You love your morning coffee but you’re scheduled for colonoscopy. Go ahead! Have your coffee. There are many false information regarding colonoscopy. These are the top 10 secrets of colonoscopy you need to know before your colonoscopy.
Colonoscopy secret #1: You can have coffee before your colonoscopy
It is okay to have coffee or tea without milk or diary products.
Colonoscopy secret #2: You can have sweets before your colonoscopy
It is okay to have honey, hard candies, and sugar before colonoscopy.
Colonoscopy secret #3: You can use tablets to prep for colonoscopy
While most bowel cleansing agents are liquid in form, tablets can be used to prep the bowel for colonoscopy. Osmoprep is a drug in tablet form that can be used for colonoscopy. It is not commonly used due to concern about kidney problems from its use. Read How to Use OsmoPrep for Colonoscopy Bowel Preparation.
Colonoscopy secret #4: You don’t have to be asleep for colonoscopy
If you want to watch your own colonoscopy you can. Colonoscopy can be done without sedation; with minimal sedation; with moderate sedation; with deep sedation or with general anesthesia. If you receive no sedation or minimal sedation, you can watch your own colonoscopy.
Colonoscopy secret #5: You don’t need colonoscopy every 5 years even if you have colon polyps
There are different types of colon polyps. If you are an average risk person and you have a hyperplastic polyp, you do not need colonoscopy every 5 years. Read How to Understand Your Colonoscopy Result.
Colonoscopy secret #6: You don’t need colonoscopy every year even though you have had colon cancer before
A complete colonoscopy should be performed in patients with colon cancer. If a complete colonoscopy cannot be performed due to obstruction, one should be performed 3 to 6 months after surgery. Another colonoscopy should be performed in 1 year. If the examination at 1 year is normal, then the interval before the next subsequent examination should be 3 years. If that examination is normal, then the interval before the next subsequent examination should be 5 years. Shorter intervals may be indicated based on polyp findings, certain disease conditions, family history, and genetic disorders. Read Colonoscopy Surveillance after Colorectal Cancer Resection.
Colonoscopy secret #7: You can eat a day before your colonoscopy
Colonoscopy secret #8: You can use Miralax and Gatorade to prep for colonoscopy
Even though the Miralax/Gatorade combo is not FDA approved for bowel cleansing prior to colonoscopy, it is widely popular. The drug inside Miralax is the same as the drug inside Golytely and MiraLax is approved for constipation. Read How to Use Miralax and Gatorade for Colonoscopy Bowel Preparation.
Colonoscopy secret #9: You don’t need to have a relative with you for colonoscopy
A responsible adult should accompany you for your colonoscopy but the adult does not have to be a family member. Since most colonoscopies are done with sedation, you cannot drive or take yourself home. A friend, neighbor, colleague or medical aide may qualify as a responsible adult.
Colonoscopy secret #10: Screening colonoscopy is free
The Affordable Care Act eliminates co-pays for preventive services including colorectal cancer screening. Unfortunately, you may have a co-pay if a polyp is removed during your screening colonoscopy.
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