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How to Prepare for Your Colonoscopy

How to Prepare for Your Colonoscopy

Colon and rectal cancer are the leading gastrointestinal cancers. Colonoscopy technology plays a key role in screening for and detecting colorectal cancer. In the early stages, colorectal cancer rarely causes apparent symptoms, making it crucial to get regular colonoscopy screenings. 

Doctors diagnose more than 100,000 new cases of colorectal cancer each year, with more than 50,000 people dying from colorectal cancer annually. Like most types of cancer, the risk increases with age. 

At Colorado Colon and Rectal Specialists in Parker, Colorado, board-certified colon and rectal surgeon Lisa A. Perryman, MD, combines scientific knowledge and advanced technology to provide comprehensive and compassionate care. 

If you’re scheduled for a colonoscopy, it’s important to follow the colon-prep steps that Dr. Perryman provides. Inadequate colon prep can result in cancellation of your colonoscopy appointment. The colon must be prepped properly in order for Dr. Perryman to visualize it clearly and detect any abnormal growths. We’ve gathered some helpful information to ensure a smooth colon prep. 

When should you get a colonoscopy?

It’s recommended that individuals with an average risk profile begin scheduling colonoscopies when they turn 45. People with a history of colon polyps or a personal or family history of colorectal cancer should start getting colonoscopies earlier. 

In the past, doctors recommended scheduling colonoscopies starting at the age of 50. However, because Americans are getting cancer younger, and colorectal cancer is most treatable when found early, the American Cancer Society released new screening guidelines that recommend that you start regular screening at age 45 and continue screening through the age of 75. 

Tips for preparing for your colonoscopy

Dr. Perryman will provide colon-prep instructions for you to follow. Instructions for your colon prep will vary depending on the type of colon-cleansing preparation you and Dr. Perryman choose for you. Common colon cleansing preparations include:

Each colon-cleansing preparation has specific instructions. Dr. Perryman will give you instructions to help make your preparation as easy and effective as possible for you.

Reduce fiber intake five-to-seven days before colonoscopy

For all colon-cleansing preparations, it’s important to avoid high-fiber foods and fiber supplements starting five-to-seven days prior to your colonoscopy. Eating a low-fiber diet can make the colonoscopy prep process easier. 

Follow a liquid diet the day before colonoscopy

Adhering to a clear liquid diet the day before your colonoscopy assists with the cleansing process. Clear liquids include:

It’s necessary to avoid dairy beverages, as well as red-colored beverages and gelatins. You will be instructed to stop drinking clear liquids by midnight the evening before your procedure. 

All bowel-cleansing preparations cause frequent, liquid stools. The process tends to go smoother when the bowel-cleansing solution is divided into multiple doses. 

Colonoscopies save lives, and colon-cleansing preparation is no longer something to dread. There are several cleansing solutions to choose from, with various flavors and volumes. Work with Dr. Perryman to choose the bowel prep best suited for you. 

If you need to schedule a colonoscopy, or have questions about your currently scheduled colonoscopy, call 303-840-8822 or book online to schedule a visit. 

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