ZocdocAnswersWhat is involved in the preparation for a colonoscopy?

Question

What is involved in the preparation for a colonoscopy?

I'm having stomach problems that my doctor can't figure out. He said I might end up having to have a colonoscopy. My friend said it is really bad to prepare for. What is involved in the preparation for a colonoscopy? What should I be prepared for?

Answer

To prepare for a colonoscopy, you will need to clear everything out of your colon- flush it out. This colonoscopy prep varies from patient to patient so you need to follow your doctor's colonoscopy prep instructions to the letter. In particular, it can be a little challenging for someone who is diabetic. In general, before a colonoscopy it involves taking a laxative and only giving yourself liquid diet. A person is usually prescribed 4 liters of a laxative, such as Golytely. It is usually recommended that you start taking it the day before the procedure. It is important to make sure that your colon is completely empty. If your colon is not completely empty, your doctor will not be able to see your colon clearly and could miss any polyps or other signs of cancer. As well a poor colonoscopy prep will limit your endoscopist's ability to visualize all or part of your colon, therefore causing a need for a repeat exam. The success of your colonoscopy really depends largely on the quality of your prep. Thus, it is very important to complete your prep for your colonoscopy. I would suggest that you schedule a visit with a primary care doctor for a consultation and referral to a specialist who can properly help you prepare for your colonoscopy.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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