Many patients feel anxious before undergoing a colonoscopy procedure. However, being prepared and knowing what to expect can do a great deal to mitigate your fears. When you schedule your colonoscopy with the board-certified GI team at La Peer Health Systems Colonoscopy Center of Excellence, we do everything in our power to make sure you are informed and relaxed about your upcoming procedure.
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Preparing for a Colonoscopy
A successful colon cancer screening requires that the colon be completely clear. If screening preparations aren’t performed adequately, it’s possible that polyps or other abnormalities will be missed. The procedure may also take longer or even need to be rescheduled. When you schedule a colonoscopy at our Beverly Hills office, our skilled doctors will tell you what you need to do to ensure your procedure is a success, and that you are relaxed and comfortable the whole time.
One Week Before a ColonCancer Screening
The week before your procedure, you may need to stop taking certain medications. You may also be asked to stop eating certain foods, like nuts. At our Los Angeles facility, our expert staff and GI team will carefully go over any diet regulations when you schedule the procedures.
One Day Before
On the day before your colonoscopy, you will need to consume a clear liquid only diet. This may include broth, tea, soft drinks and certain colors of Jell-O. In most cases, our doctors will instruct you to take a combination of liquid laxatives and/or suppositories before your colonoscopy. If you find the colonoscopy prep you need to drink before your procedure to be unpleasant, ask your doctor about adding a flavor powder to the solution. You may also want to try sucking on a hard candy after drinking each glass. In some cases, you may be instructed to use an enema to cleanse the inside of the colon. Our compassionate GI team will go over all the instructions you need to follow before your colonoscopy procedure.
The Day Of the Colonoscopy
Most of the preparation for a colonoscopy is done the day before the procedure. On the day of your colonoscopy, you will probably be given a mild sedative to help you relax. You may also be given medication to relieve any minimal discomfort. Our top notch anesthesiologists will be there with you every step of the way to ensure that you are comfortable and safe. Ask your doctor if you are allowed to drink water on the morning of the procedure.
The more prepared you are for your colonoscopy, the greater the chances your procedure will be a success. Knowing what to expect can help you relax before and during your screening procedure.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long will my colonoscopy preparations take?
A: Your clear liquid diet begins 24 hours before your procedure. Most patients are able to go to work during the day prior to the procedure. In most cases (depending on the time which your are scheduled) the bowel preparation which you take to cleanse the colon is taken the night before the procedure. Your GI specialist will advise you of these exact times based on your procedure time.
Can I drink only water before my colonoscopy?
A: In most cases, you are permitted to drink a variety of clear liquids including broth, clear soft drinks, tea and Jell-O. Be sure to ask your GI specialist for specific instructions.
Why do I have to take laxatives before my procedure?
A: Cleansing the colon completely is necessary to ensure that the gastroenterologist can see any pre-cancerous growths or abnormalities during your test.
The laxative solution tastes unpleasant. Can I sip it slowly?
A: Our GI team will provide detailed instructions for drinking the laxative solution. Some patients like to sip and some like to drink the entire glass quickly. Either way is okay, as long as you finish the solution in its entirety.
What can I do to make the bowel cleanse prep taste?
Is it normal to feel bloated or nauseated during my screening prep?
A: Not everyone gets these sensations, but if they occur, they are normal and will subside as your preparation continues.
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