No one ever looks forward to getting a colonoscopy, and for most people, the prep is the hardest part. It may not be fun, but proper preparation is the difference between an accurate, effective colonoscopy and a less successful one.
Here’s what you can expect:
1-3 Days before Your Colonoscopy:
For most people, two days before your colonoscopy, you will be instructed to modify your diet.
This generally means increasing your clear liquid intake and avoiding red meat, seeds, nuts, popcorn, corn or high fiber foods. And you may be asked to start taking an oral laxative. (In certain circumstances, your doctor may recommend you begin similar or additional diet modifications up to three days before the procedure.)
Stock up on clear liquids and broths or bullion. Coffee and tea are also okay, alcohol is not.
1 Day before Your Colonoscopy:
Typically, your doctor will instruct you to start a clear liquid diet the day before your colonoscopy. Be sure to avoid drinking anything red or purple—the dyes can be confused with blood or inflammation in the colon during your procedure.
The Evening before Your Colonoscopy:
This is when you will start drinking the cleansing solution prescribed by your doctor. Be sure to have enough toilet paper, wipes if they make you more comfortable, and plenty of reading material. Plan to stay at home and near a bathroom.
Don’t forget that this temporary discomfort is all so that the doctor
s can detect every polyp and potential cause for concern in your colon. Preparing for a colonoscopy can be challenging, but having colorectal cancer would be even more so.
The Morning of Your Colonoscopy:
If you have any more cleansing solution to drink, do so with plenty of time before you have to get in the car.
Celebrate a job well done. The hard part for you is over. Congratulations on making it through the preparation process, and making the wise decision to schedule your colonoscopy!