Preparation. Preparation. Preparation. Get It Right.
Being prepared is always a good thing. The Boy Scouts of America use “Be Prepared” as their motto, and those guys always seem to be the ones saving the day.
President Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.” Of course, I don’t know if Honest Abe sharpened his own axe, but his point is well made. It’s better to put effort into the preparation of the job at hand, if you want the best results.
Preparation for a colonoscopy is no different. You don’t want to “half it,” only to have the doctor tell you that they are unable to perform the procedure.
I wish I had a dime for every time I’ve heard someone say that when it comes to a colonoscopy, the preparation is worse than the exam itself. I’ve even said it myself – It’s simply true.
The average time it takes to perform a colonoscopy is under an hour and the average amount of time it takes to properly prepare for the procedure is around 72 hours. The last 16-20 of those hours are – let’s be honest – usually spent on the toilet. So, yes, the prep is worse than the exam, but the results can save your life.
The objective of the preparation is, course, to have the cleanest bowels your doctor has ever seen. The cleaner they are, the more they can see. The more they can see, the more you know. Plus, who doesn’t want bragging rights to the cleanest bowels around?
How to Prepare
Thorough cleansing of the entire bowel is essential for effective results so there will not be a need for retesting. Instructions for doing this will be given by your physician, but this can include a combination of the following: enema, restriction from eating solid foods a day or two before the test and taking pill-form and/or liquid laxatives. You may be told to stop taking aspirin or other blood-thinning medications for several days before the test as well.
To avoid dehydration, patients should drink clear, fat-free bouillon or broth, gelatin, strained fruit juice (no grape juice or any liquid with red color), water, plain and unsweetened coffee or tea, or diet soda. Unless otherwise instructed, continue taking any regularly prescribed medication. Your physician may also ask you to stop taking iron preparations a few weeks before the test if you are on them. Finally, you need to arrange for someone to drive you home afterward because lingering, subtle effects of the sedation will make it unsafe for you to drive until the next day.
If you already have a problem with hemorrhoids and the prep could create potential discomfort behind the scenes be EXTRA ready with a tube of Preparation-H.
It’s worth it to do it right. I’ve done it wrong before, so trust me on this! I also know firsthand how it can save your life. I finally did get the prep right, and they did find some polyps. I never felt a thing when they found them, or took them off – And if they hadn’t, I might not be here today.
So stop whining. It’s not that bad. Get a good book and catch up on your reading. If you are super competitive, make up a drinking game to help chase down your prep. Perhaps a truly good, or demented friend, will play phospho-soda pong (very similar to beer pong but takes longer to finish) with you. Whatever it takes, the preparation is key, but the results are worth it.Tags: being prepared, boy scouts of america, colonoscopy, how to prepare, liquid diet, prep, preparation, preparing for a colonoscopy, Prevention Info