Hitting the half century mark in age is a time for celebration, but it's also time to schedule a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy is a colorectal cancer and colon cancer screening method and is recommended for all patients over age 50.
Preparation for a Colonoscopy
A day or two before the colonoscopy, you will need to clean out your colon. This is often done by drinking special colonoscopy preparation liquids. This preparation is very effective at clearing out the colon, so it is recommended you stay home that day and have easy access to a bathroom, as you will need to use it frequently. Preparation also requires being on a clear liquid diet so the colon will be as clear as possible.
What to Expect During a Colonoscopy
The procedure itself usually only takes about 30 minutes. During a colonoscopy, the patient is placed under anesthesia, and the gastroenterologist or surgeon uses a colonoscope (a small video camera attached to a flexible tube) to examine the inside of the large intestine, or colon. The procedure itself is usually painless, as the patient is asleep.
What to Expect After a Colonoscopy
Following a colonoscopy, you may be experience gas or discomfort due to abdominal bloating. You may also experience after effects of anesthesia, so it is recommended to have someone drive you home from the procedure and to take the rest of the day easy.
The results of the colonoscopy will be given to your physician, who will recommend any dietary recommendations or possible follow-up tests, if necessary.
To schedule a colonoscopy or learn more about colonoscopies or colon/colorectal cancer, please call the Utah Valley Center for Digestive Health at (801) 357-7743.