Although it is one of the most important procedures that people over 50 can have, preparing to have a colonoscopy is not the most pleasant experience – and it’s easy to see why. Not only do you have to prepare for a few days before the operation, but the preparation itself requires discipline and the right approach. With the potential for cancers and pre-cancerous polyps to be found before they create real problems, a colonoscopy is still absolutely worth doing, though. In this article, we take a look at what’s involved with colonoscopy preparation to give you a better understanding of what you’ll need to do.
The basics of colonoscopy preparation
Preparation for a colonoscopy in Adelaide will, for the most part, involve two steps: a carefully managed pre-procedure diet, and a cleansing of the bowels right before the operation. Most of the time-related preparation in the lead-up to a colonoscopy involves the patient ensuring that their bowels are completely empty. This is important, as you might imagine, to allow for the colonoscopist to have a clearer view of the bowel, and thus any abnormalities contained within. It doesn’t take much to miss small details like polyps and lesions, and not successfully clearing your bowels will either make the procedure take much longer than it should, or require that the entire process be rescheduled – which would then require you to go through the entire round of prep again. Before the operation patients will be required to stick to a special diet consisting mostly of low fiber foods which means no grains, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, or fruits or vegetables. The day before the operation patients will then need to forget about solid foods altogether and consume only liquids. These can typically include clear broths, black coffee or tea, clear juices (such as apple juice) and clear soft drinks.
Making sure your bowels are clear
The next step, which many people will find an issue with, involves consuming bowel-clearing substances in order to get diarrhea in order to completely clean the bowel. This will typically occur in the afternoon or evening before you’re scheduled to have your colonoscopy, but any specifics related to this will be for the most part up to your specialist. This step isn’t the most pleasant, but there are a few things you can do to make it easier on yourself. Firstly, if you have any bad-tasting prep liquid-like magnesium citrate easier, mix it with clear liquids that you typically like to drink (such as lemonade) and drink as quickly as possible. Better yet, grab some capsules! It’s also very helpful if you set up your space appropriately beforehand. For example, you might want to stay very close to the bathroom so that you don’t run into trouble on the way there. If you’ve consumed a particularly powerful formula, staying on the toilet for a good while with a book might also help.
Better preparing for a colonoscopy
Although colonoscopy preparation can be a chore, doing your homework beforehand can help out a lot. Much of this prep will be organised by your doctor, so there’s no need to panic, either – take careful note of any instructions that they give you and you should have no health issues at all. It’s also good to remember that you can have some delicious clear liquids lined up for before and after, instead of having to drink boring old water constantly!