Colonoscopy preparations are important for a successful examination in which the doctor explores the colon and small bowel in order to confirm or establish a diagnosis. Preparing for a colonoscopy is the patient’s responsibility and thus one must follow the doctor’s advices on what to do or what not to do before having such an examination.
The preparation for colonoscopy must be done as the doctor instructs, otherwise the examination will be postponed. Although colonoscopies are safe, there are certain risks that a patient is exposed to. Still, they are medical procedures with a low risk of serious complications. Only approximately 0.35% of cases end up with severe complications. However, if the preparation has been done correctly the procedure is even safer and the doctor is able to get a clear image of the colon and therefore the treatment for the specific disease can be starter as early as possible.
Preparing for a colonoscopy involves changing the diet three to four days prior the examination, as the doctor advises. What patients have to do before a colonoscopy is actually to clean the large intestine so the doctor’s view is not obstructed by the presence of solid waste. Therefore, the patient must undergo a special dietary and laxative preparation for colonoscopy especially on the day before the exam.
The patients are normally helped by the nursing staff so if they have any questions or trouble with following the doctor’s instructions they may just ask the nurse who is taking care of them. A proper preparation starts three to four days before the test. During these days patients should avoid eating solid foods and they are advised to drink as much liquid as possible. White meat such as chicken meat and fruit juices are recommended in colonoscopy preparation. Red meat on the other hand or rice and cereals as well as dark beverages are to be avoided.
Patients may also undergo a special laxative preparation with laxatives prescribed by a doctor. In case the patient follows a proper diet started four days before the test the laxative preparation is possibly unnecessary. The most important is, as we mentioned before, to properly cleanse the small intestine.
During preparation the patients are allowed to drink plain tea, water, and coffee or apple juice. Milk is prohibited and also the red and purple beverages. Food that the patient may eat includes chicken without skin, potatoes, cheese, eggs, light clear soups or fish. To be avoided are nuts, vegetables, fruits, cereals, colored beverages, seeds or red Jell-O.
Patients are also instructed to have nothing to drink or eat until after the procedure. Most of the colonoscopies are scheduled for in the morning so the patients can go to sleep without eating or drinking, unless their doctor instructs them otherwise.
To conclude, the colonoscopy preparations are very important for a successful examination and this is the reason why the patients must follow carefully the instructions of their doctor.