A colonoscopy, being the in-depth procedure that it is, requires some very careful preparation to ensure that the procedure can go ahead as smoothly as possible. Although there are the basics, such as ensuring that your colon is completely cleaned out before the operation, there are quite a few other things to keep in mind before you have a colonoscopy. Whether it be making sure you eat – or avoid – specific foods and liquids or not take certain medication, preparing for a colonoscopy can require more forethought than you might expect. In this article, we take a look at a few ways you can better prepare for your colonoscopy to ensure the procedure goes ahead as planned.
Getting started with colonoscopy prep
As we mentioned earlier, having your colon completely clear is always necessary to ensure that your colonoscopist can easily spot problem areas (which is what your colonoscopy is all about!). In order to achieve this, patients are recommended to take a strong laxative before the procedure to effectively cleanse the colon area. The actual laxative you might want to use can vary to a considerable degree depending on the person, but your doctor might be able to prescribe you something that you can then get from the pharmacy. Otherwise there are many options that can be bought over the counter that can help you very effectively clear your colon. After ensuring you’re completely clear, the thing you should focus on most is what you put in your body beforehand. You will have to avoid solid foods, as these will only interfere with clearing your colon, and only ingest fluids on the day of the test. Clear fluids that can be ingested include water, clear broth (beef, chicken, or vegetable), jelly and black coffee and tea.
Other things to keep in mind
In addition to foods and liquids, you’ll need to be careful of what prescription medicines you’re taking before your colonoscopy. Although most are fine, it’s always a good idea to make sure with you’re doctor that your medicine is alright to take. This is because some medicines increase the risk of heavy bleeding if you require a polyp to be removed during your colonoscopy. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to follow-up with your GP if you’re taking blood-thinning medication, as you opting to stop taking them on your own is not necessarily a good idea either. The final thing you’ll need to work out is if there is someone who can take you home after your procedure and help you a little bit around the house after your colonoscopy. Forgetting to arrange this and driving to your operation can be a very bad idea due to patients needing some kind of sedative for the procedure, which makes driving a vehicle all but impossible.
Taking the time to prepare for your colonoscopy
If you take the time to properly prepare for your colonoscopy, there is a much better chance that your health operation will go smoothly. Giving your doctor the chance to properly see your colon during the procedure, as well as taking the time to prepare for your own needs after the procedure itself, doesn’t take much time but can make the entire process much simpler and also a great deal more effective.