What Do You Have to Do Before Getting a Colonoscopy?

What Do You Have to Do Before Getting a Colonoscopy?

The colon is the large intestine that connects to the small intestine and then ends in a rectum. Its job is to absorb water and store waste products until they’re ready to be eliminated from the body. The process of elimination starts with eating when healthy food moves through your stomach and intestines, where it’s broken down into simpler forms before being excreted out of the body. Jacob Rinker MD, FACS, can perform a colonoscopy which is a procedure that uses a small scope and light to look at the lining of the rectum and entire colon.

There are several things you need to know before getting a colonoscopy, including:

You Will Stop Taking Certain Medication

Before you have a colonoscopy, your doctor will ask about any medicines or supplements that you take. You may need to stop taking some. Some medications that you take for other conditions can affect how your body reacts to sedation or lower your blood pressure, making it hard to move during the procedure. Ask your doctor or call your pharmacist if you’re unsure whether a medicine interferes with a colonoscopy.

You Need a Clear Colon Before the Procedure

You will be asked to stop eating and drinking anything, except water, for about 8 hours before the test. Your doctor also might tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight before your test. It may depend on why the test is being done to make sure nothing in your colon could affect the test results.

Your doctor may ask you to take a laxative the day before your colonoscopy, promoting bowel movements to empty the colon. Your doctor will tell you not to drink anything after midnight before your test unless it’s OK by them, even water. This is because you need to be well-hydrated just before having a colonoscopy since an enema is not used. Without drinking water, your colon will be empty when the doctor looks at it with a colonoscopy.

You Have to Go to the Bathroom Before You Arrive for Your Procedure

Your doctor will ask you to do one last check of your bowel movements before your appointment for a colonoscopy. You should pay attention to anything that isn’t watery or quickly passed. Your doctor may recommend doing a rectal exam before your colonoscopy to check for anything inside your colon. It’s the same type of exam you might have done if you had bleeding or pain in your bottom.

Your Doctor Will Also Want to Know About Your Medical History

You will have a discussion with your doctor about your medical history before a colonoscopy. This check-up should include questions about any health conditions you may have, such as heart disease or kidney problems, and whether there’s a family history of colon cancer. Your doctor also might ask you about allergies to medicines or latex rubber. If you have a history of depression or anxiety, let your doctor know.

Colonoscopies are a procedure that uses a small scope and light to look at the lining of the rectum and entire colon. 

Colonoscopy may be necessary because it can help diagnose colorectal cancer, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticulosis, polyps (abnormal tissue growths), and inflammatory bowel diseases.

Daniel Pauly