The Centers for Disease Control estimates that one in three adults, within the normal recommended 50 to 75 age range, have never been screened for colorectal cancer despite the fact that colonoscopy is the most efficient want to diagnose early colon cancer when it is in its most treatable form. New guidelines for those with a family history, recommending even earlier screening, would push that number only upward.
Making an Appointment
It is normal and understandable to be apprehensive before an unknown procedure and of what the test might uncover. However, most patients report that the prep was unpleasant, but manageable, and the procedure itself, painless and simple.
Once you’ve made the decision to take action, Centerpoint Medical Center makes it simple. We can help you find a physician near you.
Preparing for the Procedure
Your physician will give you instructions on the preparation and procedure. There are a couple of different types of prep but most involve a clear liquid diet the day before the procedure, as well as a prescription laxative beginning the night before the procedure.
Here are some tips that you may review with your physician:
- 48 hours before prep day start to cut down on the quantity of food you eat and be mindful of foods that can be difficult to digest like meat.
- Chicken broth, light colored jello or ice pops (avoid anything with red, orange or purple coloring)
- If you’re not fond of the taste of the prep, try drinking it cold or through a straw
- Stay close to the bathroom
- Make light of and laugh about the experience with a friend or family member
It’s very important to follow the colonoscopy prep instructions your doctor provides. The better you prep the easier it is for your doctor to navigate your colon and identify any abnormalities.
The day of your procedure, you will have nothing to eat or drink prior to your procedure. You will have to arrive to the location of the procedure a little early to allow for checked in. The colonoscopy will only take about 30 minutes but the entire experience from arrival to departure should take about 2-3 hours.
During the procedure, you will most likely be sedated. Many doctors and anesthesiologist choose conscious sedation. Conscious sedation is when a combination of medicines are used to relax you and block pain. The procedure is virtually painless and many people fall asleep.
A colonoscopy involves inserting a thin, flexible tube used to look at the surface of the colon and rectum. Many times, if the doctor finds polyps they can remove them right immediately. The screening and removal of polyps at one time is a benefit of a colonoscopy over many other screening methods. It will take about 7-10 business days to get your results. And as long as there are no issues, and dependent upon your family history, your physician may recommend less frequent colonoscopies in future.