What Is Colonoscopy Prep Like – And Why Is It So Important?
Is it not the colonoscopy itself that makes you apprehensive, but the prep for it? That’s understandable. It’s true that a colonoscopy isn’t like other medical tests where you go in, have an X-ray, and that’s it. The prep for a colonoscopy is an important part of making sure we can see everything there is to see in your colon – but it doesn’t have to be difficult!
You WANT a colonoscopy. Why? Because it’s the best way to PREVENT COLON CANCER. When you have a colonoscopy, we can see the linings of your colon and check it out for any concerns, and remove any polyps that may be pre-cancerous.
That’s what the prep of colonoscopy is: Cleaning out your intestines as much as possible, so nothing is in the way of spotting anything of concern.
Here’s how you can make the most of your colonoscopy prep, and keep your colon healthy:
A FEW DAYS BEFORE
This is one of the only times we’ll tell you to hold off on those fiber-rich foods!
And when you do eat, have smaller portions. It’s quicker to run through your digestive system, and less to accumulate that has to be eliminated with the colonoscopy prep drink the night before your procedure!
By cutting down on the amounts of solid foods you’re eating a few days before, the diet restrictions the day before your colonoscopy and the day of the procedure also won’t seem as difficult.
- Stick to a diet of soups, eggs, rice, salmon, chicken, steamed vegetables, fruits, and light-colored foods.
- Skip high-fiber foods that take a while to digest like nuts, popcorn and red meat. Stay away from fried foods, and things difficult to digest like corn, peas and apple skins.
THE DAY BEFORE
Don’t eat ANY solid foods the day before your colonoscopy. Remember, we don’t want any remnants floating around your digestive system when we have the camera in there, so give your body at least a day with no solids.
- Clear liquids are good! Broth, black coffee or tea, clear juice or soft drinks, etc.
- Then it’s time for the infamous colonoscopy prep drink (and it’s really not so bad)!
THE COLONOSCOPY PREP DRINK: THE MOST IMPORTANT PART
Your doctor will give you instructions on drinking a specific liquid laxative designed to get rid of everything left over in your bowels – and, keep this in mind: if you haven’t had solid foods for a day or so before this, there will be a LOT less to expel from your intestines when it comes time for this part.
- Some tips to help things go more smoothly:
- Be sure to get some medicated wet wipes to use. Some with aloe will help you feel more comfortable.
- Clear your schedule for the evening when it comes time to drink your colonoscopy prep drink.
- Set up shop in or near the bathroom, with your laptop, book, movies, or something else to keep your mind occupied. Don’t forget the chargers!
- Chill your prep drink to make it easier to drink (a straw may help, too!).
The day of your colonoscopy:
We want your colon as empty as possible, so be sure to follow directions from your doctor on when to stop eating and drinking anything at all before your procedure.
When you come to our surgery center at Gastrointestinal Specialists, P.C., it’s less overwhelming than at a hospital (with all the same equipment and amenities) so you’ll get situated and ready to go!
We’ll go over the procedure and answer any lingering questions you may have.
You’ll have a sedative, which means you won’t really feel anything from the procedure itself. And, it’s over in about a half hour!
When the colonoscopy is over, you can feel relieved that you underwent a procedure designed to catch and prevent colon cancer before it starts (and any other concerns). Way to go on that self-care!
Schedule your Colonoscopy
If you’re 45 years old or have risk factors, contact us today to schedule your colonoscopy at Gastrointestinal Specialists, P.C. in Troy, Michigan.