• el
  • pt
  • Did you know…what to expect and how to prepare for a colonoscopy?

    Editor August 5th, 2024

    Did you know…what to expect and how to prepare for a colonoscopy?
    Did you just turn 50 or are older? If so, a colonoscopy is one of the tests you need! This test will help your doctor find out if there are any growths or polyps in the colon  or rectum. If you are not screened early enough and have any growths or polyps, they  can turn cancerous.
    A colonoscopy is a very simple test. It is a painless procedure since you are given medicine to fall into light sleep. Once asleep, the doctor who performs the colonoscopy, called a gastroenterologist, will insert a thin tube with a camera through your rectum into the colon. The camera will take a picture of every inch of the colon and send it to a TV screen for the doctor to look for any unusual growths. If a growth is found, the doctor will usually be able to remove it before it becomes cancerous.  After your colonoscopy, your doctor will tell you when you should return for another; if there were no unusual growths, it will probably be in five to 10 years.

    Although the colonoscopy is a simple screening, there are certain things you will have to do to get ready for the test. To get the best results from the exam, it is really important to follow these instructions before the exam:
    • Follow the directions the doctor gives you for the medication you need to take to empty out your colon before the exam. 
    • Make sure to drink lots of clear fluids to avoid dizziness, light-headedness, or headaches since the medicine may lead to dehydration.
    • What you eat and drink before the test also matters. Stick to a diet mainly of clear fluids for one or two days before the screening.
    • Avoid red foods or drinks as they can make it hard for the doctor to see the growths.
    • Avoid solid foods since this will also make it hard for the doctor to find any growths in the colon during the test.
    On the day of screening:
    • Make sure to take the day off from work
    • Arrange for a ride to and from the clinic since you will be given medicine for light sleep.
    If you don’t do what is asked, the doctor won’t be able to check for polyps properly. You may have to reschedule the colonoscopy and miss another day of work.  And be sure to ask any questions, so that you are ready for your exam!

    Sign in or join now to save events.