Must-Know Facts About Colonoscopies
Having a colonoscopy is an effective way to prevent colon cancer. Most of these cancers are caused by the growth of polyps in the colon. These polyps are usually harmless but can cause problems if left untreated. If the polyps are found, they may need to be removed. Depending on the type of polyps, they may need more frequent testing or treatment. Read on to learn some facts about colonoscopies.
The procedure is typically done in the doctor’s office or hospital. It usually takes between 30 and 60 minutes. There is a small amount of bleeding after the procedure, but it usually stops on its own. If the bleeding continues, you may need a blood transfusion or other treatment.
You should not eat solid food the day before your colonoscopy. You may be given a prescription laxative to drink the night before. These laxatives may cause you to make multiple trips to the bathroom on the morning of the procedure. You should also avoid taking certain medications a week before the test. Some people may also be given a special diet to follow.
You should tell your doctor about any medications you are taking. If you are allergic to any medication, you should let your doctor know. Also, people with heart problems or those who are taking iron or anticoagulant medicine should let their doctor know. If you have any allergies to food or water, you should also inform your doctor.
Your doctor may prescribe you a medicine to take during the colonoscopy. This medicine will make you feel sleepy and relaxed. Your doctor may also give you a pill to take after the procedure to prevent sedative reactions. You may need to have someone drive you home after the procedure.
You may also be asked to drink clear liquids for two to three days. These liquids include tea without milk, broth, and plain water. However, you should not drink any red or colored liquids. These liquids may cause the doctor to mistake them for blood, which is not normal.
You may experience bloating after the colonoscopy. It may also cause some abdominal cramping. You may also feel a slight amount of blood in your first bowel movement. Most people feel fine after the test.