What To Know Before Your Colonoscopy Procedure

Health & Medical Blog

A colonoscopy is a common procedure that is used to look for issues with the colon. It is commonly used as a preventative procedure for colon cancer, but it can be used to screen for other conditions. If you have a colonoscopy procedure scheduled, keep reading to learn what to expect.

You Need to Prep Your Colon         

The colonoscopy procedure involves a long, thin camera that is inserted into the rectum to see the inside of the colon. For this reason, the colon needs to be empty of all waste. Before your procedure, you will need to drink a special mix that will be prescribed by your doctor.

This will evacuate your bowels to remove solid waste. You will need to also avoid solid foods the day before the procedure. You can drink liquids like plain coffee, water, or broth. Don't eat or dink anything after midnight.

Polyps Are Removed

Along with the camera, there is a device that is used to remove polyps. Polyps are small clumps of tissue that don't usually present with symptoms, but they can burst and bleed during bowel movements. Larger polyps could be pre-cancerous. The process of removing them is painless, and you may have some blood in your first bowel movement after the procedure.

Tissue Is Monitored

Besides looking for polyps, the doctor will also monitor the tissue to check for any abnormalities like discoloration or any other sudden changes. These changes could be signs of cancer or pre-cancer, so your doctor will take a biopsy of any suspicious tissue.

After the procedure, the biopsy will be sent to check for any cancerous cells. These early symptoms are often impossible to notice without a colonoscopy, allowing the cancerous cells to spread unmonitored. Once your doctor knows you have cancer, treatment can begin. Early cancer treatment is always crucial so it doesn't spread.

You Need a Ride Home

To help minimize discomfort, you will be given a sedative for the procedure. This will make you sleepy and groggy, but it doesn't necessarily knock you out like general anesthesia. However, the sedative will continue to affect you after the procedure, so you will need someone to take you home. You should go straight home after the procedure to rest for a few hours.

A colonoscopy may not be the most glamorous reason to visit the doctor, but it can help prevent colon cancer by monitoring your colon health better. If you would like to know more about colonoscopy procedures, contact your doctor today.


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