
Do I have to drink all the solution to cleanse my colon?
Please follow all instructions and make every effort to drink all of the purging solution. The height and weight of a patient does not determine the amount of solution needed to purge your colon. Remember, we are trying to clean out your entire digestive tract. If your colon is not clean, the physician cannot do a thorough exam. We may have to reschedule your test for another day.
Do I need to bring medical records (previous procedure reports) with me?
Yes. If your procedure was done by another physician, reports are needed because follow-ups vary with previous findings. If you had previous colon polyps, the physician will know from the report the location and size of the polyps.