Regular screenings for colon cancer, through colonoscopy, should start at age 45 – or younger if you have specific risk factors. Compared to getting no cancer screenings, colonoscopies reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer by 31% and cut the risk of dying of that cancer by 50%.
Colonoscopy is an important medical procedure that can help detect and prevent various colorectal conditions, including colorectal cancer. At GastroDoxs, Dr. Bharat Pothuri and our team understand that the idea of a colonoscopy can be intimidating.
Here’s what you need to know about the preparation process for your first colonoscopy, ensuring a smooth and successful experience.
What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a medical procedure during which Dr. Pothuri examines the lining of your colon (large intestine) and rectum using a long, flexible tube called a colonoscope. We perform this procedure to detect and diagnose colorectal conditions such as polyps, diverticulosis, and colorectal cancer.
During your colonoscopy, Dr. Pothuri can remove any detected precancerous polyps. The test can also help you manage chronic conditions like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Start with a consultation
The first step is to schedule a consultation at our office. During this visit, we discuss your medical history, any medications you’re taking, and any questions you may have about the procedure. Dr. Pothuri and our team provide you with personalized instructions based on your health status.
Follow dietary restrictions
Typically, you need to follow a special diet for a few days leading up to your colonoscopy. We recommend a clear liquid diet that involves consuming only clear liquids such as water, clear broths, apple juice, and clear gelatin for 1-2 days before the procedure.
Before the colonoscopy, you need to fast for a specified period, typically overnight. This ensures that your stomach is empty, reducing the risk of complications during the procedure.
Prep your bowel
Properly cleansing your colon is crucial for a successful colonoscopy. Here at GastroDoxs, we prescribe a bowel preparation solution to help you achieve this. It's essential to follow the instructions provided precisely, as this will ensure that your colon is clean and that Dr. Pothuri can effectively examine your colon.
If you take any medications for other conditions, consult our office about any adjustments needed before the procedure. In some cases, certain medications may need to be temporarily stopped or adjusted.
Since you receive sedation during the procedure, you can’t drive afterward. Arrange for a friend or family member to pick you up from the facility and stay with you until the sedative effects wear off.
If you’re scheduled for a colonoscopy or need to schedule one, our team at GastroDoxs can guide you through the process and answer your questions.
Following the preparation steps outlined in this guide paves the way for a smooth and successful colonoscopy. Don't hesitate to seek our advice and support to make the experience as comfortable as possible. Call us today or use this website to schedule your first consultation.