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How to Prepare for a Colonoscopy

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A colonoscopy is a procedure  that can help detect abnormalities in your rectum and colon (also known as the large intestine). This is done by inserting a flexible tube with a camera at the tip into the large intestine.

With a colonoscopy, your doctor directly examines and takes tissue samples from the lining of the large intestine. Treatment such as removal of polyps can also be done during the procedure. Hence it is both a diagnostic AND therapeutic procedure

If you’re scheduled to have a colonoscopy, you need to prepare several days  advance to make sure the procedure is successful. Here are a few tips for preparing for a colonoscopy:

  1. Schedule the procedure. The first and most important step to take is to schedule it with your doctor. This can be done via telephone or online.
  1. Follow a specific diet 3-5 days before the scheduled date of the procedure. This could be a clear liquid diet and/or a low-fiber diet. Ask your doctor for specific instructions on what diet to follow – there will be a list of foods to avoid.
  1. Take the medication for bowel cleansing. Your doctor will  prescribe some medicines to help cleanse the colon. Taking the medication in the manner as prescribed is essential for the success of the procedure – this will ensure that the bowel preparation is adequate to allow good visualization of the inner lining of the colon. 
  1. Follow the bowel preparation instructions: Before the procedure, you will be asked to take a special preparation solution that will help clean out the colon. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully and take the solution as directed.
  1. Arrange for transportation: After the procedure, you will not be able to drive due to the effects of the sedation. Make sure you have arranged for a friend or family member to pick you up and take you home after the procedure.

By following these tips and talking to your doctor, you are doing your part to for a  successful procedure. If you have any questions or concerns about how to prepare for a colonoscopy, please don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor.

What to Expect After a Colonoscopy

If you have recently undergone a colonoscopy, then you probably have some questions about what to expect after the procedure has been performed. The procedure itself can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and is usually done with a sedative. After the procedure, it is important to rest and not attempt to do any strenuous activity such as driving or operating any machinery. 

You may feel some discomfort and or bloatedness in the abdominal area, which is normal and should subside within a few hours, sometimes up to 1 day. In the hours following the colonoscopy, you may experience bloating and gas. This is normal and can be relieved by taking a short walk or doing some light stretching. You may also pass some small amounts of blood in your stool, which is also normal for up to 24 hours after the procedure. 

If you experience abdominal pain, fever, or any other persistent symptoms, it is important to contact your doctor. Overall, the recovery from a colonoscopy is typically quick and painless, and you can expect to be back to your normal activities within a day or two. If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above or have any other concerns, it is important to contact your doctor to ensure a safe and speedy recovery.

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