How to Prepare for a Colonoscopy?
Colonoscopy is referred to be a procedure to let the doctor examine your colon and rectum to find out the root causes of problems such as ulcers, inflammation bleeding polyps, and tumors. For a test like a colonoscopy, it is necessary to get the insides clean for the procedure because, with a clean prep, the gastroenterologist doctor will be able to perform the procedure effectively by finding out clearly not only the big polyps but also the flat lesions. Flat lesions are difficult to find but can grow into cancer faster than big polyps. So, it is essential to clearly examine them, and to do that, the colon surface should not be covered with the stool. This is where the patient plays an important role by preparing well for colonoscopy.
As doctors always provide the patient with necessary information on how to prepare for a colonoscopy, it is very wise to consider the doctor as your primary source of answers and information. Apart from that here are some general things for the preparation of colonoscopy:
Expecting the risks of preparation
Preparing for a colonoscopy can surely be unpleasant. The reason lies in the fact that the patient must use a certain laxative in a particular manner to clean the intestines before getting the test done. It can cause to use the toilets extensively for some uncomfortable side effects may occur such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.
Gathering supplies a week before
The things to get a week before the procedure are as follows:
- Oral laxatives: Prescribed or over the counter, laxatives are the most important part of the preparation. For any specification, the doctor should be contacted.
- Moist wipes: For the comfort of skin, it is important to get wipes containing soothing products such as aloe because normal toilet paper can irritate your skin from multiple uses.
- Diaper cream: During the preparation, the skin can get rashes by excessive diarrhea and wiping which can be reduced with the help of diaper cream such as Destin. It is to be applied on the rectum before the start of preparation and is to be reapplied again and again during the whole time.
- Suitable foods: Foods that do not cause constipation and are smoother to excrete are obvious to be eaten during the preparation week. These food items consist of:
- Clear drinks
- Less fibrous food
- Jellies and puddings
- Natural juices
Suitable liquids are the most important and to be used the element of the diet. So, pilling up drinks before a week is an obligatory activity.
Important things to do after two days of stocking up
Regulation of diet and eating consciously is imperative at this stage of preparation. The main properties of food to be eaten from this stage should include less fiber, more softness, easy to digest.
Some of the daily foods that contain these properties are:
- Scrambled eggs
- Vegetables without skin
- Ample fruits without skin
Also, some of the foods to stay away from are:
- Oily foods
- Fruit skin
- Raw veggies
Medication such as ibuprofen, Motrin, Naproxen which mainly includes NSAIDs must be avoided at this stage. It is vital to take advice from your doctor about the continuation of any medications you are taking, be it prescribed or OTC.
Preparation from a day before the procedure
During the day
From this stage, the diet of the patient must be limited to clear liquids only. It is needful to prevent the reschedule of the procedure due to unclear colon. Also, the importance of liquid in the preparation is so much that the patient must drink a glass of water every hour of the day. It will keep you hydrated as required.
During the night
This is the most important stage of the preparation where the actual cleansing of the colon starts with the help of the laxative the patient had brought. The dosage of the laxative is quite easy to grab; half the laxative is to be taken at the earliest of this stage and the second half is to be taken after 6 hours of the first dosage. Some prescribes pills might also need at the beginning of the first dose of laxative. Also, to get through the drinking of laxatives easily, one might find mixing them with some drinks helpful.
The effect of laxative will start immediately after taking it. The peristalsis movement in the intestine will act to drain out the waste which will be accompanied by intense diarrhea and conditions like vomiting, nausea, discomfort, etc.
The use of your stock gathered a week before will be used at this stage. It will include
- Applying diaper cream before prep
- Using moist wipes or water to cleanse after diarrhea
- Getting a preferred thing to time pass in the toilet
It is necessary to restrict the patient from taking anything a few hours before the procedure. Not even water is suitable at this stage for preventing sickness after the procedure.
These are the basic steps to follow during the preparation of colonoscopy. No doubt one would hesitate to get examined through this procedure because there is no promise of smooth preparation and even the procedure itself. But by acknowledging the significance of this test, a patient might rethink the decision of not getting examined. This procedure can help a patient to get diagnosed with a problem that can potentially develop into a life-threatening disease, at the earliest stage. During the test, certain polyps can also be successfully eradicated through polypectomy which, if kept unchecked, can develop into colon cancers. It is the only test that is used both to find and remove polyps which are then tested for cancerous cells. Colonoscopy is a lifesaving screening procedure that is done regularly in a population to prevent many cases of colon cancer.