Wondering how to get ready for your upcoming colonoscopy? Preparing for this crucial screening test is easier than you think.
A colonoscopy is a simple, straightforward, and virtually pain-free procedure that plays an invaluable role in detecting colon cancer early when it’s most treatable. Yet many people worry about this easy test and how to get ready.
At Rivas Digestive Center in Hollywood, Florida, board-certified gastroenterologist John Rivas, MD, and our team understand the anxieties you might feel and are here to guide you through each step. Your provider gives you personalized instructions, but in the meantime, here’s a look at the general ways you can prepare:
Why a colonoscopy is important
Colonoscopies are essential as they help identify and prevent colorectal cancer, the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths. The American Cancer Society recommends most people begin screenings at age 45, though people with more risk factors may start earlier.
By getting a regular screening, you increase your chances of detecting abnormalities or cancer in the early stages, significantly improving the effectiveness of treatment and likelihood of recovery.
A week before your screening
There’s no need to make drastic changes for a colonoscopy, but as you approach your colonoscopy date, adopting some simple dietary adjustments can help make your screening a smoother procedure.
For example, you might increase your fluid intake by incorporating more clear fluids into your diet, like water, broth, and juices. You might also consider limiting your consumption of foods that are hard to digest, such as nuts, seeds, and corn.
These changes help to prepare your digestive system for your upcoming procedure, making the process more comfortable for you. Dr. Rivas can provide personalized guidance if you have any questions about the week leading up to your test.
A few days before your colonoscopy
Before your colonoscopy, make Dr. Rivas aware of any medications you're currently taking, as you may need to make some temporary adjustments, such as adjusting dosages or halting specific drugs temporarily.
If you’re on blood thinners, coordinating with your specialist is crucial to prevent excessive bleeding during the procedure. Remember: A safe and effective preparation process involves clear and consistent communication with your provider about your medications.
24 hours before your colonoscopy
A critical step in preparing for your colonoscopy is sticking to a clear liquid diet the day before. On the day before your screening, consume only clear liquids. Be sure to avoid red or purple beverages, as these colors can be mistaken for blood during the colonoscopy.
The night before your procedure
Your specialist at Rivas Digestive Center will likely prescribe a laxative or “prep” to take the night before your colonoscopy. This helps clean out your colon, making it easier to examine. Follow the instructions carefully, and don’t hesitate to ask if you have any doubts or concerns.
The day of your colonoscopy
On the day of your colonoscopy, abstain from eating solid foods. Continue drinking clear liquids but stop approximately two hours before the procedure. Following these instructions closely helps make sure you enjoy a smoother process and receive more accurate results.
After the procedure, you might feel groggy or dizzy due to the sedatives. Arrange for someone to drive you home and spend the day resting. Resume your regular diet cautiously, starting with light and easy-to-digest foods.
You’ll also want to schedule and attend any follow-up appointments. Dr. Rivas discusses the results with you and advises on any next steps or lifestyle modifications.
A colonoscopy is a vital tool in maintaining your digestive health and preventing colon cancer. Preparing for it might seem daunting, but with careful planning and adherence to guidelines, it becomes significantly less stressful.
If you have any questions or concerns, Dr. Rivas and the team at Rivas Digestive Center are always here to assist you. Understanding the procedure and knowing how to prepare helps ease your anxiety and ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.
To learn more about preparing for your colonoscopy or to schedule this life-saving health screening, schedule an appointment online or over the phone at Rivas Digestive Center in Hollywood, Florida.