Colonoscopy Preparation: Things to Do Before the Procedure

Colonoscopy preparation is probably worse than going through before the actual colonoscopy procedure.  Colonoscopy is an invasive procedure that looks into the insides of one’s intestines especially the colon and rectum.  This is an examination that will detect any inflammation in the tissues, ulcers and any abnormal growths. Colonoscopy is beneficial as it aids in the early detection of colorectal cancer.  Doctors usually suggest their patients to undergo colonoscopy when unexplained symptoms such as bowel habit changes, bleeding from the anus, abdominal pain and weight loss are encountered.  Before having the examination, the doctor first reviews the medical history of the patient and gives several instructions to perform a total body cleanse a few days prior to the procedure.

Preparing for colonoscopy involves several phases including restrictions in diet and activity. One to two weeks before the actual procedure, the doctor recommends the patient to refrain from taking medications like ibuprofen, aspirin and other blood thinners.  These medicines can cause internal bleeding during the insertion of the device used in the examination, and in some occasions where a bowel biopsy is needed. Bleeding may occur when a patient takes medications that can increase bleeding.

A day or two before the procedure, the doctor advises the patient to hold off solid foods in the diet.  Also, fluid intake is limited on those with light colors only, and chocolate drinks are to be avoided.  The patient is instructed not to ingest food for the entire day.  This will give a good view of the colon when the procedure is done and an accurate result may be expected.

Other than these, the doctor advises the patient to take laxatives or undergo an enema to effectively clean the colon and ensure that the bowel is completely empty.  The enema is given a night before the procedure or early in the morning. Enemas are needed to cleanse the colon from any impurities on its walls and make them readily visible.  The enema may be uncomfortable for the patient as the solution needs to be held for five minutes before releasing it.  An hour or two before the patient is transported to the examination room, a sedative is given as part of the colonoscopy preparation.  The side effects of the sedative may last for eight hours after the colonoscopy procedure.