Are you putting off scheduling a colonoscopy because you are worried about the procedure or the preparation? You are not alone. The idea of undergoing a colonoscopy can make even the bravest person wary. But a colonoscopy is not as bad as you may think. The Piedmont Colorectal Associates team explains why in this post.
1. The colonoscopy prep has been improved and refined.
Many of our patients tell us they worry more about the colonoscopy preparation than the screening itself. But a thorough cleansing is critical to detecting any abnormalities in your colon. Furthermore, the prep has been greatly improved and refined over the past decade or so. The volume of laxative solution you must drink has been reduced, and you can mix it with a clear beverage like Gatorade or lemon-lime soda to make it more palatable. Some of our patients enjoy sucking on a clear hard candy or ice pop in between sips of the solution to mask the taste.
2. The screening is quick.
Colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure, so you will go home the same day as the screening. Plan to take the entire day off from work and spend a few hours at the hospital or office where the screening is performed. But the screening itself is very quick; in some cases, it takes as few as 15 minutes.
3. You won’t feel anything.
Prior to the start of the screening, you will receive sedative and pain medication through an IV that puts you into a very calm and drowsy state. You will drift off to sleep and enjoy a relaxing nap. You will be continuously monitored during the colonoscopy to ensure your vitals are stable.
You will not feel anything during the exam, and it will be over before you know it — in fact, it is not unusual for a patient to wake up after the screening, only to inquire whether it has started.
After the procedure, you should not have any pain or discomfort (although you might pass gas for a few hours). You can resume eating your favorite foods immediately.
4. You may not need a colonoscopy very often.
Depending on the results of your colonoscopy and your risk factor for colorectal cancer, you may only need a colonoscopy every five or 10 years. And if we do find something during your colonoscopy and need to repeat the procedure, you will know exactly what to expect!
If you are due for a colonoscopy or have a question for our team, please give us a call or send us an email today.