Know what to expect when going for a colonoscopy
No one is excited about getting a colonoscopy screening. But knowing what to expect can help to ease your anxiety.
Making a Colonoscopy Appointment
It is okay to be uneasy or even dread the unknown. And it’s normal to be worried about what the test might reveal. But many people have been through it before. High-risk cancer patients get a colonoscopy every couple of years. When it comes to colon cancer, prevention is better than cure.
Once you’ve decided to schedule an appointment, Overland Park Regional Medical Center makes it easy. As a member of the largest healthcare provider in Kansas City, HCA Midwest Health, we can help you schedule a colonoscopy in a way that works for you. Whether you want the procedure done close to home or work, or are looking for a particular day of the week, we can find a physician in KC that fits your needs.
Colonoscopy Procedure Preparation
Your colon doctor will give you detailed instructions on how to prepare for the procedure. There are a few of different types of prep but most involve a clear liquid diet the day before your colonoscopy, as well as a prescription laxative.. If you are hesitant about the prep for any reason, talk to your colonoscopy doctor. They may be able to offer some tips or prescribe a specific prep that fits your needs. Here are some tips and tricks that have worked for others. But always check with your physician to make sure they are OK for you.
- Consider reducing your food intake a couple days before your prep day. It may also help to cut back on foods that can be difficult to digest, like meat. Remember, the less that goes in, the less that needs to come out
- If you need something to chew on, gummy bears dissolve to a clear liquid at body temperature
- For some tasty snacks, chicken broth, light colored jello or ice pops can be good choices (do not choose anything with red, orange or purple coloring)
- Avoid the kitchen if family members are cooking
- Drinking the prep cold or through a straw can help to alleviate the taste, if needed
- Don’t wander too far from the bathroom
- Baby wipes are good to keep handy
- Petroleum jelly can help ease any irritation
- Laugher is the best medicine!
- And remember, it’s worth it!
It’s vital to follow the preparation instructions your physician provides. The better you cleans the easier it is for your colon doctor to identify any irregularities or polyps.
The day of your colonoscopy, you will not be able to eat or drink until procedure completion. You will need to arrive a little early to be checked in and meet with the anesthesiologist. The actual procedure will only take about 30 minutes but the entire experience will take approximately 2-3 hours.
During your colonoscopy, you will be sedated. Many colorectal physicians and anesthesiologist opt for conscious sedation. This is when a combination of medications are administered to help you relax and any block pain. The procedure is painless and many people even fall asleep.
The procedure involves inserting a thin, flexible tube used to look at the surface of the colon and rectum. Many times, if your physician finds polyps they can remove them during the colonoscopy. This is one of the benefits of a colonoscopy over many other colon cancer detection methods. Expect to get your results in about 7-10 business days. And as long as no issue are uncovered, you won’t need to come back for another couple years.