Understanding Medical Problems

How To Prepare For Your First Colonoscopy

If you just turned fifty, then you may want to look into getting your first colonoscopy. During this procedure, you will be sedated while a doctor inserts a fiber-optic tube through the anus to check the colon for ulceration and cancers. It is recommended that you have this done at age fifty and then again after each decade. If the doctor finds abnormal tissue, then it's recommended that you have them more frequently. While going in for your first colonoscopy can be a little daunting, a little preparation can definitely ease your worries.

Consult with Your Doctor

You don't want to schedule a colonoscopy without any further guidance. Make sure you meet face-to-face with your doctor so he or she can guide you through the dos and don'ts. Make sure you take written instructions home with you. Every doctor has slightly different practices, so it's important to have your specific doctor's instructions.

Along with going over the procedure, it's important that you go over your medical history with your doctor. Many medications, like blood thinners, need to be stopped before the colonoscopy. However, if you have a serious problem, like a heart condition, your doctor may allow you to take these medications the day of the procedure. Again, verify your medical concerns with your doctor.

Follow the Diet Restrictions

A few days before your procedure, you'll want to start eating a low-fiber diet. The day before the colonoscopy, you won't be able to eat solid foods. You can drink things like Gatorade, apple juice, tea, water, etc. If you need something savory, you can try bouillon cubes or broth. Some people are allowed to eat popsicles and Jell-O but you should ask your doctor about his or her preferences.

Some of the artificial colorings in popsicles and gelatin may cause the colon tissue to be discolored, interfering with the test. On the day of your procedure, you may be able to stay on a clear liquid diet or you may need to fast. Some doctors allow you to just fast a few hours before your procedure.

Embrace the Bowel Prep

Since you will be sedated during your colonoscopy, the most nerve-racking thing you may be anticipating is the bowel prep. Before you schedule your colonoscopy, make sure that you have your calendar clear a couple days before since you know you will be on the toilet a lot. While using the colonoscopy prep drink and other laxatives can be annoying, it is quite necessary since it will make it easier for the doctor to identify polyps and other issues with a clear colon. Just give your family members a heads-up to give you privacy and first claim to the bathroom, and this part of the process should be okay.

Talk with your doctor for more information on preparing for your colonoscopy. You can contact companies like Lincoln Surgical Group PC for more information.