The Steps of a Colonoscopy: It’s as Easy as 1-2-3
Have you been dreading your colonoscopy? While it’s true that a colonoscopy isn’t exactly enjoyable, the procedure is much quicker and more comfortable than it has ever been before. A colonoscopy is a three-step process, and once you understand what it is all about, you will realize that it is not that bad at all.
- Preparation — This is commonly known as “prep.” Your doctor will write you a prescription for a powdered laxative that you will dissolve in a specified amount of liquid. It is important to read the instructions thoroughly, ask questions, and follow the directions exactly as they are written. Most prep solutions are split into two doses, and you will take the first dose the night before your procedure and the second dose on the morning of your procedure.
- Procedure — On the morning of your procedure, you will wake early to take the second half of your prep solution to finish clearing the bowel. It’s important to have a family member or friend accompany you to the procedure so he or she can sit with you during recovery and drive you home afterwards. When you arrive for your appointment, you will go into the pre-op area for a short consultation. After you dress for the procedure, your anesthesiologist will begin the sedation. The sedative will make you sleepy, and you will not even be aware that the colonoscopy is occurring.
- Recovery — When you wake up, you’ll be in a recovery area. You may feel groggy for a while, but this is normal. Your nurse will give you permission to get dressed, and you will have an opportunity to speak to your doctor about the results of your colonoscopy. If you get the “all clear,” you shouldn’t have to undergo a colonoscopy for another 10 years!
As you can see, a colonoscopy is not something scary to be avoided. Colon cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer death in the United States, but it is preventable through routine colonoscopies. Scheduling your colonoscopy is also as easy as 1-2-3:
- Use the Find a Center tool to find a qualified gastroenterologist in your area.
- Call your preferred GI center.
- Schedule your colonoscopy.
It only takes a few moments of your time to prevent colon cancer, so call today!
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